Do I need insurance? Winter Vehicles Edition

Do I need to insure my snowmobile?

Different states have different rules, laws, and regulations regarding snowmobiles.  In Illinois liability coverage is mandatory if you are operating your snowmobile outside your personal property.  Even if your state does not require insurance for your snowmobile, it is still advisable to carry liability coverage in the event you are in an accident and found liable for injuries to others or damage to someone else’s property.

Do I need to insure my motorcycle if I don’t ride it in winter?

If you live in a northern state, it is very likely your motorcycle policy includes a laid-up period that is built into your premium.  This means that it is understood that you are unlikely to be riding your motorcycle in the winter months and your policy has already been discounted accordingly.  The nice thing about this is if there is an unseasonably warm day during the winter season, you can take your bike out and still enjoy full coverage.

Do winterized boats need insurance?

While boat insurance may not be required by your state, many lenders and marinas do require you to carry insurance.  Similar to motorcycles, the majority of boat insurance policies have a mooring season built into their premium. Having a year-round comprehensive policy to protect against theft, vandalism, fire and other perils is strongly advised.

What about a stored RV?

When it comes to RVs, insurance is mandatory in every state that requires personal (or private) automobiles to carry liability insurance when using your RV on roadways. If you choose to remove liability coverage during the winter months while you RV is in storage, you will need to contact you agent and renew your liability insurance before using your RV. Even in storage it is strongly recommended to have comprehensive insurance coverage to protect against theft, vandalism, fire, and other disasters.

Do I need special insurance if I use my personal vehicle to plow the neighbors’ driveways?

Any accessory, such as a snow plow attachment would not automatically be included in a typical personal auto insurance policy. If you use your personal vehicle to plow you need to have a commercial/business auto policy that lists any vehicle attachments, such as the plow. In addition, you should also consider a general liability policy that covers completed operations (in case someone slips and falls on a property after you’ve cleared the snow.) Talk to your agent about a snow plow liability policy, which is similar to a general liability policy but only covers specified times of year – such as October through March.