When you are out four-wheeling on your quad bike, or riding up a steep trail on your 3-wheeler, filing an insurance claim may be the furthest thing from your mind. Whether you collide with another ATV, get it stuck in a muddy river, or overturn your vehicle on a steep mountain trail, you’ll need to know when and how to file a claim.
It's a good idea to be familiar with the particular circumstances where you may need to file a claim on your ATV insurance policy and how the claim process works.
When you need quotes, advice, or assistance, contact an independent agent. These agents are well-versed in every aspect of vehicle insurance, from ensuring that you have the right coverage for your needs to helping you with the claim process.
ATV Accident Statistics
- Over 100,000 ATV accidents occur each year nationwide.
- An average of over 600 deaths is reported annually due to ATV accidents.
Types of ATV Insurance Claims
When something goes wrong on your ATV, your insurance can be a major help to you. If you collide with another ATV driver, depending on who is at fault, your collision, medical payments, or liability coverage could come into play.
If a vehicle is stolen or damaged by a cause other than a collision, your ATV insurance claim would be based on the comprehensive portion of your policy.
If you are in an accident caused by another driver who isn't insured or doesn't have enough insurance to pay for the damage and your medical costs, you will need to rely on your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, if you've opted to purchase it.
An independent agent can explain your coverage and how it would help you after an incident with your ATV. Depending on your package of coverage, you may have more or less insurance protection than described above.
Be Prepared to File Claims
Use the following handy checklist to ensure that you have everything you need in the event of an accident or injury out on the trails. The items you should have on hand include:
- A first aid kit to provide help to anyone who is injured.
- A working, well-charged cell phone so you can call for towing or emergency help.
- Contact information for your insurance agent in a waterproof bag.
What to Do After an Off-Road Vehicle Accident
If you are in an accident out on the trail, there are a few important steps to take:
- Report any injuries. Your immediate priority after an accident is ensuring that no one is hurt. If someone is injured, call the paramedics immediately.
- Call the police. If there are injuries or more than one vehicle is involved, ensure that a police report is filed. Make sure you get a copy of the police report or the police report number.
- Stick to the facts. If you are in an accident with another vehicle, do not blame them for the crash, and do not admit fault. There are many factors in accidents, and it is up to the authorities and the insurance company to determine what happened.
- Document what happened. Take pictures of the damage to your ATV. Include photos of trail markers and the scene of the accident. If another vehicle is involved, be thorough in photographing the damage to that vehicle as well.
- Record contact and insurance information for everyone involved in the incident. If you have a cell phone with a camera, take clear pictures of their licenses or cards instead of writing it down. This will prevent errors and deter insurance fraud.
- Call your agent. Some of the things you will need to report to your agent include:
- What happened
- Whether anyone was injured
- The location and condition of your ATV
- The contact information of others involved in the accident
What to Do After Theft or Vandalism
In the event that your ATV is stolen or vandalized, make a list of the things that were stolen or damaged. If possible, make copies of the receipts for those items to show their value.
If your quad bike or 3-wheeler is damaged, take pictures of the damage and provide these to your agent, along with any information you may have about what happened.
Be as detailed as you can in describing what happened. Give your agent copies of the photos and police reports.
How Do Claims Work?
Your agent will use all of the information you provide to file ATV insurance claims for those on your policy that were involved in the accident, and to work with the other party’s insurance company if another person was involved.
Your agent will have a claims adjuster assess the damage to your vehicle. The adjuster will determine the cost to repair your vehicle. If the cost of repairs exceeds the pre-accident value of the ATV, the vehicle will be considered a total loss.
After the adjuster has made an assessment, your agent will review your policy coverage. At this point, your agent will let you know the amount of the settlement.
Can Your Claim Be Denied?
Claims can be denied for a number of reasons, but the most common reason is a lack of coverage or not enough coverage. For example, if you purchase liability-only coverage, you will not be able to file a comprehensive or collision claim if your off-road vehicle is stolen, vandalized or damaged in an accident.
Before you get on your ATV, know what your policy does and does not cover. State minimum requirements, if they even exist, are not likely to be enough to cover many of the potential claims you may file.
You may want to consider enhancing your policy to include an adequate amount of liability insurance to cover damage to another person or property.
Another reason for a denied claim can be that you are filing an ATV accident claim against your auto policy, when your ATV is not covered under that policy. Many people mistakenly believe that all their vehicles are protected under their auto policy, but you must insure quads and 3-wheelers separately.
Insurance fraud is another reason for a denied claim. Make sure when you file a claim that all of your facts are in order, and that you accurately report damage and injuries, and the causes of those claims.
How to Spot and Report Fraud
Fraudulent claims occur when an insured person stages an accident or theft, falsifies losses, or exaggerates damage. If you collide with another vehicle, it is important to photograph the damage to both vehicles. This will help to prevent an exaggerated claim regarding the amount of damage.
For questions about ATV insurance claims and other questions regarding quad and 3-wheeler insurance, contact an independent agent. A local independent insurance agent in your area can help to review your current policy or ensure that you get the right policy in place for your needs.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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