How to Use This Guide
This guide is intended to describe insurance for off-road recreational vehicles, such as snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles, as well as the off-road use of any cars, trucks or motorcycles that are not covered under private passenger automobile and are not used for commercial purposes. If you are interested in insurance for the commercial use of recreational vehicles, contact your insurance producer to discuss inland marine insurance.
Your automobile policy may provide coverage for your cars, trucks or motorcycles that have been registered with the Registry of Motor Vehicles, as well as trailers attached to those vehicles, but the standard policy does not cover off-road recreational vehicles such as unregistered trail bikes, all-terrain vehicles, dune buggies, go-carts, and snowmobiles. Your home insurance policy may provide limited coverage for small vehicles such as riding mowers, golf carts or wheelchairs, but does not provide coverage for off-road recreational vehicles. Snowmobiles and off-road bikes are not specifically covered under either your automobile or home insurance and you may need coverage in a special policy or as an endorsement to your automobile or home insurance.
As you consider any insurance, you should be aware that an insurance policy is a legal contract describing the promise an insurance company gives you in return for your payment of regular premiums. Insurance is not a bank account in which your premiums are stored; it is a legal promise that an insurance company will pay for the costs of certain identified losses that may occur during the policy period. The insurance you buy to cover your off-road recreational vehicle is protection for a specific period of time.
To truly understand a particular type of coverage, you should take the time to learn what is and what is not covered. The insurance company offering the coverage or its producer should be able to help you with an analysis of the appropriate coverage for your situation, but it is up to you to choose the right policy to protect your own assets. It is important that you read your coverage carefully to determine your exact coverage, as well as your rights and responsibilities under the coverage.
There are a number of appendices at the end of the guide, including a glossary of commonly used terms appearing in this guide (Appendix A) and a record of any recreational vehicle insurance policy that you may purchase (Appendix B).
Section I: Risks to Your Off-Road Recreational Vehicle
What Is a Motor Vehicle? Does It Differ From Off-Road Recreational Vehicles?
What Is an Off-Road Recreational Vehicle?
Why Buy Insurance for My Off-Road Recreational Vehicle?
What Could Happen to My Off-Road Recreational Vehicle?
Am I Required to Buy Insurance for My Off-Road Recreational Vehicle?
Section II: Insurance For Your Off-Road Recreational Vehicles
How Does an Insurance Policy Work?
How Do I Obtain Coverage for an Off-Road Recreational Vehicle?
Can an Insurer Ever Cancel or Non-renew My Coverage?
How Do I Find Companies that May Sell Me Insurance?
What Type of Coverage Do I Need?
What Is My Off-Road Recreational Vehicle's Value Under an Insurance Policy?
What May Affect the Cost of Insurance for My Off-Road Recreational Vehicle?
How Much Will It Cost to Insure My Off-Road Recreational Vehicle?
How Do Insurers Market Insurance Policies?
Section III: Losses
How Can I Prevent Possible Losses?
How Can I Do to Reduce the Premium for My Off-Road Recreational Vehicle?
What Should I Do If Anything Happens to My Off-Road Recreational Vehicle?
What If I Have Questions or Problems with a Claim?
Appendix A: Glossary of Common Insurance Terms
Appendix B: Facts to Keep Handy About Your Own Policy