Currently, 1.3 million snowmobiles are registered across the US. While these special vehicles can provide exciting, joyful, and rewarding experiences, they can also pose huge potential hazards to you and your family without the right protection.
Fortunately having an independent insurance agent on your side can help you get matched to the coverage you need. With a snowmobile insurance policy, you can ride with peace of mind. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, here's a course in snowmobile insurance 101.
Is Snowmobile Insurance Required with Ownership?
A handful of states require you to have at least liability insurance for your snowmobile, including Pennsylvania, Vermont, New York, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Other states may make insurance optional, but you'll often need a trail permit before you can have access to their trails. Trail permits must be purchased by you, and costs vary by location.
If It’s Not Always Required, Why Should You Get Snowmobile Insurance?
Understand that any damage or injury caused by your snowmobile would have to come out of your own pocket if you didn't purchase snowmobile insurance. About 200 deaths and 14,000 injuries are reported to be caused by snowmobiles every year.
Not only that, but you'd be responsible for all costs to repair your snowmobile if it got physically damaged. These costs alone can make having snowmobile insurance worth it, even if it's not required by your state. An independent insurance agent can further explain why having snowmobile insurance is critical before you ride.
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What Does Snowmobile Insurance Cover?
Snowmobile insurance is meant to not only protect your special vehicle, but also your liability as its owner and operator. Policies can vary based on your unique needs, but snowmobile insurance often covers:
- Bodily injury and property damage liability: These coverages can help reimburse you for legal fees in case you cause injury or personal property damage to a third party with your snowmobile and they sue you.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: This coverage protects you if a third party causes a collision with your snowmobile and doesn't carry any or enough insurance of their own to cover their portion of the damage.
- Collision coverage: This coverage can help reimburse you for physical damage to your snowmobile if you cause a collision with another snowmobile or hit a piece of property.
- Accessories coverage: This coverage can help reimburse you for damage to other items related to your snowmobile such as a trailer, and for theft of your other equipment like helmets.
- Comprehensive coverage: This coverage can help reimburse you for threats "other than collision," including damage to your snowmobile by storms, vandalism, and the theft of your snowmobile.
- Roadside assistance: This coverage can help pay for emergency services if you're stranded on the trail with a dead battery or due to another disaster.
An independent insurance agent can help you customize a snowmobile insurance policy in the way that best works for you.
Repair vs. Replacement Costs
You might be reimbursed differently for repair or replacement costs for your snowmobile than you would be for a car under auto insurance. Consider if your snowmobile got cosmetically damaged to the point that its repairs would exceed the snowmobile's value. Your insurance company might limit the reimbursement you can receive, and only pay to repair your snowmobile or equipment to the point of being functional, but not restored to its cosmetic status as it was before the damage.
Insurance expert Jeffery Green said that generally, if a snowmobile incident results in a total loss, the insurance company would pay out the actual value of the snowmobile (which factors in depreciation) rather than the replacement cost. Some insurance companies may offer replacement value as an endorsement during the first year or two. Work together with an independent insurance agent to get matched to a snowmobile insurance policy that includes the option for replacement value, if this is important to you.
The Importance of Comprehensive Coverage
Having comprehensive coverage under your snowmobile insurance can help you receive reimbursement for incidents that aren't collision-related. Since there are many potential disasters that aren't collisions, like fires, theft, vandalism, collisions with deer or other large animals, and storm damage, having comprehensive coverage can help ensure that you get to repair or replace your snowmobile after a much wider variety of incidents.
Without comprehensive coverage, you'd have a much greater likelihood of having to cover the cost of a disaster involving your snowmobile out of your own pocket. Your independent insurance agent can help you find a snowmobile insurance policy that includes comprehensive coverage, or add this important protection to your policy if you don't have it already.
Do I Need Coverage Year-Round for a Snowmobile?
Having a year-round snowmobile policy helps offer the best protection possible. Because theft and other incidents can still occur in the off-seasons when your snowmobile isn't in use, the additional cost of a year-round policy can easily be worth it. If you need to transport your snowmobile to another location without riding it, snowmobile policies can provide coverage for incidents that occur during their transport as well.
Having the right kind of snowmobile insurance can help you keep enjoying your ride for many years to come. You'll need to make sure to get a policy with every type of coverage that matches your unique needs. An independent insurance agent is your greatest ally when it comes to helping you find the coverage you deserve at the most affordable rate possible.
Why Choose an Independent Insurance Agent?
Independent insurance agents simplify the process by shopping and comparing insurance quotes for you. Not only that, but they’ll cut through the jargon and clarify the fine print so you'll know exactly what you’re getting.
Independent insurance agents also have access to multiple insurance companies, ultimately finding you the best snowmobile insurance coverage, accessibility, and competitive pricing while working for you.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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