Auto Insurance for Off-Road Vehicles

Off-road vehicles and ATVs need insurance. Check with your auto insurance provider to make sure your policy covers off-road trips, or buy a separate policy.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: May 5, 2022

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Things to remember...

  • An auto insurance policy might not automatically include off-road coverage
  • ATV and other specialty vehicles may need separate insurance policies
  • Anyone driving an exclusively off-road vehicle must become aware of special state rules, laws, and regulations

Off-road vehicle drivers frequently enjoy treks on routes beyond the major local highways and streets. Hunting, fishing, hiking, and mountain climbing excursions may require driving down a dirt road. Doing so can be fun as long as the driver is very careful.

Even the best steps for safety sometimes come up short. What happens though if the vehicle ends up with a collision with a rock or tree? While there is plenty of research out there, including tips for buying insurance, a person may not take into consideration if that research applies to buggies, dirt bikes, ATVs, or other off-road vehicles.

Most are going to look to their insurance company to pay for the damage, but the insurance company may point out the vehicle was never covered for off-road adventures.

Drivers have a tendency to purchase car insurance policies without really examining all the important points associated with the actual coverage.

There is a reason why insurance providers mail out that multi-page copy of the full policy. All the details about what liabilities are covered are in there along with exclusions.

Off-road adventurers need to make sure their policies have the adequate coverage in place when they head down trails that present major risks to a vehicle and even passengers. Otherwise, all the burdens of cost could end up on the shoulders of the vehicle’s owner.

Compare car insurance quotes today to find the coverage you need for the best price.

Buying Car Insurance with Off-Road Coverage

Anything that can happen on the main road has a corresponding counterpart on a dirt road or less-traveled route. Deer road crossings don’t just happen on highways. If an animal jumps in front of a vehicle and causes a collision, the right insurance has to be in place.

Anyone who wishes to take a “traditional” vehicle into rural or off-road regions does need to be sure the proper insurance is in place. If not, then a rider should be added to the policy.

Certain policies may automatically cover off-road excursions. Other policies will not unless a rider is added.

Comparison shopping is vital when trying to maximize off-road coverage for a vehicle. One particular insurance company might not cover off-road journeys under any circumstances. Another company might not have any problems with this type of coverage.

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Adding Off-Road Accessories

Vehicles traveling in off-road environments likely need a number of additional accessories added to a vehicle in order to improve safety and performance.

Added items may be damaged in an accident. These items include:

  • extra lights
  • winches
  • added body protection

Do not assume the accessories are automatically covered by a policy. Double-check to make sure.

Off-road accessories can be expensive to purchase and, possibly, more expensive to replace. Boosting insurance to cover the costs of damage to such accessories would be a wise investment.

Off-Road Vehicle Insurance for ATVs and More

A number of unique vehicles are designed mainly for the purpose of off-road adventuring. This type of coverage takes the form of off-road vehicle insurance designed as a separate policy intended to cover an ATV or UTV vehicle.

These policies can be purchased alone or they may be added onto a current existing auto policy. Purchasing such a policy is necessary in order to provide a reliable amount of insurance coverage.

Take all aspects of possible insurance coverage seriously. Droppings might seem like an easy way to save money until the vehicle ends up stolen.

Be sure to read all the clauses in these policies as well. Sometimes, the policy may only cover actual off-road environments.

A common error so many people make is they rush through the process of purchasing an insurance policy – car, homeowner’s, off-road vehicle, and more – in order to get some coverage in place.

Rushing comes with the risk of not acquiring the right coverage or enough coverage at all.

Injury Risks with Off-Road Vehicles

Harrowing video footage appears now and then showing accidents people have suffered driving an ATV.

Hitting a proverbial bump in a road could lead to an ATV flipping over. The person driving the ATV could be injured in the accident. The following are some questions that could lead to a “bump in the road.”

  • What if the person driving the ATV was not the owner?
  • What if it was the son or daughter of the owner?
  • What if the driver was a friend who was “lent” the ATV to drive around off-road?

In all instances here, a quality insurance policy would absolutely be beneficial to the owner. Not having the right insurance – or no insurance – could prove disastrous.

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State Rules and Off-Road Vehicles

The law varies from state to state. In one state, it may be fine to drive the vehicle without insurance on any private property. Once the vehicle goes out on the road, there may be a necessity to procure the coverage for the ATV under standard auto insurance.

This insurance would be in addition to any insurance the person may have to cover losses and liabilities on private land.

Driving an off-road vehicle on a public road without insurance might lead to the owner getting more than a citation. He or she may be charged with a misdemeanor for doing so. Not knowing the law is not a valid defense.

Do the proper legal research in regards to the state the vehicle is intended to be driven.

Insurance and Responsibilities

Hopefully, there will never be a need to file a claim on a multipurpose or off-road exclusive vehicle. Accidents, collisions, and injuries, sadly, do happen without warning.

For this and other reasons, drivers positively should have the most extensive and reliable coverage in place. Otherwise, the financial risks and legal ramifications could prove earth-moving.

Compare car insurance quotes today to find the coverage you need for the best rate.

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Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

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