It’s been an annoyingly rainy summer here in Chicago, so much so that our basement had water come into it and I had to make a claim against my homeowners policy. I have a finished basement and the rain ruined our carpeting so I had to find the source of the leaks, have them patched up, get the basement waterproofed and new flooring installed.
Though my damp basement doesn’t have anything to do with an ATV, it did spurr the need to confirm that I was paying the lowest for my ATV insurance while getting the broadest possible coverage. I have homeowners insurance through State Farm but not ATV coverage, ironically I ran into a snafu with State Farm – I’ll share it with you below.
For the purposes of this post, I’ll break down the actual quotes that i’ve received from 8 insurance carriers for you to see how much ATV insurance actually costs and what you get for the annual premium you pay.
How Much Does ATV Insurance Cost?
Among the 8 quotes i solicited, the price range varies substantially and goes from $297/year to $1,384/year. The average premium is $546.45 annually and the median premium comes in at $434/year. The coverage I decided to go with will cost me $301/year.
So, i understand that the information you provide for your quote could be nearly identical or it could be drastically different from the details used to compile my quotes, but i’ve got to give you some basis for the terms of my quotes, right?
For these quotes, i’m providing the following personal information:
- 37 years old
- I own my home
- I’ve had NO accidents or convictions in the last 3 years
- I’ve had NO thefts or vandalisms in the last 3 years
- I’ve had NO alcohol/drug related convictions in the last 10 years
- I’ve had NO license suspensions or revocations in the last 10 years
- I have NOT taken a motorcycle/ATV safety foundation course in the last 2 years
- I do NOT belong to a motorcycle or snowmobile association
These tidbits of information are all true, but I took a drive through rural Minnesota with my wife and brother-in-law last weekend and managed to get a speeding ticket. I can’t tell you how incredibly pissed I was to get one – it’s been years since i’ve had a speeding ticket!
Of the 8 carriers I approached, State Farm was the only one that wanted to run an actual background check using my drivers license number. Good thing the ticket is so fresh that it wouldn’t have shown up on the report yet (smirk)!
About My Quad
Here is some data provided about my vehicle. Again, i understand your vehicle may be a much newer model with some bells and whistles and a higher market value. If so, your premium could be considerably more.
On the other hand, your quad may be several years older with a much lower market value than mine, so your annual premium could be much lower. In all honesty, i’m sure the rates bottom out somewhere. What is that number? I’m not too sure, but it’s probably not terribly far from the quotes I was given (with the exception of 1 outlier).
I just happen to have some characteristics the carriers are looking for, though there are a few things i probably could have done to get the premium down even more – i’ll share those with you in just a sec.
Here’s what I shared with the carriers about my quad:
- 2015 Kawasaki 750 Brute Force 4X4
- It will be garage kept
- I do NOT have an anti theft device installed
- Quad does not have a modified frame/installed turbo kit/nitro or any other dangerous additions
- The engine has not been rebuilt or modified
*I also should point out one other thing. I do have a homeowners policy through State Farm and auto insurance through GEICO, but I did NOT request any carrier to package any policies together. The quotes i’ll be showing you are for monoline ATV policies. You’ll likely get a discounted premium if you package two or more lines of coverage together.
**If you want to see my top choice, go down to #8 all the way down to about 3/4 of the end of this post.
Below is a breakdown of the carriers I approached and the coverage they offered, including their quoted premium. I live in the state of Illinois so the minimum required coverage is $25k/$50k liability coverage.
Some carriers offered a lower deductible option, such as $100, but I chose to go with a $250 deductible to keep the cost slightly lower. I figured there wasn’t much of an out-of-pocket difference between the $100/$250 option vs $100/$500 option.
I also went with the medical payment option of $5k, some carriers will offer a lower, but I figured if I really do get injured and need to go to the hospital, $5k can get gobbled up pretty quickly!
*$50k/$100k was the lowest limit Markel could provide that made sense
**lowest available option
***lowest available option
I ended up calling into the Nationwide call center to get a quote over the phone. The lady I spoke with was really nice and she really knew her stuff. Here is the phone number in case you want to call in: 877.669.6877
Nationwide quoted me the same coverage as the other carriers (with the exception of Markel). $25k/$50k liability limit with $250 deductible, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and $5k medical payments coverage for $428.
I’ve had experience with Nationwide in the past, they are a good, strong carrier and they pay claims. Their premium was actually very reasonable as well. If I had other policies through them, i’d definitely consider packaging other lines with them for additional savings.
The GEICO terms are the same as Nationwide, per the snapshot above. Although I do have auto insurance through them, I ran this quote as a monoline policy, which means I did not bundle it with my auto insurance.
