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Snowmobile insurance FAQ


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Frequently asked questions about snowmobile insurance.

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Snowmobile insurance FAQ

  1. 1. © 2011 Snowmobile insurance review. All rights reservedFrequently Asked Questions About Snowmobile InsuranceIt takes a lot of homework to choose the right snowmobile, or maybe just a great find at the righttime, but it really takes a lot of work to find the right insurance. Some states require mandatoryinsurance minimums, there are multiple coverage options, and accessories cost more to insure.This leaves many owners filled with questions, most of which go unanswered until they learn thehard way. Here are just a few examples:How does snowmobile insurance compare to regular auto insurance?In most ways, the two are very similar, such as the different types of coverage available and thenames for the coverage. Comprehensive and collision coverage, for instance, mean the samething for your snowmobile that they do for your car. Having a poor driving record will increaseyour insurance rate the same for your snowmobile as well.What is the difference between comprehensive and collision coverage for mysnowmobile?Comprehensive coverage applies to any accident with an inanimate object, such as a tree limbfalling on your snowmobile or running into a fence post. This coverage also protects you againstfire, theft, and vandalism. Collision coverage refers to protection against a collision with anythingmoving, such as another snowmobile, a vehicle, or an animal.Since I have snowmobile insurance and auto insurance, my trailer is covered, right?No. It takes a special policy add-on to cover your trailer, modifications to your snowmobile,valuable accessories, riding equipment or gear, sled, sidecar, or similar valuable accessory. Inmost cases, it is just a few more dollars per year, often less than it takes to fill a single gas tank.
  2. 2. How many states have mandatory snowmobile insurance rules?In the United States right now, twenty-three states have mandatory snowmobile insurancerules, with Maine proposing to become number twenty-four in the near future. If you operate asnowmobile within these states, you will be asked to show proof of coverage.If I live in a state without mandatory snowmobile insurance coverage, can I ride without itin any state?It mostly depends on where you operate the snowmobile most often. For instance, if you live inAlabama but normally ride in Ohio you will need insurance coverage. If you live in Alabama andride in Alabama you will not be required to have proof of insurance.When snowmobile insurance is not mandatory, is it still a good idea to have it?Like any other investment, it is good to protect your snowmobile even if it is not required by thestate. If you can find the room in your budget, snowmobile insurance is a great way to protectyourself against accidental contact with living or inanimate objects, theft, fire, vandalism, orcollisions with other snowmobiles.When does snowmobile insurance become “too much” for my needs?Use your intended use as a guide for how much insurance you need, especially in a state wherethere is no mandatory minimum. Those who operate frequently and have a lot of snowmobilemodifications need more coverage than someone who owns a snowmobile but rarely use it.Very valuable brand names or models, expensive accessories, or high-end trailers should alsocome with more insurance options.Your budget can also be your guide. No matter how much insurance you want to carry, if youcannot afford more than the minimum it might be time to either drop some add-ons or considerselling the more valuable accessories. You cannot risk losing your investment if you cannotafford to insure it.Do the make and model of snowmobile I own affect the cost of insurance?Sometimes this affects the policy. It depends somewhat on crime rates (what types ofsnowmobiles are being stolen most often?), capabilities (engine size, maximum speed, andsafety options), other discounts that may apply (multiple snowmobiles or policies, clear drivingrecord, safety options), and similar factors. Safer models/makes will be cheaper to insure than
  3. 3. those intended for racing use.States with Mandatory Snowmobile Insurance RulesTwenty-three states have laws regarding mandatory snowmobile insurance, and if a policeofficer sees you operating a snowmobile in any of these states you will be asked to show proofof insurance or be given a ticket. This includes all drivers of snowmobiles, so if your youngerriders are going to be driving make sure that they know where you keep the insurance card (orstay near where they will be riding). The following states have mandatory minimum insurancerequirements for snowmobiles: ● Alaska ● Arizona ● California ● Colorado ● Idaho ● Illinois ● Indiana ● Iowa ● Massachusetts ● Michigan ● Minnesota ● Montana ● Nebraska ● Nevada ● New Hampshire ● New York ● North Dakota ● Ohio ● Oregon ● Pennsylvania ● South Dakota ● Utah ● Vermont ● Washington ● Wisconsin ● WyomingNote: If you live in the United States but frequently operate your snowmobile in Canada you willneed a special insurance card. Most insurance carriers provide coverage in Canada—and anystate within the United States—regardless of what state you live in as long as you operate in astate where insurance is mandatory, often at no additional cost. So if you live in Alabama, but
  4. 4. have a vacation home in Ohio or Ontario with snowmobiles, you are covered.