In many ways, snowmobile insurance uses the same terminology that auto insurance does. But because of that, many people make the mistake of using the same mentality when choosing snowmobile insurance coverage as if they were purchasing auto insurance. That is a huge mistake! You can get much better snowmobile insurance coverage for about the same premium, if you only know a few things.
There are three key things regarding snowmobile insurance that you need to be aware of before buying a snomobile insurance policy:
1. Most snowmobile insurance policies that are attached to a homeowners policy lack some very important coverages compared to what is offered with an exclusive stand alone snowmobile insurance policy.
This is by far the most important thing. Make sure your policy doesn't have silly restrictions as to when, where and how you use your snowmobile. These types of restrictions are common with snowmibile insurance that is attached to a homeowners policy:
There are some exceptions. A few homeowners insurance companies offer very good attached snowmobile insurance coverage. But nine times out of ten, a stand alone policy written exclusively for snowmobiles offer better coverage than policies attached to a homeowners policy.
2. Additional coverages that any good snowmobile insurance company should offer.
Aside from the basic components of a snowmobile insurance policy, there are additional coverages offered on any good snowmobile insurance policy. Not all of the following will apply to you. But many of these additional coverages are valuable and inexpensive. It's something that only takes a couple minutes to go over with your agent. Don't overlook these. Some you may find very important:
1. GAP / Total Loss coverage.
Like automobiles, brand new sleds depreciate once you buy them. So for those who have recently bought new sleds, adding this coverage is a no brainer! A good snowmobile insurance company will offer one or the other, and both are much better than insuring a new sled on an "actual cash value" basis. Again, if you have a new (or nearly new) sled, this is a must have for the little extra cost.
2. Accessory coverage.
For those who have comprehensive and collision coverage on their sled, accessory coverage is also available. A certain amount of coverage ($3000) is usually included for free with the option of buying additional coverage.
3. Trailer coverage.
Roughly two thirds of all sleds are transported by a trailer. But many people don't think about trailer coverage until it's too late.
4. Roadside Assistance.
Sleds break down sometimes. Coverage for roadside assistance is usually very cheap. But what is covered varies from one company to the next. But it doesn't hurt to ask about what is covered and for how much. Decide for yourself whether or not it is worth it.
3. Higher levels of coverage for snowmobile insurance can cost much less dollar for dollar than what an auto insurance policy does. So make sure to inquire on higher limits of coverage.
The biggest difference is that a snowmobile is an off-road vehicle. And because of that, there is much less risk of a snowmobile accident than there is an auto accident. However, most sled owners don't take advantage of that when selecting their levels of coverage. By simply inquiring what the next higher level of coverage would cost, chances are that many of those increases are worth the extra money.
For example: In many cases, a snowmobile policy can increase many of the following for only a few bucks extra per year:
That's right! for about $5-10 extra a year, many of you can upgrade to any of the above coverages. So be sure to ask your agent about it before you buy a snowmobile policy.
As an agent, I've noticed just how unfamiliar people are with snowmobile insurance when I'm running a snowmobile insurance quote for them. I get a lot of blank stares in person, or dead silence on the phone. My advice: Don't be afraid to ask your agent questions. That's what we're here for.
Simply having an understanding of everything mentioned above arms you with the right questions to ask.
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Dan Lyles is an Independent Insurance Agent serving Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia..