Liability insurance required for OHV owners
BY SHERRY MARTELL
The Truro Daily News
TRURO – Anyone operating an off-highway vehicle (OHV) off their property must have liability insurance of at least $500,000.
Accident benefit coverage is also a legal requirement of newly introduced legislation.
“In keeping with other changes to the use of off-highway vehicles, this is an important step in establishing responsible rules for OHV use," said Jamie Muir, minister of Service Nova Scotia. “This may help address the concerns of private landowners who don’t mind OHVs using their property, but are concerned about damages and liability.”
The liability insurance is required under the Off-highway Vehicles Act and will cover bodily injury to a third party or damage to their property up to the insurance limit.
Chris Bavis, co-ordinator of Business Development for Macdonald Chisholm Trask Insurance, said off-highway Vehicle insurance has been available for a number of years but because it is now a mandatory requirement he is anticipating an increase in demand.
“We’ve set up a team specifically with this product,” said Bavis.
“We could see 1,000 policies in the first month and we are trying to prepare for that.”
He said the standard rate for $1-million liability coverage for an ATV is $150 and for snowmobiles about $100.
The insurance company is offering a specialized product for ATVs, Open Skies, including options not always provided by regular market providers.
An ATV claim would typically not affect vehicle insurance premiums.
“Typically no, as long as a policy remains in force for that ATV it would then be handled under that policy and any premium increase would affect that policy only,” said Bavis. “That being said, if the incident relates to motor vehicle violations such as driving while under the influence or dangerous operation of a vehicle, any convictions could affect this and other policies in force.”
The fine for operating an off-highway vehicle without third-party liability insurance is $250 for a first offence.
To view the full regulations visit www.gov.ns.ca/just/regulations/rxam-z.htm#ohveh