ATV accidents often fall outside the scope of homeowners insurance policies because they occur off the insured premises or involve no liability on the part of the policyholder; however, when an all-terrain vehicle accident happens on the property or the insured is at fault, coverage may apply.
Accidents That Occur On the Property
For most homeowners, this is unlikely because there is no room on their property for riding an ATV. Of course, an accident could occur while taking it out of the garage, repairing it, or accidentally pressing on the throttle. In those cases, the policy provisions may kick in.
Some homeowners have large properties where ATV riding may be common. If you own a ranch, large desert property, or other rural land, an ATC crash may be of concern. However, not all accidents, even those occurring on the property, are covered.
Injuries to Residents
When a family member or other permanent resident sustains injury in an ATV accident on your property, coverage is unlikely to apply. Home insurance policies extend to liability, which does not cover the home’s residents. The liability clause of your policy applies to non-residents hurt on your property when the accident is legally your fault.
On-Property ATV Accidents and Liability Coverage
When a person sustains injuries in an accident on your property, they may have cause to bring a lawsuit. A suit against you would be based on some type of negligence or carelessness on your part. For example, if a guest was riding an ATV on your property and fell off because you left an uncovered hole on an off-road vehicle track, the injured party may have a claim against you.
In such an instance, your liability coverage would apply. It would pay for the injured person’s damages, such as medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. In addition, most policies provide compensation for your legal expenses and any fees from the plaintiff’s lawyers that you bear the responsibility to pay.
Many homeowners policies also provide medical coverage for non-residents hurt on your property–even if you are not at fault.
For example, imagine an ATV rider is thrown from his machine because he was paying inadequate attention and drove into a ditch. In that case, you are probably not responsible. Ditches and embankments are natural parts of off-road land and the driver is responsible for paying attention to them. However, if the injured party has medical bills, your insurance company may provide some reimbursement.
However, the limits on medical payments are often low, just $1,000 to $5,000 on average.
Liability for Off-Property Accidents
If you are an ATV rider, you want to pay attention to the liability part of your policy. It may provide coverage if you injure someone while riding.
For instance, imagine you are on your ATV and accidentally strike someone. The person suffers a broken arm and concussion. Authorities determine that you were at fault for failing to yield. The injured party sues for thousands of dollars in damages.
Because this is a case of personal liability, there is an excellent chance that your homeowners insurance policy will pay at least part of the damages. Claims for medical bills, legal costs, and lost wages, for example, may fall under your policy’s liability provision. Your policy may also pay the costs of your legal representation.
If an ATV accident occurs on your property or you are held legally responsible for an ATV crash, your homeowners policy may provide valuable coverage. Liability provisions take effect if you are liable as a property owner or all-terrain-vehicle rider. Should a serious legal claim for an ATV accident threaten your financial stability, your homeowners policy comes to the rescue.