For winter thrill seekers, snowmobiling can be the perfect activity to get outdoors and enjoy the winter months. However, just like operating any other vehicle, you'll need to consider insurance before gearing up for the first ride of the season.
Whether you're new to snowmobiling or not, let's cover some questions you may have about coverage, cost and eligibility, so you can be one step closer to enjoying your winter ride.
What is snowmobile insurance?
Snowmobile insurance is coverage that protects the snowmobile and the person driving it from loss or damage. Keep in mind that snowmobile insurance is mandatory in most provinces; however, rules, restrictions and coverage minimums vary by province, so check your provincial guidelines for details specific to you.
What types of snowmobile coverages are there?
Snowmobile insurance can be separated into two categories:
(1) Minimum Coverage
At TD Insurance, minimum coverage comes with:
(a) Third-Party Liability – Coverage in case of injury or damage to others or their property in a snowmobile accident.
(b) Direct Compensation – Coverage for your snowmobile if you're in a not at fault accident.
(c) Uninsured/Unidentified Snowmobile – Coverage for medical costs and damage (based on policy limits) if you get into an accident with an uninsured snowmobile driver or unidentified snowmobile.
(d) Accident Benefits – Coverage for you/your family if you're injured or killed in an accident, regardless of who's at fault.
(2) Damage Coverage
Insurance also offers some options you can purchase for enhanced protection, in addition to your minimum coverage. These include:
(a) Specified Perils Coverage – Protects your snowmobile from losses caused by fire, floods, hail or theft.
(b) Comprehensive Coverage – Protects your snowmobile from all damage, excluding Collision or Upset.
(c) Collision or Upset Coverage – Protects your snowmobile strictly from damage caused by an accident with a vehicle or object.
(d) All Perils Coverage – Protects your snowmobile from Collision or Upset and Comprehensive Coverage.
How much does snowmobile insurance cost?
The cost of snowmobile insurance varies per driver and will differ by insurer, just like car insurance. However, here are a few factors that your insurer will consider when determining the cost of your premium:
- Your age
- Your driving record
- Accidents/tickets tied to your driver's license
- At-fault accidents tied solely to your snowmobile license
- Your rider training
- The frequency that you drive your snowmobile
- Where you live
- The type of snowmobile you own
- The driving records (snowmobile & car) of all the operators listed on the policy
How do I get snowmobile insurance?
You'll first need to contact your insurer to see if snowmobile insurance is an option to purchase. Not all insurance companies provide snowmobile insurance, so make sure you check out all your options. Keep in mind that purchasing snowmobile insurance with the same provider as your car insurance can potentially result in a discounted premium. For example, TD Insurance offers a Ride-and-Drive® discount for customers who insure both their car and snowmobile with us.
For a better look at what snowmobile insurance may cost you or to simply get started, get a quote online.
When is snowmobile insurance not an option for me?
There are a couple of factors that can prevent you from being eligible for snowmobile insurance or may restrict your coverage options. Although these factors may vary by insurer, here's a general list of questions you can go through to see whether you're eligible or not:
- Are you licensed?
To obtain an insurance policy, you and all the people you list as users of the snowmobile will need to have a valid license. Some provinces require special licenses to operate recreational vehicles including snowmobiles, so check your provincial regulations for licensing details specific to you.
- Has your snowmobile been modified or customized?
If you have altered your snowmobile to enhance its performance or appearance, be aware that some insurers may not approve some modifications. Here are some examples:
-Modifications to the frame or suspension.
-Any modification that might increase the power by over 25 cc’s from the manufacturer’s original specifications.
- Do you have a clean record?
Your coverage may be restricted based on a prior accident record but will vary depending on whether you are looking for a new insurance policy or are renewing an existing policy. Other criteria include the time elapsed since your conviction and the nature of the conviction. If you've also been convicted of auto insurance fraud in the last 10 years, or were involved in any fraud, misrepresentation, or failed to comply with coverage terms, this will also affect your likelihood of getting snowmobile insurance.
- What are you using your snowmobile for?
If your snowmobile is used for racing, competition or jumping, your insurer may not be able to issue coverage for you.
- Where did you purchase your snowmobile?
Snowmobiles that are manufactured outside of North America but don't have an established distribution channel may not be eligible for coverage.
If you've gone through the list and see that snowmobile insurance may not be an option for you, it doesn't mean you're no longer able to drive your snowmobile. Although you may not be able to ride your snowmobile in public areas, you can still enjoy a ride on your own private property.
If, however, you've passed through all the questions without a hitch, take the next step and find the right insurance policy that fits your needs. That way, you can safely hit those snowy trails all winter long.