Many people buy an ATV or dirt bike and immediately begin to use it without giving a thought about insurance. This is especially true when the ATV or dirt bike is for their child and is used. Because the value of the vehicle is low the owner is not worried about replacing it if it is damaged and therefore is not concerned with insuring it. What the owner should be worried about is the damage the vehicle could do to someone else. If the owner or his or her child injure someone while operating an ATV or dirt bike or if someone else is injured while using their vehicle they will most likely be footing the bill alone unless they bought an Off-road Vehicle policy.
That’s because in MA both the MA Auto Policy and the typical homeowners policy exclude or severely restrict coverage for these types of vehicles. The auto policy specifically states that it does not cover “any vehicle not subject to Massachusetts Motor Vehicle registration such as a
moped, dirt bike, mini-bike, snowmobile or an all-terrain vehicle (ATV).” The homeowners policy does provide some liability protection while the owner is on his or her own property but none elsewhere. It also expressly excludes any vicarious liability from a child once off the owner’s property. In addition it excludes any liability if the owner “entrusts” the vehicle to another person. In other words, if the owner lets someone else use it.
Fortunately there are companies like Foremost that will write insurance for Off-road Vehicles. These policies can be written to provide coverage on the vehicle itself as well as liability coverage for the owner. If you or your child own an ATV or dirt bike you should have a specific Off-Road Vehicle policy to protect you. If you are interested in seeing what an Off-Road Vehicle policy would cost please call us at 800-559-5553 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.