All-terrain vehicles aren’t cheap to buy, so you want to make sure they are protected properly against theft and damage. One source for this protection comes from an unlikely source – your homeowner's insurance. However, it may not offer you the complete protection you want, so there are some things to consider about using your homeowner's insurance to protect your ATV.
ATV Damage Coverage
If your homeowner's insurance offers coverage for your ATV, it will be limited. For instance, protection against damage to your ATV will be limited to where the damage happens. If you damage your ATV while it is on the insured homestead, then the damage will be covered. If the damage happens while you’re driving your ATV off-road somewhere, which is the more likely cause, then the damage won’t be covered.
ATV Theft Insurance Coverage
The same is true for theft insurance coverage. In order to be covered, the loss (theft) needs to happen while the ATV is on the insured property. If the ATV is stolen while being transported from one location to another, a homeowner's insurance policy won't cover the theft.
The ATV is also not covered for theft if it is stolen while being driven somewhere other than the insured property. This means if the theft occurs on a neighbor's property or anywhere other than the homeowner's own land, the theft will not be covered.
Not a Registered Vehicle
Motorized vehicles are generally excluded from homeowners' policies. However, this exclusion has a loophole in that the vehicles need to be registered and ATVs do not need to be registered. Even if the ATV is covered, you need to check what your deductible and coverage limits are. Limits on the replacement value or a high deductible may only offer you partial coverage of your ATV.
Protecting Against Liability
Because of the nature of ATV use, you need liability coverage for both yourself and others you may injure with your ATV. This is something your homeowner's insurance will not offer you regardless of whether it covers the ATV as a home possession or not. You may be able to purchase uninsured and underinsured coverage. This will offer you some protection if another rider injures you and that rider doesn’t have insurance.
Consider ATV Insurance
It is more likely that you will need ATV insurance. It is required if you use your all-terrain vehicles in some state parks. ATV insurance works much like a motorcycle or car insurance. It will cover all-terrain vehicles both on-road and off.
You can choose whether you want damage protection only or liability coverage. You can reduce the amount of your premium by setting a higher deductible, keeping your record clean, and not making claims. Also, some models of ATVs are more expensive to insure so you should ask your insurer about what various models cost to insure before you purchase an ATV.
James Rada, Jr. was a newspaper reporter for eight years and earned 23 awards from the Maryland Delaware D.C. Press Association, Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists, Maryland State Teachers’ Association and CNHI. He also worked for 12 years as a marketing communications writer, earning a Print Copywriter of the Year Award from the Utah Ad Federation. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications.