Feb 24, 2015
Snowmobiling is a fun family activity, and can be an exhilarating winter sport. Snowmobiling is increasing in popularity nationwide; nearly 50,000 new snowmobiles were registered in the US in 2012 alone. The average cost of a new snowmobile tops $11,000, so it is important that your investment is protected with snowmobile insurance in the event of an accident.
Snowmobile Facts and Statistics
As you begin to think about purchasing snowmobile insurance coverage, checking out some statistics about snowmobile use in the U.S. might help you think about your needs and risks. Here are a few items for you to consider:
•There are 1.4 million snowmobiles registered in the United States
•Snowmobile owners ride their sleds an average of 920 miles each year
•There are over 225,000 miles of maintained, marked snowmobile trails in North America
•Snowmobile use in national parks is regulated by federal law enforcement
There are many sleds on the trails today, which may raise your risk of accidents when you’re on a fun outing in the snow with your family or friends.
Is Snowmobile Insurance Required?
Twenty-three states, including Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Wisconsin, currently require operators of snowmobiles to carry insurance. Maine may soon be requiring snowmobilers to carry insurance, and more states could follow suit.
Even if your state does not have insurance requirements, it is a very good idea to purchase a policy. Besides protecting your investment, you can also protect your financial well-being in the event that you are at fault in an accident that harms one of your passengers, another snowmobiler or their property, or even a hiker along the trail.
If you travel across state borders with your sled, having snowmobile coverage will enable you to take your machine to states that do require snowmobile insurance.
Is Snowmobile Insurance Expensive?
There are several factors that can affect the cost of a snowmobile insurance policy, but even the most comprehensive policies tend to be fairly inexpensive. On average, snowmobile owners pay only about $10 a month for their snowmobile insurance. This is a small price to pay for the peace-of-mind you will have knowing that your investment and finances are protected when you cruise the trails.
What Does Basic Snowmobile Insurance Cover?
A snowmobile insurance can cover several things, and may include coverage for bodily injury and property damage liability. You may be liable for injuries or property damage for third parties, including passengers or other snowmobiles, if you cause an accident. You may also be able to find coverage for collision and "other than collision" damages to your sled, including damage from severe weather or fire.
Many policies allow you to insure up to four or five operators for your sled and some will allow you to insure multiple snowmobiles on one policy. You can also often get insurance discounts when you combine your currently held policies with snowmobile insurance.
Other Available Snowmobile Coverage Options
You may be able to purchase several different kinds of insurance for your snowmobile, including, but not limited to, the following:
•Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: This coverage protects you if another snowmobiler causes you bodily injury or damages your snowmobile and lacks proper insurance coverage to cover your costs.
•Accessories coverage: This option can provide compensation for damages to other items including the trailer used to transport it to the trails and any customized upgrades. Accessories coverage can protect you if someone steals your helmets or other safety equipment.
•Comprehensive coverage: Comprehensive covers you for "other than collision" damages, which may include damage from storms, theft, or vandalism.
•Roadside assistance: If you become stranded due to a dead battery, lost keys, lack of fuel or any other reason, you can call for help and get transportation for yourself and your snowmobile to the nearest repair facility, at no cost to you.
Snowmobile Safety Tips
The most important thing to remember when taking your sled out for a ride is to follow safety protocols. Exercising caution goes a long way toward preventing accidents and injuries.
Many states offer snowmobile safety courses online. You may even be able to get a snowmobile insurance discount for getting certification in one of these courses. Some other important safety guidelines to follow include the following:
•Always wear a helmet and protective clothing, including UV-protectant goggles
•Never drink alcohol or use drugs when operating a snowmobile
•Avoid taking your sled out after dark or in reduced visibility conditions
•Watch out for unexpected obstacles under the snow, such as tree branches
•Whenever possible, avoid riding on frozen lakes or rivers
•Carry an emergency repair kit and first-aid kit with you, particularly if you are riding alone
•Bring a mobile phone for emergency calls