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Riding off-road is a great way to spend a few hours or an entire weekend. There are several types of vehicles that can be used to ride the trails, depending on your needs. One of the more popular and versatile vehicles is the Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV), aka “side by side.” Their versatility, both as an off-road recreational vehicle and as a workhorse, make them a great option for a wide variety of people. Given how expensive they are and how easily they can be damaged, you may be wondering if you need side-by-side/UTV insurance and where to find it.
Is UTV Insurance Required?
UTV coverage is required in many states if you are going to ride on public roads or state controlled trails. Additionally, some private riding areas that offer paid trail time require insurance. Each state or company that requires you to have insurance on your UTV will have a minimum policy amount that has to be in force. Keep in mind, if you are using your side by side as a commercial vehicle, minimum policy may be higher. Be sure to contact the Division of Motor Vehicles where your UTV is registered, or your auto insurance agent, in order to find out what your exact insurance requirements are.
Even if you are not required to carry side-by-side insurance, you may want to consider having a policy in force. There is no way to predict an accident and whether there will be injuries. If there is an accident and you do not have coverage, you may find yourself on the hook for all medical expenses, any property damage caused, and all related legal expenses.
What Side-By-Side Insurance Should Cover
As with auto and motorcycle insurance, there are several options available to you as you build your side-by-side/UTV insurance policy. While the exact list of coverages may vary by carrier, the basic coverages that you need to be aware of include:
UTV Liability Coverage
This coverage protects you against items like compensation for bodily injury expenses, lost wages, and property damage; but will not repair your vehicle. With some carriers, a liability policy may cover some legal fees in the event that a lawsuit arises from a covered accident.
UTV Collision Coverage
This policy is basically the same as a collision policy for your auto or motorcycle. It covers damage to your UTV if you hit another vehicle or object and in the event of a rollover. If you have an existing loan on your UTV, the lender is going to require this coverage.
UTV Comprehensive Coverage
This coverage is designed to cover losses from fire, theft, vandalism, etc. Some companies may cover your equipment and accessories through this policy type, but you should ask to be sure. Many lenders require this coverage in conjunction with a collision policy.
On average, 15 percent of the motorists in the United States are uninsured. In some states, that figure climbs as high as 28 percent. With so many uninsured motorists out there, it only makes sense to protect yourself with this type of coverage. The underinsured portion of the policy protects you against the motorist who only carries liability coverage and an accident exceeds their coverage limits.
How Expensive is UTV Coverage?
Generally, you can expect to pay less than $30 a month to cover your side by side. However, please keep in mind that this is only an estimation. The only way to get an accurate premium quote is to contact an insurance agent. As a rule of thumb, there are many factors that will affect the cost of a policy. These factors include:
- Age and driving record.
- Make, model and year of the vehicle.
- Your riding habits.
- How the UTV is stored when not being ridden.
- The limits and coverage types you select.
- The deductibles you choose.
- Credit for any safety course/s you have taken.
To be sure you are paying the lowest possible premium, you should get quotes from several companies. That is why we have created an easy-to-use tool that allows you to enter your rider and UTV information once and receive quotes from reliable companies like Progressive, Dairyland, and Geico. You can follow this link to get your free, instant, no obligation quotes.