How to insure your ATV if you’re driving off your property

Not clear what you should know about insuring your all-terrain vehicle? Here’s a handy FAQ on requirements for this unique (and fun) mode of transportation.

How to insure your ATV if you’re driving off your property

Question #1: How does an insurance company define an ATV?

Answer: It may vary between firms across the provinces, but all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are generally considered to be four-wheeled vehicles that can be driven—as their name suggests—on all sorts of terrains, from dirt to snow to ice.

  • Snowmobiles generally wouldn’t be considered an ATV since they work only on snow and ice and aren’t made to run on land.

Question #2: What are the rules and regulations around licensing an ATV?

Answer: Whether or not you need a separate licence to drive your ATV depends largely on where you live.

  • In Ontario, for example, you need to just have a G2 or M2 licence to operate one. Your best bet is to look at your local provincial ministry of transportation to check both licensing requirements (on both public and private land — there’s a difference) and required age of the driver as well.
  • Quite often it’s also recommended that drivers take an ATV driving safety course, which you can find through the Canada Safety Council or your local ATV federation.

Question #3: Do I need to insure my ATV separately?

Answer: You can insure your new vehicle a few different ways.

  • A standalone policy is one way, but you could also package it into your existing auto insurance policy or bundle it into your home and auto insurance.
  • Be sure to ask about discounts if you do bundle it in with your auto insurance and/or home insurance policy.
  • Again, different insurance companies have different stipulations.

Question #4: Why do I need insurance on my ATV?

Answer: You don't necessarily need insurance when driving your ATV on your own private property.

  • However, if you hit the trails with your vehicle or cross a public road or lot, then you do need to register your vehicle and have insurance coverage for it.

Question #5: What is generally covered in my ATV insurance?

Answer: Again, it’s similar to your existing auto insurance.

  • Additional coverage may include all/specified perils, collision and more.

Question #6: Why might an insurance company turn me down?

Answer: While that’s always a possibility with insurance firms, some reasons your insurance coverage request might be rejected include:

  • You’ve had more than one accident for which you were responsible in the past five years.
  • You’ve had more than two or three minor convictions.
  • You’ve got a history of non-payment.
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