I’ve never been in an automobile accident so thankfully I cannot tell you how responsive their claims team is, or how well they pay out claims, but I’m sure they don’t have a good reputation just because…
Considering the coverage being offered, their premium was on the higher end. I was hoping for more aggressive premium:(
If you prefer to call rather than going to GEICO’s website, their number is 866.238.6902
I tried to connect with Flo, but she just wasn’t around to take my call. Sorry, dumb joke but I just couldn’t resist. Call me any name you feel is appropriate, I probably deserve it!
For being the #1 motorcycle insurance carrier, I was expecting a bit more from Progressive. They offered comparable coverage, but their pricing was not in line with the other carriers. They were second highest among the 8 and if you wanted to pay on a monthly basis, their premium went up by almost $100. Yikes! Not my go-to carrier, especially since I don’t have any personal experience with Progressive.
If you prefer to call rather than going to Progressive’s website, their number is 855.347.3939
Not really sure what esurance’s actuaries are calculating here. Either they’re not the brightest actuaries, or esurance has experienced some really bad losses. Not really sure how that’s the case since automotive insurance is highly predictable and very profitable.
In any event, their premium was about triple the nearest price quote (Progressive) and their terms weren’t any different.
But if you still want to see what esurance can do for you, and you’d rather call than going directly to their website, their number is 800.378.7262
I’m not too familiar with Allstate as an insurance company (other than them being headquartered here in the Chicagoland area). I can only go by hearsay and I haven’t always heard the best things about them so in my mind i’d be a bit apprehensive with them.
From a coverage standpoint, they offered the same terms as the other carriers and they had the median pricing of $434/year among all the carriers.
If you have experience with them and like their service, i’d try bundling policies with them for additional savings.
They can be reached by phone, but you’ll have to locate a local agent near you for a quote.
6) State Farm
Disappointingly, State Farm was the one who gave me the most trouble to get a quote. I used to have State Farm auto insurance for nearly 20 years before switching to GEICO and i’m a huge fan of their service (it was a very hard switch for me and it took a long time for me to pull the trigger). And as i’ve mentioned above, I also currently have State Farm for my homeowners insurance, so I was hoping I could ultimately bundle my policies together for additional savings.
You cannot obtain a quote online so you’ll have to locate your local agent for terms. In my case, I provided the same information I had provided to all the other carriers but State Farm also wanted a copy of my drivers license number to run a consumer background check.
I assured her that I didn’t have anything on my record and that I would be ok with ballpark pricing as well. My agent told me that she couldn’t even provide that without entering the information in her system (I don’t quite believe that).
By that point I was annoyed and since I don’t like sharing personal information over the phone, unless I absolutely have to, I never received a quote (or even a ballpark indication) from State Farm.
I still think they’re a great company, but they’ve done a few things recently to really erk me, bad!
7) Farmers Insurance (RUNNER UP)
I was surprised to get such good terms from Farmers because I’ve always heard that Farmers had really high rates, but instead I was very pleasantly surprised to get their quote. Their terms were solid and they offer three different tiers of coverage to choose from – Elite, Plus, and Saver.
The main difference was the Elite option offered a vanishing deductible option over 4 years (25% reduction in deductible every year of no accidents) and the replacement coverage instead of actual cash value.
Considering the three options, their Elite package was still extremely well priced at $343/year and the saver option was an extremely low $225/year.
To get quotes from Farmers Insurance you’ll need to get in touch with a local agent since you cannot get a quote from them online. I did have to reach out to a few agents before someone answered the phone, but I’m glad i kept trying since I got such great terms!
Their pricing is almost at liquidation pricing and it’s probably the option I would have gone with, except I still received terms from one other carrier…
8) Markel (WINNER)
Many of you may not have heard of Markel since they aren’t as large of a household name like the other carriers are. I have experience with Markel because my professional background is in insurance.
They are a strong carrier and they pay claims.
That being said, you will have to reach out to their call center as they don’t have independent agents working on their behalf, nor do they have an online quoting system. They can be reached at 888.755.4288.
Markel was the only carrier that could not provide a $250 deductible, the lowest they could go was $500 across the board.
In addition, the limit that made the most sense was $50k/$100k at an astonishing $301/year. The lowest premium among all the carriers that were approached.
I also thought it would make sense to find out what the $25k/$50k limit would cost, but the savings was so incredibly minuscule that it didn’t make sense – it was $297/year or a $4 savings.
No thanks, i’ll go with the higher limit.
