Winter is here! Some dread the first snow, thinking about shoveling and plowing and the hard work involved. Some take it in stride, it is what it is.
For some, though, the coming of snow is pure adrenaline… Taking the tarp off the trailer and revving up the snowmobiles is what the winter is all about. Cutting through the fresh powder on the trails, riding under blue skies through beautiful scenery, breathing the crisp cold air, it is all part of the snowmobiling experience.
A less exciting part of the experience is insuring you and your sled in case something unexpected happens. The standard snowmobile policy is much like an auto policy. The basic policy offers liability coverage for bodily injury and for property damage. It also offers medical expense coverage and protects you against uninsured/underinsured motorists. While your snowmobile still has value, you can purchase collision and other than collision coverage for damage to the sled itself. But what if you modify or customize the sled or purchase special clothing like helmets, gloves or leathers, designed to minimize injuries from an accident? Are these covered or do you need a special endorsement?
Did you know that if you use a trailer to transport your snowmobiles, the liability while traveling is covered by the policy covering the vehicle doing the towing? So your personal auto policy pays for any damage you cause if you hit someone on the road. But what if you injure someone while loading or unloading the trailer? Would the auto policy or the snowmobile policy cover that? Actually, it could be both. You need to review your policies to determine which would pay first and would the other pay after. And damage to the trailer? Most homeowner’s policy cover about $1000 for trailers but if it is worth more than that, you would have to add it to the auto or the snowmobile policy for the full value of the trailer.
Should you insure your sled year round since you can only use it four months out of the year? Snowmobile policy rates are based on the short season. That’s why they are generally an inexpensive policy. And we have seen a lot of claims where something in the garage falls on the sled during the summer, or a fallen tree crushes it and the shed or trailer it is stored in. What about a flood or a fire that destroys the garage and everything in it. If you cancel your coverage off season, anything that happens won’t be covered.
One last word of advice… Don’t forget, everyone’s situation is different. The age of the snowmobile, the age of the drivers and driving records, the engine size of the sleds and many other factors have an impact on the cost. There are also a lot of discounts available for the snowmobile owner; multi sled, multi policy, snowmobile club affiliation, safety course completion, renewal discounts, safe driver, etc. Comparing your premium to your friend’s is frustrating and can be deceptive. Carefully review your needs with your agent and trust that they will get you the best policy and price to suit your needs.