COLUMBUS — The winter season is here and as the snow begins to pile up, thousands of Ohioans will be taking their snowmobiles out on Ohio trails for the first time this year. Before they do, the Ohio Department of Insurance is reminding winter wonderland enthusiasts to make sure their machines are properly insured.
“The law does not require snowmobile insurance to operate a snowmobile, but Ohioans should consider insuring their machines to provide liability protection in case of an accident. Snowmobiles are also very expensive to replace if damage were to occur,” said the Ohio Department of Insurance.
There are several ways to insure a snowmobile, including:
- Adding an endorsement to a homeowners insurance policy. A typical homeowners insurance policy provides some liability protection while operating a snowmobile. However, an owned snowmobile can only be operated on the residence premises. There would be no liability coverage if the owned snowmobile was operated elsewhere. Snowmobile owners can add an endorsement to their homeowners policy to include liability coverage while riding somewhere other than their own property. However, homeowners policies typically only provide liability coverage, not physical damage coverage for the snowmobile itself.
- Adding an endorsement to an auto insurance policy. A typical auto insurance policy does not provide liability or physical damage coverage for the operation of a snowmobile. However, you may be able to add an endorsement to your auto insurance policy to provide both liability and physical damage coverage for the snowmobile.
- Purchasing a recreational vehicle policy. These policies can provide extensive liability and physical damage coverage, for not only the snowmobile but also for the trailer that is used to transport the snowmobile. Your insurance agent should be able to provide multiple options to suit your insurance needs.
- Purchasing an umbrella policy. These policies can provide additional liability protection. Ohioans who already have an umbrella policy should let their insurance agent know that they have a snowmobile, as it could affect their coverage.
It is important to note that if a snowmobile owner were to cause an accident and did not have insurance, they could potentially face legal action and significant long-term debt. The owner could end up paying for one accident for the rest of their life. The Department strongly encourages consumers to talk with their insurance agent to discuss the risks of operating a snowmobile without insurance and the insurance options that are available.
Ohio insurance consumers with questions and concerns about their insurance can call the Department’s consumer hotline at 1-800-686-1526. Free information can also be obtained at www.insurance.ohio.gov.