Do Side-by-Sides Need Insurance?
Side-by-sides or utility task vehicles (UTVs) enable you to transport passengers, haul small trailers, or simply enjoy off-roading. They’re called side-by-sides because they either have two seats next to each other or a bench, unlike a single-person ATV.
Although side-by-sides are generally safe and can handle rough terrains, getting one insured can be beneficial. Insurance could reduce liability and potential expenses if something unexpected happens while you’re on or off the road.
If you’re wondering do side-by-sides need insurance, you’ve come to the right place. This article will discuss whether it’s necessary to get your UTV insured.
Do Side-by-Sides Need Insurance?
The quick answer to this question would be: It depends on where you live. Mandatory insurance regulations are different for each state. However, even when a state doesn’t require UTV insurance, you may still be required to show proof of insurance in some areas.
For example, a state may not have specific regulations that order you to insure your side-by-side, but a national park within that state may require it. This means you won’t be able to drive your UTV on the national park grounds if you don’t have insurance.
Plus, many RV trails also ask for proof of insurance before letting you joyride on their land.
Another situation in which you’ll need to insure your side-by-side is if you take out a loan from your bank to purchase it in addition to the minimum state-mandated liability coverage.
If you want to check insurance requirements for your side-by-side vehicle, we recommend contacting your state’s department of motor vehicles.
They’ll provide detailed information regarding your state’s requirements. If insurance is state-mandated, double-check the coverage type you need to have. Some states ask only for basic coverage, while others require specific options.
What if Side-by-Side Insurance Isn’t Required?
If you’ve discovered your state doesn’t require side-by-side insurance, you may think you can just forget about it and enjoy your ride. However, as side-by-sides are becoming more popular, the number of accidents involving these vehicles rises. Therefore, side-by-side insurance shouldn’t only be a matter of law but of safety and confidence while driving.
You never know what may happen on the road. Even if you’re always extra careful when driving your UTV, you can’t be sure about other drivers.
If you get into an accident and don’t have insurance, you’ll be responsible for paying all the damages. This may not seem like a big issue if your side-by-side only has a few scratches or a cracked windshield. However, if your vehicle is totaled and you’re injured, you could be looking at costly bills.
Insurance doesn’t only cover damage due to accidents. In addition, it protects you and your vehicle in cases of fire, theft, and other unexpected situations you may come across on the road.
While paying a monthly premium may seem like a waste of money, that’s definitely not the case. If anything bad happens on the road, you’ll be thankful you’ve insured your UTV even when your state doesn’t require it.
UTV Coverage Types
There are various types of coverage you can get for your side-by-side. They protect against different risks, but most importantly, they give you peace of mind while you’re on the road.
This coverage is also called “liability” and is mandatory in numerous states. It protects your assets if you injure a person while operating your UTV. In addition, bodily injury coverage will cover the other party’s medical bills up to your policy limits.
If the person decides to sue you, this coverage will also cover your legal fees.
This type of coverage usually goes hand-in-hand with bodily injury coverage. If you ever damage another vehicle or other property such as personal belongings, house, or yard, this insurance will cover the resulting repair costs or damages.
The claim limit for property damage insurance is usually the same or lower than the bodily injury coverage limit.
Medical costs insurance covers all medical expenses that you or your passengers may experience in case of an accident, regardless of who caused it. Unfortunately, this coverage type is usually optional and isn’t available in every state.
This insurance covers the costs of X-rays, diagnostic tests, surgeries, hospital stays, and even ambulance transport.
Collision insurance covers the damage on your UTV if it’s involved in an accident or overturned. This type of coverage is typically required when taking out a loan from your bank for your UTV. Also, collision coverage is usually mandatory if you’re leasing the vehicle.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM)
This coverage comes in handy if you’re involved in an accident, and the other party can’t cover the resulting medical bills. UM, and UIM coverage could also cover any lost wages while you’re recovering from injuries. This is especially useful if your state doesn’t require bodily injury coverage.
