Ensure to Insure
Screenshot from YouTube video “Snowmobile catches fire outside of Island Pond, VT.”
I’m going to be completely honest here. You should insure your sled.
But snowmobile insurance is not something that anyone really wants to think about, let alone wants to write about. This story assignment got passed around quite a few different desks until it landed on mine. However, sled insurance is not something that should be ignored, with the cost of today’s machines averaging $18 grand by the time it’s sitting in your garage.
I had a little chat with Zach Schwingenschloegl (yes, that is the correct spelling and no I did not make that up. I have his business card and I checked the spelling about 17 times before posting this) at Capri Insurance in Kelowna about how to navigate through the confusing and boring world of insurance policies and how to choose the proper plan that suits sledders.
Make sure you’re covered if something like this ever happens to you! (Note: NSFW language)
Here’s a basic run down of ICBC registration and Capri Insurance physical damage coverage.
As you all know by now, if you live in BC you have to register your snowmobile with ICBC as of last year; there are three ways to do this:
a) If you were registered under the old snowmobile registry you can bring a copy of your MV1929 ( Snowmobile Registration ) and register your snowmobile under the new program.
b) If you weren’t registered under the old program you will need to bring in the original bill of sale from the dealership you bought the unit from. If you are the second or third owner you will need to bring continuity of ownership from you all the way back to the original dealership.
c) If you aren’t able to attain copies of the needed bills of sale you can complete an MV 1484 (Statutory Declaration). This document must be notarized by a Notary Public or a Commissioner for Taking Affidavits. Capri Insurance has Commissioners for Taking Affidavits located in all of their offices that can offer this service free of charge.
ICBC recommends purchasing optional liability insurance. Here’s a rundown of what it covers:
a) You’re able to purchase optional liability insurance through ICBC when you register your snowmobile. This insurance is called limited on-highway use and is referred to by ICBC as rate class 036. This coverage will cover you for the following ONLY: a) Travel directly across a highway or plowed forestry service road at a traffic light, stop sign, or other controlled crossing b) Loading or unloading from another vehicle in a parking lot and c) Travel along the highway within limits set out in a police-issued operation permit (MV1815).
b) If you choose not to purchase this coverage your unit will have registration only and is referred to by ICBC as rate class 919.
Capri Insurance also offers third party liability and is as follows:
a) Capri third party liability will provide protection to snowmobilers while operating their units on unplowed forestry service roads, trails, private land etc. The Capri program covers the snowmobiler for up to $1,000,000 if they’re responsible for causing bodily injury or property damage to someone else.
b) The $1,000,000 Third Party Liability coverage automatically extends to any rider using your snowmobile who has your permission and a valid driver’s licence.
So you built a $30,000 mod and want to insure it, Capri has you covered with their physical damage coverage. They offer three basic policies, but if you want full replacement value on you mod, you will have to get it appraised.
Physical Damage coverage provides protection for your snowmobile from damage or loss by fire, theft, transit, vandalism and even collision.
Capri offers three Physical Damage coverage options:
a) Gold Protection: All Perils. (Collision, Upset, Rollover, and Comprehensive)
b) Silver Protection: Comprehensive only coverage.
c) Bronze Protection: Basic Perils. (Fire, Theft, Attempted Theft, and Transit)
The good news is that their policy has no restrictions regarding theft of the insured unit under any coverage option, and it is valid anywhere in Canada or the continental USA.
There are discounts available as well:
a) Up to 25% discount to current members of approved organizations such as the BC Snowmobile Federation.
b) Discounts for snowmobilers who have completed an approved safety course.
c) Discounts to owners of machines that have an approved ignition system immobilizer.
Joining the BCSF also has benefits when purchasing insurance:
You pay only $70 for snowmobile liability with a referral fee being paid back to the BCSF for every policy. The coverage provides $1,000,000 in third party liability.
You receive a 25% discount on the Capri snowmobile physical damage program with a referral fee for each policy being paid back to the BCSF.
Here’s a couple of handy bits of info regarding where you can operate your sled:
Snowmobiles, including snowmobiles operated for pleasure purposes can operate on snow-covered Forest Service roads, provided that the roads:
a) have not been snowplowed, and
b) are otherwise not fit for travel by motor vehicles other than snowmobiles The operator is not required to have a drivers license however they must be: i) be 16 years of age or older, ii) and not have a driver’s license that is 1) suspended 1) cancelled, or 3) surrendered.
Straight forward, right? Well, Mr. Schwingenschloeg at Capri Insurance really knows his stuff when it comes to insuring your snowmobile, so the best thing you could do for yourself is give him a call and just let him deal with it.
Or you can get a quote online here:
Here’s Capri’s easy to understand sled insurance info page:
And some more info:
Here’s how you get a hold of Zach to make it his problem: 1-888-818-5821 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Good luck, and keep it between the mustard and the mayo!