Do’s and Don’ts of Motorcycle, Boat and ATV Insurance

Follow this specialty vehicle insurance advice so you don’t get taken for a ride.

Does the warm weather have you ready to go for a ride on your motorcycle, boat or all-terrain vehicle (ATV)? Before you head out, let’s review some important points about the insurance for these vehicles—called specialty insurance—and see why it can be a smart play for owners of specialty vehicles.

Female motorcyclist riding down a road along a coastline with the blue waters in the background. Brook Pifer/Getty Images

Motorcycle insurance

DO ask about motorcycle insurance discounts. Some options include savings for motorcycles that are equipped with an antilock braking system or an antitheft device.

DON’T pay for motorcycle insurance coverage you don’t need. For example, if you own an older bike, you might want to check its value so you’re not paying for excessive collision insurance or total loss coverage.

→ Tip: Want to insure a two-wheeled vehicle such as a scooter or moped? Insurance through AAA offers coverage for these types of rides as long as they’re registered vehicles with valid tags. You can also insure golf carts, dirt bikes and snowmobiles. Be sure to get a motorcycle insurance quote.

Family enjoying a boat ride on a lake with the sun setting in the background. Andersen Ross/Getty Images

Boat insurance

DO understand that a boat insurance policy with an agreed amount value guarantees a specific amount of money to replace a totaled boat, while an actual cash value policy reimburses you for the value of the boat with depreciation figured in.

DON’T turn down uninsured boater coverage. It can ease the financial impact if you or others on your boat are injured in a hit and-run or by a boater who doesn’t have liability insurance.

→ Tip: Before launching, review boating safety rules with everyone on board. If you’re new to boating or your boat is new, consider getting a free Vessel Safety Check from the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. Visit for more information.

→ Tip: AAA Members can save 15% on Sea Tow International memberships, which provides on-the-water services such as fuel delivery and jump starts.

Couple on a mountain riding around on an ATV iStock

ATV insurance

DO insure your ATV year-round. Even in storage, ATVs can be damaged by falling shelves, burned in a garage fire, stolen by thieves and more. Consider purchasing umbrella insurance, which can provide coverage if there’s damage or liability that exceeds your policy limits.

DON’T assume your home or auto insurance policy will cover your ATV. Most home and auto policies won’t, especially when you aren’t on your own property. Also, many national, state and local parks require riders to be properly insured.

→ Tip: A hands-on safety training course can be a big help for new riders. Regardless of your level of experience, always wear a helmet and eye protection, boots, and gloves. ATVs are made for off-road use. In many states, it’s illegal to ride them on roads.

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