Ask an Agent: Is Snowmobile Insurance Required, or Can I Skip it?

(Our expert independent insurance agent answers this question and more)

Snowmobile Insurance

Insurance coverage isn’t black and white. When you’ve got special equipment like snowmobiles, you might not be sure of what kind of coverage you need or how much, or if you even need it at all. That’s why it’s so important to find out the answers from the real pros, AKA independent insurance agents. Ask agents anything. They have the answers.

So when it comes to your snowmobile, do you actually need snowmobile insurance? We’ve got the lowdown from an independent insurance agent to help you answer this important question, and much more. Here’s a closer look at snowmobile coverage, if you need it, and what it’s all about.

Is Snowmobile Insurance Mandatory?

That’s a really good question. Probably not, but it depends on your state. It’s a good idea to have coverage, because you could really hurt someone, or yourself. The thing is, all states respond differently to snowmobiles and jet skis, in terms of insurance coverage. You’ll want to check in with your local independent insurance agent to find out whether or not coverage is required in your area for sure.

What Does Snowmobile Insurance Cover?

It’s very similar to insurance for an ATV. Basically what these policies do is essentially mimic an auto insurance policy. Snowmobile insurance policies include the following coverages:

  • Bodily injury liability: Covers harm you cause to a third party with your snowmobile.
  • Medical payments: Covers the cost of medical treatment for injured parties in the event of an accident.
  • Property damage: Covers damage you cause to property such as buildings or fences.

So, while snowmobile coverage may not technically be required by law in your area, obviously it’s a really important type of insurance to consider.

Does the Insurance Follow the Sled or the Driver?

The answer can be multifold. The trend today is to cover the individual, or the owner of the vehicle, as well as their spouse and family members, and the vehicle itself. Snowmobile insurance policies may also provide coverage on non-owned machines, for example your policy may allow coverage in the event your neighbor borrows it, but it might not. The owner of the snowmobile should always be covered regardless of the specific policy, but other drivers may not be.

Is There a Minimum Age Requirement for Snowmobiles?

That answer will vary by state also. States have their own operational laws regarding use of special vehicles like snowmobiles. For example, in Texas, starting at age 14 you can operate one as long as you take an approved motor safety class. But once you turn 18, you’re no longer required to take the class and obtain a safety certificate to operate a snowmobile. Check in with your specific area’s laws on the subject to make sure before looking into getting a snowmobile.

Does Auto Insurance Cover Snowmobiles in Transit?

No, auto insurance won’t cover your snowmobile while it’s being transported somewhere in your car. However, your homeowners insurance policy might. Homeowners insurance provides coverage for personal property stored in your car, even if you’re away from home. However, there may be exclusions or limits that prevent your snowmobile from being fully covered. Review your specific policy with your agent to be sure.

If My Snowmobile Gets Stolen from My Home, Which Insurance Covers That?

If you have a snowmobile insurance policy and your snowmobile gets stolen, that coverage would respond first. Your homeowners policy might or it might not. If you have homeowners insurance but not snowmobile insurance, the coverage may be limited in the event your snowmobile gets stolen from your home. There are too many limitations for special vehicles under homeowners insurance to know the answer to this for certain today.

Make sure to check with your independent insurance agent about whether or not your homeowners insurance would cover your snowmobile at home or elsewhere. If you’re really worried about the replacement value of your snowmobile if something happens to it, the best course of action is just to get coverage for it. Better to be safe than sorry when working with expensive equipment, rather than have to pay costs out of pocket for it later.

How Is Snowmobile Insurance Packaged?

What’s interesting about snowmobile insurance is that it can be sold in two different ways today. Insurance companies may package a snowmobile policy in either of the following manners:

  • By essentially selling you an auto insurance policy for a “miscellaneous vehicle.” Anywhere the policy lists this wording, for example, it’s simply replaced by, “snowmobile.”
  • By rewriting a new policy with completely different wording and extra bells and whistles.

The way your specific insurance company writes your snowmobile insurance policy might affect the coverage you get from it. That’s why it’s so important to work closely together with your independent insurance agent to find a policy that offers exactly the kind of coverage you’re looking for, and that will provide the peace of mind you need when operating or storing your snowmobile.

Are There Any Other Important Considerations for Snowmobile Insurance?

Snowmobile policies are much more narrow than auto insurance policies, even though snowmobiles are a special type of vehicle themselves. Snowmobile policies may have certain restrictions to them that vary by insurance company, including:

  • Drivers of a certain age
  • Certain members of the household
  • Other drivers who do not live in the household

So, one person’s snowmobile policy may cover them and all other members of their household who want to use the vehicle, while another driver’s policy may not. Also, someone’s snowmobile policy may allow other friends or relatives or even neighbors to operate the vehicle, while other policies absolutely restrict any drivers not belonging to the same household. Be sure to get familiar with your specific policy’s restrictions before you hit the trails.

Here’s How an Independent Insurance Agent Would Help

When it comes to getting you set up with the right coverage for special vehicles like snowmobiles, no one’s better equipped to help than an independent insurance agent. Independent insurance agents search through multiple carriers to find providers who specialize in snowmobile insurance and homeowners insurance, deliver quotes from a number of different sources, and help you walk through them all to find the best blend of coverage and cost.

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TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin

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