I live in a small town in Southern Illinois. Just about everyone I know owns an ATV or side by side. I mean, how else are you supposed to get your mail? If you own any amount of property ATV’s are a valuable tool, many times are a necessity, not to mention they are a lot of fun. As an insurance agent I hear all the time from my clients and prospects that they don’t want to purchase a separate insurance policy for their ATV. Here are a few reason why I recommend purchasing separate insurance for your ATV.
- Homeowners Insurance won’t cover physical damage or theft.
If your ATV is damaged or stolen it will not be covered under your homeowners policy. You need collision coverage to pay for repairs in case of an accident. You need comprehensive coverage in case the ATV is stolen, damaged by fire , vandalism, or extreme weather. If you buy an insurance policy for your ATV you can purchase comprehensive and collision insurance pay for physical damage or theft.
- Homeowners General Liability only covers you on premises
So let’s say you have some friends over and you decide to take them for a ride on your side by side. You decide you are going to take them down the road to show them how fast it goes when all of a sudden you swerve to miss a branch and you throw your friend from the vehicle. They suffer multiple broken bones and have to take a helicopter to the nearest trauma center. This is going to be expensive, and that’s before your friend gets the best attorney in the area. They send you a letter that says “I’m not your friend any more, I want all of my bills paid and when you’re done with that go ahead and write me a check for whatever is left of your liability limit!!!” If you submit this claim to your homeowners insurance they are going to send you a letter that says “Your homeowners general liability does not extend off the described premises for your ATV. Sorry you lost a friend.” Purchasing an insurance policy for your ATV will cover you for on and off premises liability.
- Insulate your Homeowners Insurance from liability claims.
So what if you are one of my clients that says you never take your ATV off premises? I would say that insuring your ATV liability on premises with your homeowners policy is most likely your biggest risk to your liability limits. It’s riskier than the Pitbull, the trampoline, and the swimming pool without a fence.
If there is a severe injury like the one outlined in the previous section except it happens on your property you most likely will meet you homeowners liability limit. If you file a large liability claim on your homeowners insurance there is a good chance that your insurance will be non-renewed by your insurance carrier. If you are non-renewed and you have a large liability claim showing in your claims experience you are going to have a difficult time finding a different carrier to insure you, and if you find a willing carrier it is going to be expensive. You may very well end up insuring your home the Illinois FAIR plan or a similar program in a different state. The coverage will be expensive and limited.
It makes sense to not put your homeowners liability limits at risk by purchasing a separate ATV policy. If there is a large claim it will be much easier and less expensive to find a new insurance policy for your ATV than it will be to replace your homeowners insurance.
- Consider purchasing a personal umbrella
Between medical expenses and disability payments personal injury claims can get very expensive very fast. If you would consider letting your friends or extended family use your ATV you may want to consider carrying higher limits of liability. If you are working with an independent insurance agent you will most likely be surprised how affordable an umbrella policy can be.
ATV’s can be a lot of fun and they can be a great tool around the farm as well. Under most circumstances assuming your ATV is adequately insured by your homeowners insurance is a recipe for disaster. You may be able to insure your ATV separately through the same insurance carrier that writes your home and auto insurance or you may find a standalone policy to have better coverage or to be more affordable. Either way separately insuring your ATV will always be a more effective way of protecting your ATV as well as your personal assets.
If you are looking to insure your ATV give us a call Beacon Insurance Group (618)242-5411 or email us a firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to help you with all of your insurance needs.