Did you know that by buying your ATV trail permit, you benefit from civil liability coverage? But that coverage has its limits!
With their permits, ATV owners can ride on trails marked by the Fédération québécoise des clubs quads (FQCQ). The permits are valid for 12 months and expire on November 1 of each year.
What’s new since 2016: ATV owners who purchase their trail permits also benefit from civil liability insurance worth $1,000,000 if they injure another person during an accident on the trails or while transporting their vehicle.
How does this insurance cover you?
The Act respecting off-highway vehicles states that all off-road vehicle owners must have civil liability insurance for at least $500,000. Since some owners don’t have any personal insurance, the FQCQ ensures that riders on their trails comply with the law by including this coverage with the trail permits.
What are the limits of this type of insurance?
- If you don’t have civil liability insurance with an insurer and you don’t renew your trail permit, you’re not covered. You would therefore incur significant financial losses if an accident were to occur. Coverage provided by your insurer is renewed automatically so you would never find yourself in this type of situation.
- ATV owners who already have civil liability insurance are obliged to take out additional coverage. They have the option of cancelling the insurance portion of their permit by submitting a request on the FQCQ website, but they can also keep both coverages if they wish to benefit from a higher coverage amount. In the event of an accident on the trails, this additional coverage comes in handy because the Société d’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) does not provide any coverage.
- Insurance provided by the FQCQ is limited to $1,000,000, but insurers recommend taking out coverage for a higher amount. It’s important to understand that the SAAQ does not cover injuries that occur on trails. If you cause serious injury to a third party, you’re at risk of being sued for a significant amount, which is why you need to be adequately covered.
- If you have your own personal insurance and decide to keep the federation’s coverage, you may have to make two claims in the event of an accident (one claim for injuries caused and the second for damages to your ATV), which would complicate the process.
- Your vehicle is not covered for damages if you only have civil liability insurance. To be covered, you need to take out leisure vehicle insurance. You could then decide whether to remove the civil liability portion from the policy, or keep it for a higher coverage amount.
What can you do to get better coverage?
We strongly recommend that you keep the coverage you have with your insurer, and look at the insurance included with the trail permit as additional coverage. This way, you’ll be adequately covered.
Talk to your certified insurance representative, who will be able to tell you which risks you’re exposed to as an ATV owner.
Texte: Pierre Duchesne, Personal Insurance Advisor
La Capitale General Insurance