In my mind, Markel is the carrier to go with. If you’re comfortable paying a higher deductible in the event something were to happen then you’d not only end up paying a lower annual premium but you’d also get twice the coverage as the other carriers were offering.
Definitely give Markel a call for your personal quote as they’re the ones i’ll be switching to when my current policy terms have expired!
Factors That Affect Your ATV Insurance Premium
Surprisingly (or maybe not) the factors that are used to rate auto insurance and ATV are extremely similar.
Sure, you might get asked if you’re a part of a motorcycle association that might get you a [slightly] discounted rate or if you’ve taken a safety course in the past couple of years, but other than that, carriers go off of the same set of data.
Here are some associations that might save you a couple bucks:
…but the carriers are also looking at the following:
If you want to look into someones future then take a look at their past! The carriers want to know if you’re a cautious and safe driver or if you’re reckless and imprudent.
The easiest way for them to get this info is by asking questions about your driving record (standard automobile). They’ll ask about speeding tickets and of course any at-fault accidents in the last 3 years.
If you really want to manage you’re insurance premiums then you’ve got to take control of your driving record.
What are you riding?
Just like your automobile rates would be higher if you’re driving a Mercedes Benz over a Hyundai (all else equal) you’d also look to pay higher rates on a quad that’s valued at $15,000 vs one that’s going for $1,500.
No secret there.
If both vehicles were to get totaled in a serious accident, the insurance company would have to pay more money out of pocket to replace the $15k vehicle than they would the $1,500 vehicle.
How much are you asking to be insured for? It’s like a life insurance policy, the larger the policy, the higher the premium.
Same is true for ATV insurance, the higher the amount of liability insurance you need, the more exposure the carrier has, the higher their risk is to take you on as an insured and the higher your premiums will be.
When you add supplementary payouts, such as cracked or broken safety equipment (they’ll pay out for that stuff) or if your trailer gets damaged while transporting an ATV then their risk gets higher and you as a consumer bear that risk through higher premiums.
Some carriers have strict guidelines on who they will and won’t insure. Some will accept younger riders and some strictly exclude them. Make sure to look through the policy wording and/or ask the representative if younger riders are covered.
If so, it’s likely that you’ll see higher premiums due to age, experience and questionable judgement.
How To Drive Down Your ATV Insurance Premium
It doesn’t all have to work against you when it comes to insurance premiums. At the end of the day you still have options from other carriers so they have to stay competitive (both terms and pricing) to earn your business.
So what are some direct or indirect forms of savings you could expect?
For this particular post, I didn’t want to bundle, I wanted to keep it a monoline policy since I didn’t want to make any assumptions about the person reading this post.
You may be a young rider trying to be self-sufficient and pay for his/her own things (which I think is incredible) and you may not have any other lines of insurance you can bundle.
Or you may be the head of the household who has the ability to leverage a house, couple cars, a life insurance policy and now your ATV policy that can be bundled together for more savings.
It doesn’t hurt to ask for a bundled quote for savings, but never make a switch going off of premium alone! Premium is only half the equation when it comes to insurance, you also want to make sure the terms are acceptable as well.
As I mentioned up above, nearly every carrier was willing to provide a discount if I belonged to an automotive/motorcycle association. In fact, one of the carriers (i’m pretty sure it was Nationwide) was even willing to provide a discount if I was a member of a credit union.
Think of any association you may be a part of, who knows, they might accept it.
Every carrier was willing to give a discount if I had taken a safety course in the last couple of years and these savings typically amount to 10-15% off of your annual premium.
When you pile on the savings then it really starts to add up.
That’s probably a copywritten term, but you know where i’m headed with this. It’s an indirect savings but great if you need to take advantage of it.
The idea of this benefit is that the carrier will shave off a percentage of your deductible for every year of claim-free driving you have. Usually it’s 25% off of the deductible for every year of zero claims until you hit a $0 deductible.
So if you were to have a policy in place with one carrier and never make a claim in 4 years then the fifth year would have a $0 deductible, should you ever need it.
I really hope this post has been helpful in finding some reasonable insurance coverage. There are so many carriers out there and it’s daunting going through the process to see who has the best rates/terms.
Hopefully this post can point you in the right direction on where to start first.
Last, I understand that having ATV insurance isn’t required in every state, but given the fact that this is a sport that uses heavy machinery that can cause some serious injury, having insurance is something that you should really consider in offsetting some risk.
Medical bills can stack up quickly and it’s not something you want to end up paying out of pocket because you were trying to save a few hundred dollars. A few broken bones can easily amount to $25k+ and it’s a situation i’d rather not put my family through if I can avoid it.
Have fun out there!!