No matter the season, every opportunity you have to drive an all-terrain vehicle is a good one, especially since there are many trails in Quebec for ATV enthusiasts. However, there are some important things to know before hitting the road with your new ATV, particularly if it’s your first off-road vehicle purchase!
First, it is important to know that legislation regulates this activity in our province. Here are the main things to keep in mind:
- You must be at least 16 years old to drive an ATV. If you are under 18, you must have a certificate of competence and knowledge.
- Driving on public roads and roadways is prohibited. There are some exceptions, such as if a road sign allows you to cross at a given point.
- You must register your all-terrain vehicle.
- Trail permits are required to drive your ATV on trails maintained by off-road vehicle clubs. Permits are sold by said clubs.
- You must hold civil liability insurance for at least $500,000. Such insurance covers bodily injury and property damage to others.
Note that you can find all such legislation on the SAAQ website, as well as other regulations related to mandatory equipment (for both the driver and the ATV), speed limits, and carrying passengers.
Civil liability insurance (Section A)
Civil liability (Section A) coverage is mandatory for a quad. While legislation requires minimum coverage of $500,000, this can be risky when considering the right of action on trails. If you cause bodily injury to someone during an accident, the SAAQ plan does not apply, and the person in question can bring legal action against you.
It is for that reason that we recommend increasing the amount of civil liability coverage to at least $2 million. In addition to not leading to major changes to your annual premium, this increase will guarantee you peace of mind during your next ATV adventures. To adequately protect yourself, think about adding Umbrella insurance to your policy, which allows you to increase your limit to $5 million. Remember that in the event of a lawsuit following an accident, it is important to have a great deal of civil liability coverage to absorb all possible costs.
Damage insurance for your ATV (Section B)
To be covered for damages to your quad, you must have insurance that covers you for Section B. There are four types of Section B coverage:
- “All perils” coverage (B1);
- Coverage against perils of collision and upset (B2);
- Coverage against perils other than collision or upset (B3); and
- Coverage against specific perils (B4).
For ATV insurance, many owners either choose to purchase “‘all perils’ coverage” or “coverage against perils of collision and upset” and “coverage against perils other than collision or upset.” When an ATV has been around for a certain period of time, a number of owners decide to no longer cover it for collision. They can then purchase only “coverage against perils other than collision or upset,” which means that the vehicle is covered mainly for fire, theft, and vandalism.
Available additional coverage
While there are several additional types of coverage available (endorsements) when you insure your ATV, we have created a list of the most important coverage for you:
- Roadside assistance costs (in the event your vehicle doesn’t start, for example).
- Accident benefits insurance. This coverage is not very costly and will provide you with compensation if you have an accident and get injured or need to pay medical expenses.
- Change to indemnity (Q.E.F. 43A and D). Similar to replacement value for cars, this coverage must be purchased when the vehicle is acquired. In the event of partial loss, you will be compensated for new parts, and in the event of total loss, based on the initial value of the ATV. Without this coverage, compensation will be based on the value of the ATV at the time of the claim for total loss. If you purchase a used ATV, change to indemnity will not be available for purchase. However, replacement value (an equivalent product) will still be an option.
In short, before taking off on your new ATV, keep in mind that the best way to protect yourself and others is to remain cautious at all times. Don’t forget that it is of the utmost important that you insure your quad. Whether you decide to purchase only civil liability insurance (as required by law) or to protect yourself against damages to or caused by your ATV, contact your Lareau broker to find out about the best products available to suit your needs.