We all know the importance of insuring our homes and our cars. But it can be easy to overlook the need to cover the “fun” things in our lives – boats, motorcycles, recreational vehicles and ATVs. But insurance coverage for all of these types of vehicles is available.
“It’s important to insure boats and other recreational assets for a variety of reasons,” says Jeremy Backman, vice president of recreational marine at Chubb Personal Risk Services.
Following are some of the most common recreational vehicles and tips on how to insure them.
- How much insurance do you need to buy for a recreational vehicle?
- How much insurance do you need to buy for off-road vehicles?
- How much insurance do you need for a motorcycle?
- How much insurance do you need for a boat?
- Final thoughts: Insurance for recreational vehicles and off-road vehicles
- Resources & Methodology
How much insurance do you need to buy for a recreational vehicle?
RV insurance includes most of the coverages associated with car insurance, from liability coverage to collision and comprehensive. You may also have the option of purchasing optional coverages, such as roadside assistance and windshield replacement.
According to J.D. Power, the cost for RV insurance typically ranges from around $800 to $1,300 annually, depending on the type of RV you are insuring.
When purchasing this type of insurance, it is essential to cover both the replacement cost of the RV and any potential liability costs.
A few insurers that provide insurance for recreational vehicles include:
How much insurance do you need to buy for off-road vehicles?
Dirt bikes and ATVs can easily be overlooked when considering your insurance needs. But that’s a mistake, as these recreational vehicles require insurance as much as anything else you drive.
In fact, in many states, you will be required to at least purchase liability insurance before using dirt bikes and ATVs. Also, it’s a mistake to assume these items will be covered under your homeowners insurance policy.
Dirt bike insurance is affordable, and almost any budget can accommodate the cost. For example, Progressive sells coverage for as low as $75 annually.
ATV insurance also usually is affordable, although you likely will pay more to insure an ATV with a big engine than one with a smaller engine.
Once again, with this type of coverage, make sure you purchase enough to repair or replace the vehicle and have enough liability coverage to protect yourself should you badly injure or kill someone.
Some companies that sell dirt bike or ATV insurance:
How much insurance do you need for a motorcycle?
Generally, states require you to carry the minimum motorcycle liability coverage. For example, in New York, it is illegal to ride a motorcycle on a public road or highway if you don’t have at least the following amounts of liability insurance:
- $10,000 for property damage for a single accident
- $25,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 for death for a person involved in an accident
- $50,000 for bodily injury and $100,000 for death for two or more people in an accident
The rules about how much coverage you must carry vary from state to state. Check with your state’s insurance department to determine how much you need.
Motorcycle insurance tends to be reasonably priced. Progressive says you can expect to pay anywhere from about $180 to $250 per year for a liability-only policy, depending on where you live.
However, it’s best to carry more than the minimum required coverage. If you badly injure or even kill someone while riding your motorcycle, you could be liable for damages for hundreds of thousands of dollars – or more. Without the proper insurance, you could be financially responsible.
Do you need uninsured/underinsured motorist or PIP coverage when you have a motorcycle?
Each state requires whether motorcycle owners need uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) or personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. In some states, these coverages are mandatory; in others, they’re optional. Check with the DMV to find your state’s regulations.
If you live in a state where such coverage is mandatory, you must purchase it. But even if you don’t, this coverage still can be worthwhile. PIP coverage can reimburse you for medical bills or earnings you lose from being injured in a motorcycle crash.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage can provide more protection if you are involved in an accident with someone not carrying adequate insurance levels. This type of insurance can pay your medical bills, fund repairs to your motorcycle and reimburse lost wages if the individual who crashed into you has little or no insurance coverage.
How much insurance do you need for a boat?
If you own a boat, you will need extra coverage beyond your homeowners policy. Your home insurance will cover damage to small boats – think canoes, kayaks and small dinghies.
However, you will need an endorsement to your policy to obtain liability coverage for small watercraft like surf and speed boats.
Larger boats – including yachts – and personal watercraft like jet skis – typically require a separate boat insurance policy. These policies offer a range of coverages, from property and personal liability to damages to your boat and medical payments.
The liability portion of your insurance offers crucial protection, Backman says.
“Boats don’t have seat belts or brakes, so when accidents occur, passengers can be thrown around, causing serious injury – or worse, possibly being thrown overboard,” he says.
You can get actual cash value coverage – in which you receive the cost of replacement, minus depreciation – or agreed value, where you and the insurer agree upon an amount that would be paid out in a total loss.
“Generally, a boat is insured for its market value when purchased, meaning the amount the client paid,” Backman says. “Boats typically depreciate over time, so it’s common for the boat’s value to be re-evaluated as the boat ages or market conditions change.”
Many different factors will determine how much you pay for boat insurance. According to Allstate, its lowest-priced policies start at around $300 annually.
Backman recommends boat owners purchase a minimum of $500,000 in liability coverage.
“Accidents can happen, with multiple people being injured, some of which are severe, or worse, cause fatalities,” he says.
Boat insurance is widely available. Some of the insurance companies that offer boat insurance:
Final thoughts: Insurance for recreational vehicles and off-road vehicles
In short, Americans love specialty vehicles like RVs, ATVs and motorcycles. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the number of motorcycles on the road doubled from 4.3 million in 2002 to 8.6 million in 2021.
Boats also are popular. California alone has nearly 800,000 registered pleasure crafts, according to the California Division of Boating & Waterways. And millions of people enjoy riding in RVs and ATVs and vacationing in RVs. Just make sure you have the proper coverage for these toys.
Resources & Methodology
- New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. “New York State Insurance Requirements.” Accessed March 2023.
- Progressive. “How much is motorcycle insurance?” Accessed March 2023.
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute. “Motorcycles registered in the United States, 2002–2021.” Accessed March 2023.
- Insurance Information Institute. “Boat insurance and safety.” Accessed March 2023.
- California Division of Boating and Waterways. “Boating Safety and Education for All.” Accessed March 2023.
- J.D. Power. “How much is RV insurance?” Accessed March 2023.