Insurance options for your outdoor toys |

Insurance options for your outdoor toys

Susan Nichols-Alvis
Insurance Insight
Susan Nichols-Alvis

Hear that? Beyond the bird chirps. Is that a two or four stroke engine? The raging CCs of a Razr? A ski boat jetting happily across Rifle Gap?

We are so fortunate to live in a place where other people vacation. Whether camping, hunting, ATVing or water skiing, there are thousands of acres, lakes and ponds on which to play. And, there are thousands of other people enjoying it right along with you.

Speaking of other people, do you have liability insurance on your “toys?” What would happen if you zoomed around a corner up on the Flat Tops and collided with another person? Do you have coverage if it is your fault? What if you get into a motorcycle accident out on Hubbard Mesa or up Buford and don’t have medical insurance?

Just buy a new $12,000 ATV or UTV? Many folks don’t have their toys covered, especially since financial institutions usually don’t ask for proof of insurance when obtaining a loan.

Most homeowners insurance will not cover ATVs or UTVs, especially when ridden off premises.

In addition to the aforementioned liability and medical payments coverage, recreational vehicle insurance offers physical damage in case of an accident, fire or theft.

If you have an older ATV like I do (it’s a red Yamaha 350 and her name is Cherry), there is liability only coverage available. The annual cost is nominal at $75, but it offers thousands of dollars in coverage should there be an at-fault accident. As Garfield County moves closer to allowing OHVs on county roads, liability insurance will most likely be mandatory. Ag use will remain exempt.

Are you more of an aquatic type recreationist? In addition to liability and physical damage coverage, many boat insurance companies offer on-water towing. A certain insurance company national dispatch center will dispatch a tow boat and pay the tow operator directly. Customers pay no out-of-pocket expenses for covered services.

This is a summary of the different types of recreation insurance available. Talk to your insurance professional for more information. Happy riding!

Susan Nichols-Alvis is the owner of Nichols Insurance Agency in Rifle. You can reach her at 970-625-0411 or visit

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