There are several companies that offer both liability and physical damage coverage and that combination provides the most protection. Liability coverage is insurance that pays for damages for bodily injury or property damage for which the policyholder or other insured becomes legally responsible. This is frequently referred to as “third party coverage.” You might also want to ask about “first party coverage” which pays reasonable expenses for necessary medical service if you yourself are injured in an accident. This medical payment coverage is for injuries the insured person incurs. Liability insurance does not pay for repairs to your vehicle: for that, you need to add Collision coverage.

Insuring motorized machines like ATVs, Side x Sides, and snowmobiles is similar to insuring an automobile. You can expect to find some limitations on the availability of collision coverage based on the age and value of the vehicle, so shop around. Don’t assume that these motorized vehicles are automatically protected by your homeowner’s policy – there are often exclusions. And a machine stored inside a trailer or truck is not necessarily covered for theft: when it is carried as cargo, a motorized vehicle is often considered personal property. Talk to your insurance agent to clarify what is covered so you can choose the type and amount of protection needed.

What about the “bells and whistles” – all of the accessories that you’ve added to your machine? Availability of coverage for expensive add-ons will vary company to company. Some insurers provide a minimal amount of coverage for these items automatically within their policy, while others will require an additional premium and allow a specific amount of accessory coverage.

As a rider, you gear up for safety before you hit the trails: appropriate clothing, helmet, and a well-functioning machine. It’s an extension of that safety-first attitude to protect the financial investment you’ve made by having appropriate insurance coverage as another safety net.

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