I live in the country and it is not uncommon to meet an ATV or UTV when traveling on a county road. In the past two weeks alone, traveling on a small country tar and gravel roadway, I have met an ATV with a single driver traveling at an unsafe speed, and then an UTV with a couple of guys traveling at a much saner, safer speed. On the off-beaten country roads, the chances of an encounter with a recreational vehicle is pretty high.
What Are The Odds?
It got me to wondering how many people remember to buy insurance on their ATVs/UTVs, particularly if they are to be driven away from their residential home. Whether taken to the mountains, beach, on a track or even on a trail, it is an important step to get your ATV/UTV protected with insurance to protect yourself, your passengers and your assets.
What's The Difference?
I tend to get ATVs and UTVs confused -- and may have used them interchangeable, not realizing there was a real difference. But there is a real difference!
ATV is short for "all-terrain vehicle." Designed for off-road use; three or more low-pressure tires; handle-bars versus a steering wheel. An ATV is driven by a single person, and may carry up to one passenger. In SC, some of the interesting requirements of the SCDMV is you cannot drive more than 30 minutes after sunset or more than 30 minutes before sunrise unless headlights are on; no one less than 6 years of age is allowed to drive an ATV; no drivers less than 16 years of age can drive an ATV without an adult; it is against the law to remove the age restriction warning label placed by the manufacturer.
UTV is short for "utility task vehicle." These vehicles allow for "side-by-side" riding and are broader/larger than the ATV. While they are not usually allowed to drive on public or private streets, some states will allow use on state-owned lands and parks with proof of ATV or UTV insurance. Although insurance may not be a requirement in your state, it is still a good standard to have in place -- if only for your peace of mind.
- When you drive your ATV/UTV or transport with a trailer off your property (where your home is), there may not be insurance protection under your homeowner insurance policy to cover injuries, accidents, or damage to your recreational vehicle.
- The number one most common accidents are caused by riding too fast/carelessly.
- In SC alone, 6 children die and 450 are injured every year using ATVs.
- Statistics like this, plus 95% of fatalities nationwide involve youth operating adult-sized ATVs, has caused SC and other states to change regulations to keep operators of all ages safer.
- ATVs and UTVs can be easily stolen, simply by rolling it away.
- In OH, all ATVs must be registered, have a headlight, taillight and a working muffler system, and all drivers must have a valid driver's license.
- In SC, your ATV must be titled; no one under the age of 16 is allowed to operate without a safety course certification.
Two Kinds of Insurance to Get
Comprehensive and Collison - covers the physical parts of your vehicle, including theft.
Liability - you select the limits of protection for accidents/incidents you are have caused and are responsible for, whether you are the driver or someone you have granted permission to drive. Liability also offers protection for others (should there be an accident with another ATV/UTV or vehicle), injuries, and court costs.
What Determines The Cost of Insurance?
Some rating factors are similar to those of a car or truck:
- Your driving record - if you have violations on your license, these will potentially cause your insurance to be a higher amount than someone with a clean driving record.
- Where you live - depending on the state you reside in, insurance requirements and state requirements may differ.
- Your make and model of UTV/ATV - A newer model may cost more than an older model. (If you are not sure the year, bring the Vehicle Identification Number.)
- Usage of ATV/UTV - Do you use it at work? Personal? Farm? Pleasure?
- Limits of insurance coverage selected.
We Can Help!
If you have one, multiple or are considering purchasing an ATV/UTV for your home or business, we need to talk!
Having the right protection at the right price is what Consultative Insurance Group can do for you!