As of late, UTVs became more than just heavy machinery to work with on farms and ranches. While owners didn’t forget about their primary purposes, UTVs, just like ATVs, are now leisure rides, able to carry adventurers in places few others have gone before. With so many OHV official trails, parks, and professional competitions going on, off-road enthusiasts only need to choose where they want to go next. But, as things are with everything on wheels, some type of insurance is mandatory. So, whether you bought a Kawasaki Mule for farm work or a Polaris Ranger for adrenaline-pumping gravel riding, sooner or later, you will have to have a chat with an insurance company. Let’s see today a few things to know about such issues when you plan to buy a UTV/ATV soon!
You Cannot Ride UTVs or ATVs on the Streets
Unless you make them street legal. It all depends on the state you are in and the make/model of vehicle you ride, so do your homework thoroughly.
Just so you know, Arizona is one of the easiest places to make your ATV/UTV street legal.
However, all states require you to make modifications and add different parts to your vehicle. You should pay attention to such provisions, because it goes beyond buying wheel studs and lug nuts for UTVs & ATVs from a specialized aftermarket parts store. Your vehicle will have to pass an emissions test – so get your hands on the right exhaust system while you’re at it as well. Besides a license plate, a horn, mirrors, a valid IDPR OHV registration in some cases, etc., you need liability insurance at a minimum.
Before you reach that point in your life – as it is a long, difficult road ahead – you should first understand the types of insurance policies that work best for your new off-road vehicle.
But You Need Insurance Anyway
Most reputable companies provide insurance for UTVs under the ATV category. If you are the adventurous type and want to haul your side-by-side all the way to Utah, Maine, or Texas to challenge yourself with mud slides, steep descents, sharp rocks, and dense forest trails, you will most likely need coverage. Almost all state parks, landowners, race organizers, etc. will ask you for at least a basic insurance policy.
Types of Insurance Policies to Consider for Your UTV/ATV
Before we start talking about the common types of insurance policies you should consider for your off-road vehicle or farming tool, we want to remind you that you should never pay for the first policy you encounter, just because you think it is hard to insure such a vehicle. Proceed the same way as you would do with car insurance. Check out this guide on true-and-tested insurance tips and put aside the information, as you will need it when you shop for ATV/UTV insurance as well!
Now, let’s discuss the primary insurance types to learn more about whether you plan to buy an UTV for farming, cargo, hunting, transport & hauling, riding, or racing!
- Property Damage Insurance – as you can easily figure out, this policy covers the damages you cause if you crash your vehicle into another vehicle or someone’s property. It is especially important if you use your side-by-side for work, as you can happen to crash into a fence, barn, another vehicle, etc.
- Bodily Damage Insurance – UTVs and ATVs sometimes stumble or roll over and, if you hurt someone in the process, you will feel the burn in your pockets. Such insurance covers you (within its limits and your state’s laws) if you injure someone or if a family member/neighbor injures someone while riding your UTV, the policy might cover to some extent some medical and legal bills.
- Collision Insurance – you might think you are safe from collisions on your farm or out there in the woods while hunting, but accidents happen when you think the least about them. A collision policy covers you in case you hit some object or if someone else crashes into you and you roll over. Most state parks and official riding trails will ask you for such type of insurance (let alone off-road race organizers), so it is best to be safer than sorry.
- Comprehensive Insurance – As a UTV owner, you have more chances to experience a collision with a deer than a car owner, so comprehensive insurance is something to consider. Tornado damage, vandalism, breaking attempts, and all sorts of accidents can create a world of trouble for you if you don’t have such insurance.
- Medical Insurance – The popularity of UTVs over ATVs became incontestable when people realized they could transport up to six passengers in their vehicles, for work, fun, or racing. However, UTV crashes are quite common, especially when crossing challenging terrains, so we recommend you consider medical coverage for you and your passengers.
As an UTV owner, you might think you can make your vehicle safer – and you can. Most aftermarket parts stores sell hard rooftops, mirrors, side doors, professional exhaust systems, safe harnesses instead of seatbelts, and so on. Nevertheless, equipping your vehicle with extra accessories does not grant you a pardon when it comes to having and using insurance policies according to your state’s (or your vacation destinations) laws.
Most ATV/UTV owners do not settle for basic insurance policies but go beyond them. Some types of specialized UTV insurance covers the contents transported in the vehicle (camping gear, hunting tools, etc.), the trailer used to move the OHV around, the OEM parts necessary for servicing the vehicle, roadside assistance, trip interruptions, total loss, and more. In other words, you can enjoy safety, protection, and comfort through and through. While it does not come cheap, ATV/UTV insurance will prove more affordable than car/bike policies, so nothing stops you to shop around and protect everything and everyone.
Do you own an UTV/ATV? What type of insurance policies did you contract? If you have more insurance tips and advice for our off-road enthusiasts, don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and experiences!