You may be legally required to insure your off-road vehicle in Canada.
Minimum insurance requirements differ among provinces, but you may be required to have minimum liability insurance for your province or territory for certain vehicles.
According to Insurance Institute, “depending on where they are driven, an off-road vehicle must usually be insured by a motor vehicle insurance policy. The driver and owner must carry evidence of insurance, in the same way a car owner is required to do so.”
The exception can be family members driving off-road vehicles on their property.
What is an off-road vehicle?
Transport Canada defines an off-road vehicle as “a vehicle designed primarily for recreational use or for the transportation of property or equipment exclusively on undeveloped road rights of way, marshland, open country, or other unprepared surfaces.”
Vehicles like ATVs, snowmobiles, dirt bikes, and side-by-sides are considered off-road vehicles.
Different provinces have different rules
In general, there is a good chance you will be required to insure your off-road vehicle if it is driven off your property. Why?
Finder.com explains that “unlike cars, though, not all provinces and territories require ATV insurance. In some cases, the insurance requirement may be waived if the ATV is exclusively driven on the owner’s property.
You will need to check with your local Ministry of Transportation to verify what your ATV insurance obligations may be. Some off-road vehicles like dirt bikes and dune buggies cannot be insured in many provinces.
In Alberta, off-road vehicle liability insurance is mandatory if you take your off-road vehicle on public land or roads.
In Ontario, you must have proof of insurance when driving your off-road vehicle off your property.
Quebec requires $500,000 in liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage and British Columbia and New Brunswick require $200,000.
Does your car or home insurance cover your off-road vehicle?
Personal auto insurance does not cover off-road vehicles like ATVs, dirt bikes, and snowmobiles and you need special coverage for them.
Even if you are taking your Jeep or motorcycle off-roading, you need off-road vehicle insurance. Regular car insurance is fine on city streets and highways but when you go off-roading it no longer covers you.
Your homeowners insurance will also not provide coverage when you take your off-road vehicle off your property.
Insuring your off-road vehicle
Even if you are not required by law to have insurance for your off-road vehicle, you should consider it if you are riding on public property, riding at high speeds, or competing in sports events. It is also a good idea for your peace of mind.
You can get off-road vehicle insurance as a stand-alone policy or an add-on to your car insurance. Basic off-road vehicle liability insurance covers property damage or injury caused by your vehicle to someone else. Much like with car insurance, you can have insurance that covers damage to your vehicle.
Your offroad vehicle insurance policy can include these types of coverage:
Liability covers bodily injury and property damage to third parties.
Medical liability covers medical bills if bystanders, riders, or drivers are injured in an accident.
Equipment coverage insures equipment you use for off-roading.
Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your vehicle from theft, vandalism, and other damage.
Collision covers damage to your off-road vehicle if you are in an accident.
Coverage for uninsured and underinsured motorists. You should have this type of insurance if you ride with other people because they may not have insurance.
Western Coast Insurance Services Ltd. is a wholly-owned division of Western Financial Group Ltd. Insurance products are underwritten by certain licensed insurance companies and are only
available throughout British Columbia, Canada.