How and Why to Insure Your Snowmobile

Snowmobiling season is finally here! In Quebec, there are more than 32,000 km of trails to explore on your snowmobile, which means there’s plenty of fun to be had! Our advice: enjoy this winter sport safely and be aware of the rules and obligations when you operate your snowmobile. The Lareau team has put together a brief summary so you can head out and explore our amazing landscapes safely!

Trail permits

First, to use Quebec’s snowmobile trails, you must purchase a permit from the FCMQ (Fédération des clubs des motoneigistes du Québec). Riding on snowmobile trails without a permit is against the law and may result in a fine, which is why you should always carry it with you when you hit the trails!

As a bonus, the money you spend on your permit goes toward maintaining the trails. That means you’re investing in preserving the natural beauty of the landscape and enjoying your favourite winter sport!

Your permit also comes with $1 million in civil liability coverage, the minimum amount required by law.

Already have insurance through your broker? No problem! You can request a refund from the FCMQ directly through their website by clicking here.

Société d’assurance automobile du Québec

The SAAQ also regulates snowmobile use. Here is a summary of the rules on their website:

  • Your snowmobile must be registered.
  • You must be at least 16 years old to drive a snowmobile.
  • Snowmobilers who are 16 or 17 years old must hold a training certificate.
  • Driving on public roads is prohibited apart from a few exceptional cases, such as crossing a public roadway to reach a trail, service station or other area open to the public for a maximum distance of 1 kilometre.
  • You must hold at least $1 million in civil liability coverage for any bodily injury or property damage caused by your vehicle.

It’s important to note that the SAAQ does not issue compensation for bodily injury if you’re involved in an accident, unless the accident in question involves a snowmobile and a vehicle operating on a public roadway. More on that in the insurance section below!

Ah, insurance!

Under the Automobile Insurance Act, in the event of a snowmobile accident, no compensation is paid for bodily injury or death. Instead, your own insurance policy (either the one included with your trail permit or your personal insurance policy) provides the compensation. In this situation, your civil liability policy – a minimum of $1 million of coverage – kicks in. That being said, we recommend raising this limit to $2 million. The reason for this is simple: lawsuits are common and costly. This amount helps you avoid paying additional expenses out of pocket – and escape bankruptcy – if you get sued.

Keep in mind…

When it comes to civil liability insurance, remember that:

  • It covers damage to your snowmobile in the event of an accident where you are not at fault.
  • It covers bodily injury and property damage to a third party when you are at fault. Having a high enough limit is important to avoid having to pay these expenses out of pocket.

Here are a few options to protect your snowmobile:

  • “All perils,” which covers your snowmobile, equipment and accessories for any type of claim.
  • “Perils other than collision or upset,” which covers fire, theft, vandalism, collisions with animals, etc. In insurance, this is referred to as Section B3.
  • “Specified perils,” which is more restrictive and primarily covers fire and theft.

To find out which option is right for you, don’t hesitate to reach out to your broker here at Lareau. Remember that you can add additional coverage to better protect your snowmobile!

In conclusion, it’s important to follow the rules when riding your snowmobile. When it comes to trail permits, signalling and speed, safety comes first. Happy snowmobiling!

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