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Off-Road Vehicles and Snowmobiles in Ontario – Are You Properly Insured?

Throughout all months of the year, many people enjoy the use of off-road vehicles and snowmobiles. Though these activities can be a lot of fun, they are also inherently risky, and it’s important to ensure that you are properly prepared and insured for these activities.

Before engaging in these activities, it’s important to know the law around insuring these types of vehicles. Both snowmobiles and other off-road vehicles, such as ATVs or side-by-sides, are required to be registered with the Ministry of Transportation in the province of Ontario, and if they are being driven off of the property of the registered owner, they need to be properly insured as a motor vehicle. Given that these vehicles are often used off of the property of registered owners, they should be properly insured.

Even if you intend to only use vehicles registered to you on your own property, it may still be a good idea to purchase automobile insurance coverage for these vehicles. If you or a loved one is injured while driving off of your own property, and you do not have an automobile insurance policy in place on the off-road vehicle or snowmobile, you may not be able to sue the at-fault driver and you also would not have full access to Statutory Accident Benefits.

In Ontario, there are age restrictions for the use of certain off-road vehicles, in addition to restrictions on where certain vehicles can be used. It is important to make sure you understand these restrictions before using an off-road vehicle or snowmobile.

Without liability insurance coverage, you may be faced with the costs of hiring your own lawyer to defend against any claims made by persons injured as a result of the use of your snowmobile or ATV, even if you were not the person driving at the time. Not only could you be responsible for paying your own lawyer’s fees, you could also be required to pay the injured party as compensation for any injuries or losses he or she has sustained, and you could also be required to pay a contribution towards his or her legal fees. Litigation is a long and expensive process.

Lisa Fraser and Michelle McLeod are experienced in handling uninsured claims involving off-road vehicles. If you’ve been injured in an off-road vehicle accident or have had a claim brought against you as a result of an off-road vehicle accident, contact Lisa or Michelle for a consultation.

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