A lot has been said and written about normal, day-to-day use vehicles and the insurance policies they require.
Since they make the majority of the vehicles in the US and the entire world for that matter, they always take the center stage. But what about off-road vehicles and everything related to auto insurance for them?
There are so many questions that people have about off-road vehicles, the auto insurance policies for these vehicles, and the factors that affect their rates. In this article, we’ll elucidate all the things about car insurance and off-road vehicles.
One of the most often asked questions is do off-road vehicle infractions impact your car insurance rates? What if you were caught overspeeding while being on your favorite ATV? How would that affect your general car insurance rates? Let’s take a look.
Off-Road And General Car Insurance
There has been a lot of confusion and misinformation right from the get-go, so let’s tackle that first. While both normal, commuting cars such as a Honda or Hyundai and your off-road vehicle brands such as Polaris and Can-Am are both used to get you from A to B, the auto insurance policies they require are completely different.
Many people assume that since they have a general car insurance policy, they can drive their off-road vehicles on public roads and in case they get in a car accident, claim their general auto insurance policies. They are in for a heartbreaking surprise.
Auto insurance companies will flat-out refuse the claim for off-road vehicles if you do not have a separate auto insurance policy for these vehicles. The risk of accidents associated with these off-road vehicles is very high compared to the general commuter.
Moreover, off-road vehicles are niche vehicles and can be very expensive to repair. So car insurance companies have separate policies for off-road vehicles.
These policies are not anything special or different from general car insurance policies. Insurance companies just require you to have another set of policies for vehicles used for different purposes (commercial, recreational, etc).
Off-Road Vehicle Infractions
Coming to the meat of the matter. What happens to your auto insurance if you get a ticket while driving your offroad vehicle?
We know that any traffic violation that involves you driving a car will increase your auto insurance rates. Your driving record decides your car insurance rates. But what about off-road vehicles? Continue reading.
Since off-road vehicles require different insurance policies, if someone got a speeding ticket or caused a car accident while driving an off-road vehicle, say an ATV, would it affect their general car insurance rates? Yes, it definitely would.
Committing any traffic violation or getting in any form of a car accident while driving your off-road vehicle on public roads will impact your insurance rates, both off-road vehicle insurance, and general car insurance rates. But why? You were driving the off-road vehicle. How does it affect your general auto insurance rates?
It’s Not The Car, It’s The Driving
It does not matter what type of car you are driving, or whose car you are driving for that matter. Your auto insurance rates are affected by your driving record. So when you commit a traffic violation such as speeding, making an illegal turn, driving the wrong lane, etc, you, as a driver, are fined for the violation.
So when you do the same violations on an off-road vehicle on public roads, you are liable to the same repercussions. All the accidents, traffic violations, tickets, etc are recorded on your driving record which is then used to determine your car insurance rates.
So here’s the summary; If you are driving an off-road vehicle and get in an accident or any infraction, your general car insurance rates as well as the rates for your off-road vehicle insurance will increase.
The same is true for normal cars. Getting any tickets while driving your commuter car will not only increase your general car insurance rates but will also increase the rates of your off-road vehicle insurance. Remember, your driving record matters, not the vehicle you drive.
Insurance companies are very careful and stringent when it comes to assessing the risk associated with policyholders. This “risk” is the risk of them getting in any car accident and making an insurance claim. Auto insurance companies do not want policyholders who are more likely to get in a car accident and make a claim.
But since they are legally mandated to sell insurance to anyone who wants to buy, they must change the prices for different people based on the risk associated with them to offset the risk of an insurance claim.
People who are more likely to make an insurance claim or miss out on insurance premium payments are charged more while people who are less likely to make an insurance claim are charged less. Auto insurance companies want the least insurance claims and most policyholders pay insurance premiums.
The “risk” assessment is done through various factors such as age, location, gender, credit score, past insurance claims, coverage lapse, etc. But the most important factor is driving record. And it is obvious to understand that.
People with a great driving record follow the traffic law and hence are less likely to be in a car accident. This also means they are less likely to make an insurance claim. Sadly, the same cannot be said for people with poor driving records. Hence they are charged more.
So that was all about off-road vehicle infractions and the impact on your general car insurance rates. Remember to drive safely, avoid getting tickets, and you’ll get the best auto insurance rates.