All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are a very popular pastime in Alberta, but they’ve been the topic of major safety controversies for some time. According to a recent study conducted by the Alberta Centre for Injury Control & Research (ACICR) and reported by Global News, Alberta is lagging behind many other jurisdictions when it comes to ATV safety.
A Surprising Lack of Safety Guidelines
In Alberta, municipalities are responsible for setting their own ATV safety guidelines. Shockingly, 41 percent of all local governments in the province’s rural areas do not have any ATV safety regulations on the books at all. Furthermore, the province is averaging 14 ATV-related deaths per year, with more than three-quarters of those deaths being caused by head injuries.
With statistics like that on the books, it’s little wonder the province is finally looking to require the use of helmets on ATVs. It’s becoming especially urgent given the fact that hundreds of children under the age of 16 are injured on ATVs each year, resulting in too many preventable deaths.
The Proposed ATV Helmet Law
Alberta’s proposed law, which would come into effect in the spring of 2017 if it is passed (the Spring 2017 sitting is scheduled to begin March 2), will require everyone operating or riding on an off-highway vehicle to wear a helmet on ATVs in Alberta at all times. The law would also extend to a wide range of other vehicles, including:
- Dirt bikes
- Off-road AWD vehicles
- Any other vehicle specifically designed for travel across land, water, marshland, swampland, ice, or snow
The proposed laws would only apply to public property. Further information is available from this archived Global News article. You can also link to this resource from the Government of Alberta for complete details on the proposed law, and how it will affect recreational vehicle use.
ATV Insurance Alberta: Coverage Guidelines for ATVs and Motorcycles
With ATV safety becoming the topic of heightened scrutiny, now is an excellent time to review your insurance coverage. ATVs and motorcycles are insured much the same way as regular on-road passenger vehicles, such as cars and pickup trucks. In other words, you are required to carry coverage that protects you from financial liability resulting from injuries and property damage caused by the use of your ATV or dirt bike.
There are three main types of coverage for ATVs and dirt bikes, each of which has its own advantages and drawbacks:
- All perils coverage
As the name implies, all perils coverage protects your ATV or dirt bike from any imaginable situation. You will be covered in the event of injury or death, property damage, fire, theft, vandalism, weather damage, and more.
The advantages of all perils coverage are obvious: you can’t get protection that’s any more complete, and it’s ideal if your ATV or dirt bike is particularly valuable. However, on the down side, this is the most expensive option on the market.
- Comprehensive insurance
If you’re looking for a good match of affordability and flexibility, comprehensive ATV or dirt bike insurance is an excellent option. It covers a wide range of possible situations, excluding only fire, theft, vandalism, and damage resulting from collisions.
The key advantage of comprehensive ATV or dirt bike insurance is that it provides broad protection against most perils for a more affordable price. However, the down side is that it does have gaps and limitations that only all-perils coverage can close.
With motorcycle insurance in Alberta, things work slightly differently. Since these vehicles are primarily used on-road, they are regulated much more like standard cars and trucks. And, of course, Alberta has already had motorcycle helmet requirements in place for many years now.
- Basic perils insurance
Coverage options in this family meet minimum provincial guidelines for ATVs and dirt bikes, but only provide bare-bones protection. The obvious advantage is that it’s very budget-friendly, and it’s an excellent option if your ATV or dirt bike doesn’t have a particularly high replacement value. However, the down side is that you’re exposed to significantly more risk than you would be if you invested in comprehensive or all-perils coverage.
Turn to Lane’s for Answers about ATV Insurance in Alberta
Lane’s Insurance is here to answer any questions you may have about ATV insurance in Alberta. As a leading Alberta-based brokerage, we only work with the province’s most trusted carriers, providing essential coverage at affordable rates, all with value-added service and outstanding claims support.
To learn more, please contact your local Lane’s Insurance office. We operate in: