United States insurance protections are notoriously difficult to read and understand. A predatory insurance company can leave you with expensive bills you thought were covered or situations you thought wouldn’t need additional insurance coverage.
Many snowmobile owners mistakenly believe:
- Their auto insurance covers their snowmobile.
- Snowmobile insurance is the same as auto insurance.
- Snowmobile insurance isn’t necessary at all.
These mistaken beliefs can cost you a great deal of money, time, and legal battles. Auto insurance and health insurance don’t automatically cover your snowmobile and all associated accident costs.
Buying snowmobile insurance gives you peace of mind while riding your snowmobile. At Lake Region Insurance Agency, we’re committed to helping you understand the ins and outs of snowmobile insurance and finding the best coverage for you.
Understanding Snowmobile Insurance
Snowmobile insurance covers snowmobile-related mishaps. If you’re in a snowmobile accident, it can result in expensive repair or replacement costs.
If you damage someone’s property or human body, you’ll be held to property or bodily injury liability on top of repair or replacement costs.
Unlike a trailer or RV, snowmobiles generally aren’t covered under auto insurance. Snowmobile insurance is more similar to ATV insurance.
The permit, license, training, and insurance laws for these vehicles are conditional on where you drive it (like public trails vs. private property), which doesn’t apply to cars.
Snowmobile Insurance vs. Auto Insurance
Snowmobile insurance isn’t an exact copy of auto insurance with a separate vehicle title. There are a few key differences that vary by state.
Auto insurance is required in every state except New Hampshire. Only six states currently require conditional snowmobile insurance:
- New York
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
Snowmobiles are also excluded from many states’ no-fault insurance systems. No-fault insurance is mandatory in many auto insurance laws.
In Minnesota, for example, the No-Fault Automobile Insurance Act requires Personal Injury Protection (PIP) for all vehicles registered in-state. Snowmobiles and motorcycles are not covered by these provisions or auto insurance policies, however.
When you buy separate snowmobile insurance, it will not include PIP. If you want to add PIP insurance coverage to your snowmobile, it must be purchased as a separate policy from your auto insurance and snowmobile insurance.
Why Buy Insurance for Your Snowmobile?
Even though few states require snowmobile insurance, it is still good protection against potentially ruinous accidents.
The average new snowmobile price is $10,000 to $19,000. Even a minor snowmobile accident can total it, leaving you out of +$10,000 with no snowmobile to show for it.
Snowmobiles are as fast as a car but without a car’s protection. Cars are designed to absorb high-speed impacts, including:
- Crumple zones
- Safety cells
- Anti-intrusion bars
In a snowmobile accident, you have none of those buffers.
Your health insurance may cover none or only some of the medical costs of your accident, which generally stops at emergency services. It won’t cover lost wages and rehabilitative medical expenses.
If your snowmobile accident causes injury to someone else, you could be liable for more than hospital bills. A bodily injury victim can sue you for pain and suffering, any resulting disabilities, and lost wages.
Bodily injury payouts average $52,000, with the lower half ranging from $3,000-$25,000. If the victim hires a lawyer, their average payout jumps up to over $77,000.
Without bodily injury liability coverage on your snowmobile, all that money comes out of your pocket.
Most snowmobile accidents involve alcohol and/or reckless driving, so always drive safely and soberly. You don’t want court fines, bail, and a criminal record piled onto the costs to replace your snowmobile, medical bills, and legal settlements.
Snowmobile Insurance Coverages
Your coverage policy may include all or several provisions. A reputable insurance company will go over your policy with you to ensure you understand all the policy provisions.
Your policy will also include certain insurance coverages at certain minimums. The cheapest policy isn’t always the best policy because it may be more limited in what and how much it covers.
You might purchase liability-only coverage for a lower price, but you’ll have to pay out of pocket for any costs that affect you personally. And it may only cover a small percentage of your liability costs to someone else, with a higher deductible.
Snowmobile insurance coverages include:
- Collision coverage
- Comprehensive coverage
- Bodily injury liability coverage
- Property damage liability
Collision coverage covers repairs or replacement costs if you collide with objects like a tree. No-fault provisions cover these costs even if the accident was your fault.
Comprehensive coverage will pay for repairs or replacement costs in situations outside of a collision accident, like theft and fire. It also covers natural disasters.
Bodily injury liability coverage will cover the injury costs to other people. This coverage includes both medical and legal bills.
You’ll want a bodily injury liability minimum that reasonably meets these costs. Snowmobile insurance doesn’t do you any good if someone has $30,000 in medical bills, but your bodily injury liability only covers $10,000.
Although generally not as expensive as bodily injury, property damage liability follows the same principle. If your snowmobile damages someone’s fence, the liability costs are going to be very different from damaging someone’s house or Lamborghini.
It’s also important to pick the best insurance policy for your area. If you live in a wooded state like Minnesota, for example. With lots of public trails packed with snowmobile enthusiasts, you’ll definitely want more than just a basic liability-only policy.
The Best Snowmobile Insurance for Your Peace of Mind
Accidents happen. You want to enjoy riding your snowmobile without worrying a few seconds of impact will ruin your life financially for years to come.
Our independent agents can give you that peace of mind. We want you to have the best snow insurance coverage you need for all the smooth snow sailing you desire.
If you live in Greater Minnesota, contact us today or request a free quote using our online form. We’re always happy to assist you!
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