Insurance – Frequently Asked Questions

Off Road Vehicle Insurance in British Columbia

What is off road vehicle (ORV) insurance?

Off road vehicle insurance protects you against the financial losses you could suffer if you were involved in an off road vehicle accident. Your insurance company pays for these losses out of the pool of insurance premiums it collects from its thousands of customers. If you operate an ORV and have no insurance, you risk losing your personal assets every time you ride. An ORV is an unlicensed quad or ATV including UTV or RTV or a trail bike (dirt bike) or a snowmobile or an unlicensed dune buggy.

What types of ORV insurance coverage are available?

Section A
Third Party Liability

Section B
Accident Benefits
provides compensation if you or your passengers suffer injury or death in an off road vehicle accident. The compensation is paid regardless of who is at fault in the accident. The following are the categories of compensation provided by Accident Benefits. The amounts paid in each category vary from province to province.

Medical: reimbursement for the cost of medical treatment not covered by any medical, surgical, dental or hospital plan or law.

Funeral: payment towards funeral expenses of those killed in a ORV accident.

Death: a lump sum payment following the death of an insured person; the amount will depend on the age, marital status and the number of dependents of the deceased.

Total disability: a limited weekly payment to employed individuals totally disabled in a ORV accident.

Section C
Loss or Damage to Insured Off Road Vehicle
can protect you against the cost of direct damage to your ORV from various causes, depending upon which coverage you purchase.

All Perils covers all loss to the ORV except as excluded

Comprehensive covers all perils but also excludes collision or upset

Specified Perils covers damage from perils named in the policy, the most common being fire or theft

Loss or damage from war, nuclear contamination, mechanical breakdown, normal wear and tear, rust, corrosion, etc., is not covered

Do I have to buy ORV insurance?

By law, anyone who owns an ORV and drives on Forest Service Roads in B C is required to have third party liability coverage. The minimum requirement by law is $ 200,000. This may change when the proposed new legislation is tabled and passed and could be effective April 1, 2012.

What are the penalties if I don’t have insurance?

The law requires you to pay for any damages for which you are held legally responsible in an accident. If you are not insured and cannot pay, special funds administered by the government or the insurance industry are used to reimburse the person who made the claim against you. Your driver’s licence may then be suspended until you arrange to repay the fund. You will also be charged by the police for failing to have insurance which currently is $ 345. When you purchase ORV insurance, you receive a Canada Inter-Province Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance card (known as your insurance pink slip). You should keep this in your ORV at all times and produce it when requested by a police officer. It is honoured as proof of insurance in Canada and the United States.

What is ‘Uninsured Off road vehicle’ coverage?

Uninsured off road vehicle coverage provides compensation if you are injured or killed through the fault of a motorist who has no insurance. You receive payment under this coverage unless the province or territory where you were injured has a special fund from which to claim. You will be reimbursed for the money you would otherwise be entitled to receive from the uninsured motorist

Are there any other coverage I can buy with my ORV insurance?

A number of other options are available which tailor your policy to your particular needs. These include coverage to a replacement cost value in the event your ORV is so badly damaged that it cannot be repaired; protection against depreciation in the first two years of owning a new vehicle (available when insured for 100% of replacement value including modifications, attachments and taxes); and protection in the event that the person responsible for your accident doesn’t carry adequate Third Party Liability insurance. You should discuss your insurance needs with your broker to obtain a more complete explanation of these options and ensure you are adequately protected.

What is a deductible?

The deductible is the portion you agree to pay on any damage to your ORV before your insurance comes into effect. A common deductible, for example, is $ 500. This means that you would pay the first $ 500 of any repair bill and your insurance company would pay the balance. Any damage that cost less than $ 500 would therefore be your own responsibility. You can receive a 10% discount on physical damage premiums by increasing your deductible to $ 1,000.

Does the deductible always apply?

Yes, the deductible applies to any damage claim you make on your policy, even if the accident was not your fault. In such cases your insurance company may try to recover the money it has paid, as well as your deductible, from the person responsible for the accident.

If my ORV is damaged and in the shop, will my insurance pay for a rental ORV?

Not necessarily — it depends on what type of coverage you have. It is available with the Rider Plus endorsement.

What is Rider Plus Endorsement?

Rider Plus is a policy enhancement, providing Search & Rescue reimbursement up to $ 25,000, increasing trailer/deck coverage up to $ 5,000, increasing riding gear coverage up to $ 1,000, lock rekeying and a liberalization clause.

What do I do if I have a claim?


What is the role of the claims adjuster?

The adjuster’s job is to determine the facts relating to the claim and the extent to which the claim is covered by insurance. The adjuster also attempts to reach an agreement with the third party involved regarding the amount of their loss and extent of their responsibility. Your insurance company pays for the adjuster.

How long after an accident can I make a claim?

Although it is recommended you notify your insurer as soon as possible if you’re making a claim, your policy states that a written declaration must be made within 90 days of the loss or damage. If you don’t make your claim within the 90 days, the insurance company may not be legally bound to honour your claim. In practice, however, most companies will honour a claim made within two years if there is a plausible reason for the delay.

How are claims settled?

The vast majority of claims are resolved amicably through negotiation. An ORV insurance policy is a legal contract between you and your insurance company. As with any contract, the courts have the final decision in any disagreement between you and your company, or in any dispute between you and another person involved in the same accident. In such cases, the court decides who is responsible and may also decide the extent of damages to be paid.

What will my insurance pay for if my vehicle is damaged in an accident?

