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rider falls off as snowmobile crashesThirty-four deaths involved snowmobile crashes in Minnesota from fall/winter 2013 through winter/spring 2018. We have more than 22,000 miles of trails and more snowmobile owners than any other state besides Wisconsin. We’ve previously written about our state’s safety regulations. Insurance coverage is another important topic when it comes to snowmobiles. While reimbursement from insurance can never compensate for the loss of a loved one or for permanent impairment resulting from a crash, it can help ease financial hardships.

Snowmobile coverage can be added to some insurers’ homeowners policies. However, purchasing a separate policy may provide the best protection. Just as with auto insurance, there are different coverages you can purchase. Here are some:

Liability

If you cause an accident, liability coverage will pay for property damage and injuries to victims. It can also pay the other party’s medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses, as well as reimburse for pain and suffering, disfigurement, and permanent impairment. Assuming you bought enough coverage, your liability policy can protect your assets if you are sued.

However, there’s a crucial component missing from almost all snowmobile liability policies sold in Minnesota. Household exclusions, also called family exclusions, mean that if a policy holder negligently injures a spouse or his or her child, no liability coverage is available.  Liability coverage for these machines doesn’t cover family members when they are injured by a family member’s negligence. Since families often enjoy riding recreational vehicles together, this is an unfortunate gap that isn’t likely to change unless new laws are enacted by the State Legislature requiring all snowmobile liability coverage to extend to family members.

Medical

Ask your agent about medical coverage before you buy snowmobile insurance. You may be able to purchase a snowmobile policy that affords medical coverage to family members. Med pay can help cover health insurance deductibles and co-pays, or other medical expenses not covered by a major medical policy. Those other expenses might include dental or chiropractic care, depending on the language of the policy.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist

You should buy coverage that protects you if you are hurt by someone without any insurance, or whose coverage is inadequate. Ask your agent for this coverage before you buy snowmobile insurance. This extremely important coverage can reimburse you for your injuries, medical expenses and lost wages if the other rider fails to carry insurance or carries only minimal insurance.

If you are injured in a snowmobile crash caused by someone else’s negligence, you should talk to an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Our firm will begin working with the involved insurance companies so you can focus on healing. We have successfully handled many snowmobile crash claims and are ready to assist you.

Our firm has recovered more than $125 million on behalf of victims and your optimum financial award is our goal. While many claims can be concluded in settlement after negotiations, we have the experience and financial resources to take a case to trial when necessary.

Besides Rochester, we serve the following major southeast Minnesota cities: Red Wing, Winona, Mankato, Austin, Albert Lea, and Owatonna, and all outlying communities, as well as the cities of Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth, and Bloomington. We also serve the Iowa cities of Mason City, Charles City, Osage, Spencer, Garner, Forest City, and Northwood and the Wisconsin cities of La Crosse, Onalaska, Sparta, Viroqua, River Falls, Ellsworth, Whitehall, and Black River Falls.

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