Snowmobiling can be the perfect winter activity to enjoy. However, just like operating any other vehicle, you'll need to consider insurance first. 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) Mandatory Coverage
Mandatory coverage, also referred to as liability-only, typically includes the following:
(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) Optional Coverage
TD 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.
Note: Specific coverage and coverage limits for the mandatory coverage listed above can vary based on different provincial insurance systems.
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
- 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 typically need to have a valid driver's license. However, some insurers (province dependent) may allow for use of recreational vehicles including snowmobiles by underage or authorized unlicensed drivers. Keep in mind some provinces may require special licenses to operate 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. Do you have a clean record? Your coverage options or eligibility may be restricted based on your accident and/or traffic conviction history and can vary depending on whether you are looking for a new insurance policy or renewing an existing policy. Your insurer may choose not to renew your policy or may increase your premiums based on your driving record.
- 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 find that you're eligible and you're looking for a snowmobile insurance quote in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta or any other province, get started with a quote to find the right policy that fits your needs.
I have/don't have snowmobile insurance — where can I ride?
For those without insurance, you are able to ride your snowmobile but you may be restricted to only riding on your private property. If you are insured, however, you'll be able to access most public trails, though you may also require a trail permit. If you need help finding trails in your area, here are some trail maps for each province:
- British Columbia
- Prince Edward Island
- Newfoundland & Labrador
- Nova Scotia
- New Brunswick
- Northwest Territories
As a winter thrill seeker, find a trail, get outdoors and enjoy the winter months. Just make sure to consider insurance first before gearing up for the first ride of the season.