This fall as we look ahead to that first major snowfall, a few of you will be in the shop tinkering on the sled, or waiting for that snowchecked model to arrive so you can bring yours home. You’ll be anxious to fire it up and carve that first pass into the fresh pow pow.
Before you go out for that first rip though, you’ll want to ensure that you have your sled insured, and done properly so that in the event a crash happens, you are properly covered. There are so many stories out there that tell tales of coverage being denied, and believe it or not, I have my own!
So, how do you make sure that you have coverage when you need it. Well it comes down to making sure that you have two key components in place:
- Plate your sled
First things first- if you are going to be riding your sled, make sure that you license it. I know that there are exemptions for riding on your own land, and not needing a plate for that, however when push comes to shove and you need coverage for a collision, make sure that you have a current plate that is in force. This eliminates any preliminary loop holes and removes one variable from your claim process. A plate on a snowmobile is just over $100 for the riding season, and its a fraction of the cost of your machine. Part of this plate fee also goes towards your trail pass so you can ride snowmobile trails legally as well.
2. Buy an insurance policy with the coverages you want
This is the key component in getting a claim settled. First of all, for a collision claim to go as planned, you need to have your machine plated. Secondly, you need a policy that actually carries the coverage for you to use in the event of a claim. There are four types of coverages available to you- collision, comprehensive, liability and replacement cost (on machines less than three years old). Lets break these down:
Collision- this is the coverage you buy if you want a claim paid for damaging your own sled (not willfully). If you crash, roll, tumble, or fail to use good judgement on your high-marking skills, this will be the coverage that saves your bacon.
Comprehensive- this coverage is the “catch all” coverage that insures your sled against fire, vandalism, and pesky thieves. Should you walk out to your shop or trailer and discover that your sled has been stolen, this coverage will pick up the loss. If you come out to your brand new Yamaha sled with the words “should have bought a ski-doo” spray painted on it, you can get coverage (despite the fact that the phrase is true).
Liability- this coverage picks up the claim if you cause harm to another person or property while on your sled. Should you crash into your buddy, the words “hey you OK man, it was just a goof” might not fix his sled, nor his broken back. There will be costs incurred to replace his property, and his person. This coverage picks up the tab for that
Replacement cost- if your sled is new, you have 120 days to get this coverage added to your policy. Simply provide the bill of sale and have your sled ready for a brief physical inspection, and you can buy the coverage to ensure that the price you paid for your sled is covered on your policy for up to three years. Pretty sweet hey?
So this winter, when you head out to fool around in the snow, don’t be fooling around with fate and coverage. Make sure you’re covered, protected and insured no matter what!