This type of coverage protects you and your UTV against damage not caused by a collision. It covers theft, fire, vandalism, earthquakes, flooding, etc. Such coverage is usually optional.
Insurance companies offer additional coverage options for UTVs. However, if you have expensive equipment or upgrades you want to protect, you should insure it separately.
These are the most common coverage types for UTVs. The coverage plans can be tailored to one’s needs. If you have specific requirements regarding UTV insurance, don’t hesitate to contact an insurance agent.
How Much Is UTV Insurance?
It’s difficult to discuss UTV insurance costs because it depends on many factors. Determining the insurance premium can only be done once you give the necessary information to your insurance company.
Two people can drive the same UTV and have entirely different premiums.
Generally, UTV insurance is more affordable than regular car insurance. This may be because people usually spend less time driving them.
Below are some of the factors that could affect the amount of your UTV insurance premium.
Numerous insurance companies offer UTV insurance at different rates. So if you’re looking for the right insurance for your UTV, you should get quotes from several insurance companies. That way, you’ll be able to find the one that matches your exact needs and budget.
Age and Gender
Age and gender can play a significant role in your UTV insurance premium. Namely, insurance companies pay great attention to the demographics regarding who is more likely to get into accidents. For example, since teenage boys are statistically most likely to drive recklessly and get into accidents, they usually pay the highest premiums.
Your driving record can also affect the amount of the insurance premium. For example, if you have a history of offenses, you’re more likely to pay a higher premium. In contrast, an impeccable driving record could get you a discount.
Year, Make, and Model of Your UTV
Similar to car insurance, the year, make, and model of your UTV can significantly affect your premium. For example, more expensive UTVs usually cost more to repair, which is why you’ll need to pay more for insurance. Likewise, if you’re driving a newer UTV, you can expect a higher premium.
Moreover, some models have a higher theft rate, which results in an increased insurance policy.
Insurance companies also consider the UTV’s retail price, engine size, additional features, and crash statistics when determining the policy.
Where You Keep Your Vehicle
Insurance carriers will often be interested in how you store your UTV when it’s not in use. For example, if you keep it in front of your building, the UTV is more likely to get damaged, and the premium will be higher. In contrast, if you keep the UTV in your garage where it’s not exposed to potentially harmful elements, you could be looking at a lower premium.
If you live in an urban area, you’re more likely to pay a higher premium than someone living in the country. This is because urban areas have a larger population and much more traffic. More traffic means more accidents and a higher theft rate.
Your location is also important in terms of harsh weather conditions.
For example, if your area often experiences tornadoes, hail storms, or floods, the insurance premium will be more expensive. Plus, road infrastructure in your region could also affect your insurance premium.
How to Get a Discount on UTV Insurance
As mentioned, your insurance premium depends on various factors. Besides comparing the prices of multiple insurance companies, there are several ways to get a better deal on your UTV insurance.
You could receive a discount on your UTV insurance premium if you already have vehicle or home insurance with the same company. Moreover, you can get a better deal if you’re insuring multiple UTVs at once.
Some insurance companies offer a discount for owners who have completed a UTV safety course. If you have proof of completion, don’t hesitate to submit it to your insurance carrier.
Paying Your Premium at Once
If you decide to pay your six-month or annual premium at once instead of paying monthly, you’re likely to get a discount.
Many insurance companies will give you good deals if you get additional protection for your UTV. This is an excellent way to save money and ensure your UTV is covered. For example, some insurance carriers give discounts for installing security cameras or alarm systems on your property.
UTV Insurance Is Always a Good Idea
UTV insurance is one of those things you’ll be happy not to use even though you pay for it. Although insuring your UTV isn’t mandatory nationwide, it’s always a smart move. Even if you’re 100% sure of your driving skills, you never know what can happen on the road.
Getting UTV insurance helps you enjoy your vehicle without worrying about potential damage, injuries, or accidents. So take advantage of this “safety net” and hit the trails with peace of mind.