If you have Physical Damage coverage (Section C), your insurance company will pay for the repair, replacement or actual cash value of your ORV at the time of the accident less the deductible, which is your responsibility. If your ORV can be repaired, your insurer is responsible to pay for repairs to the damaged area only. If the repair cost is close to or more than the actual cash value of the ORV, the company may decide to write-off the vehicle instead of repairing it and pay you the cash value. When your ORV is being repaired, you may wish to get additional work completed which is not a direct result of the accident. This is permissible, but the extra repairs would be at your expense.

What happens if my vehicle is damaged in a collision but I don’t have All Perils coverage?

If the accident is the other driver’s fault, you could attempt to claim payment of your damages from the guilty driver. If it were your fault, you would personally be responsible for your own damages.

What will my insurance company pay for if I damage someone else’s property?

If you are responsible for the accident your insurance company will pay for damage to the other driver’s ORV. It will also pay for repairs to any other property damaged by your ORV, such as fences, poles or buildings.

What payments are made in an injury claim?

Payments for any injury to you, your passengers or a pedestrian fall into two basic categories:

Compensation for specific costs or losses (known as special damages), such as medical bills, lost wages, ambulance and hospital expenses, funeral costs;

Compensation that must be estimated (known as general damages), such as for future disability and expenses, pain and inconvenience and reduced life expectancy.

Will my insurance company help me if I’m involved in legal action after an accident?

If someone claims you are at fault in an accident and sues you, your insurance company will provide lawyers to defend you and will pay the legal costs.

How important is responsibility or fault in a ORV accident?

Responsibility is of prime importance under Third Party Liability coverage. In these claims, the person held responsible for an accident may be required to pay for damages to the other driver’s ORV, for other property damaged in the accident, and for any injury claims resulting from it. For this reason you should ensure you have adequate Third Party coverage.

Payments under All Perils, Comprehensive or Specified Perils and Accident Benefits coverage are made regardless of fault.

Can fault in a ORV accident be shared?

Yes. The circumstances of an accident may show that more than one driver was negligent. Each driver’s insurance company may then become involved in the settlement based on the degree of responsibility attributed to each person. If there is a dispute about responsibility, court action may be required to resolve it.

What factors affect the cost of my ORV insurance?

Insurance companies consider a number of aspects when calculating an individual’s premium. The key ones are: type of ORV; whether you use your ORV for pleasure or business; your age; your driving record; your insurance claims record; and other drivers in the household who use your ORV.

How does the type of ORV I drive affect the cost of my insurance?

The type of ORV you drive generally does affect the premium you pay for Third Party Liability insurance. It does affect the cost of coverage for physical damage to your ORV. Insurance companies rate ORVs according to their cost to repair or replace them. Damage to the insured off road vehicle insurance varies according to these ratings. Some companies also charge more to insure certain types of high-powered ORVs with performance enhancing equipment.

How does my driving record affect the cost of my ORV insurance?

Your record of moving traffic violations could be an indication of how responsible you are as a driver and therefore how likely you are to be involved in an accident. Most companies take this into account when calculating your premium.

What is the role of the broker in dealing with insurance companies?

The role of a broker is to answer your questions about different coverage options, finding affordable insurance coverage and accessing the appropriate coverage for you. Acting as an intermediary between the customer and the insurance company, the broker provides the following services:

Advice on the type and amount of insurance you should buy. All policies are not created equal, with different restrictions and limitations in each program. A burglary warranty restricting theft is an example, as are restrictions on who is not covered when operating the ORV. Make sure you obtain the right insurance for you before an incident occurs, rather than after when it is too late.

All of the paperwork in setting up or renewing a policy, e.g. change of vehicle, additional coverages, change of usage.Information on current laws and regulations

Assistance at the time of making a claim. Brokers can help to speed up the settlement of the claim. They are not, however, allowed to give legal advice.

How do I know if I’m getting the best price for my ORV insurance coverage?

Insurance companies are highly competitive in the price, scope of coverage and service they provide. Many types of sales and improvements have been developed by individual companies to meet these needs. These variables are reflected in the premiums charged. You should talk to your insurance broker to ensure you are receiving the best combination of coverage, service and price for your individual needs. Price is a factor, but restrictions and limitations are critical in obtaining proper coverage.

Why are insurance rates not stable?

The cost of insurance changes over time. When establishing rates, insurance companies use various calculations and claims statistics from previous years to estimate the number and cost of current and future claims. Rates are also affected by factors such as overhead costs, commission payments, returns on their investments, government regulations which change consistently, legal judgements, taxes and other external market forces.

How is my coverage guaranteed?

Once you’ve decided what coverage you want, an insurance contract is established between you and your insurance company, Certain underwriters at Lloyd’s. The terms of this contract are set out in your policy. Each policy is designed to meet the needs and desires of each individual ORV owner. The Superintendent of Insurance monitors the actions of insurance companies to protect your interests

What happens if my insurance company goes bankrupt?

Everyone insured by a private insurance company in Canada is protected by a special fund administered by the Property & Casualty Insurance Compensation Corporation. It is financed by the general Insurance industry to protect policyholders.

If a property and casualty insurance company (which includes ORV insurers) becomes insolvent, this special fund ensures that all pending claims are paid, up to a ceiling of $2,000,000 or the limit of the policy, whichever is lower. The deductible is either $500 or the usual deductible for the policy, whichever is greater. You are therefore guaranteed financial protection, even in the unlikely event that your insurance company goes bankrupt.

It is important to realize that insurance companies in Canada have a high degree of stability and operate within stringent government guidelines. These include a requirement to maintain substantial capital and to hold strong financial reserves.

Complaints or Concerns?

If you have concerns about the insurance you purchased, the broker, the adjuster or the underwriter, please contact OASIS via email with your name, policy number and concern. We will review your complaint and respond in a timely fashion.

If you have questions still not clarified, please contact your broker or Open Skies at 1 866 979 2747 or email : [email protected]