How To Screw Up Your Snowmobile Insurance Claim…

Don't let a delayed or denied snowmobile insurance claim spoil your trail riding.

Photo by Al Fletcher

Related: Sled Insurance Buying Tips


Something’s happened to you or your sled. So you want to file a snowmobile insurance claim. Hopefully, you found the right insurance to properly cover your snowmobile, read all the fine print and understand what’s covered and what’s not.

Now, you’ve got your proof of insurance slip, so what could possibly go wrong with your snowmobile insurance claim? Let ‘s count the some of the ways…

You bought the cheapest insurance available to save a few bucks upfront.

Maybe you decided based on recommendations from other riders on social media. But remember that old adage: “You get what you pay for?” Less expensive policies often have limited coverages. Along with many exclusions, that could derail your snowmobile insurance claim from the get-go. Read the policy carefully and ask plenty of questions before purchasing any coverage. Be wary of any prices that are too good to be true.

Photo by Al Fletcher

You provided inaccurate or false information.

Knowingly or not, if the information you provide to the insurance company to buy your policy or make your claim isn’t accurate, you may be SOL, and even have your coverage cancelled.

Your sled insurance has expired or you’re delinquent on premium payments.

Maybe you forgot to renew or stay current with your premium fees. The onus is on you, so if your policy isn’t in effect or paid up, your claim may not have a home.

You didn’t get or submit a police report for required incidents.

These include theft, fire, sled damage or bodily injury. Without substantiation from appropriate authorities, your snowmobile insurance claim may be DOA.

Your submitted police report indicates that the incident involved some kind of illegal behaviour on your part.

Does the police report of the incident point to actions that could be interpreted as being your fault? Things like riding impaired, recklessly or while your driver’s licence is suspended. If so, your insurer may have an open door to deny your claim.

Let's hope you never need to call a snowmobile insurance claim in from the trail!

Photo by Al Fletcher

Your claim resulted from actions you took (or didn’t take) with your sled that violated your policy terms & conditions.

Depending on your policy wording, these factors could include: failure to properly lock & secure your sled when unattended; engaging in competition, racing or stunt riding; transporting your sled either improperly or outside of the area covered by your policy; improper use or storage of jerry cans of fuel; sled operated by an unauthorized person; and riding 2-up (or more) on a sled purpose-built for one person.

You filed your claim late, incomplete or your insurer says it was never received.

Don’t leave anything to chance or to the insurer’s discretion with your claim. Keep copies of everything. Use signature-required registered mail or demand acknowledgement of email receipt. Find out who has been assigned to process your snowmobile insurance claim. Then follow up with them immediately and frequently. Provide all requested information as quickly as possible. Document all calls and conversations. For major claims involving large amounts of money, as may arise from bodily injury or death, seek legal advice.

You bought your coverage online from an anonymous call centre sales person.

So who do you call for advice when you have a snowmobile insurance claim? Buying insurance should be treated with due consideration and investigation, same as any other major purchase you make. Sure, the upfront premium is only a fraction of the price of a new home or truck. But what you’re really buying with insurance is after the fact certainty. And peace of mind for yourself and your loved ones if things go tragically wrong and you need your insurer to help put your like back together, when you can’t. That’s why I highly recommend using a reputable and knowledgeable insurance broker from the outset. Someone to count on for solid advice and to go to bat for you with the insurer at claim time.

Photo by Al Fletcher

My Last Word

I’m not a lawyer or involved in the insurance business (except as a policy holder). So don’t take everything I’ve said here as gospel or without verifying it for yourself. But I’ve heard lots of stories from about snowmobile insurance claims that have been reduced, delayed or denied for the reasons mentioned above.  And I’m sure, for many others I’m not even aware of. So do your homework upfront and purchase the kind of coverage you won’t regret.

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The tips and advice in this blog are the opinions of the author, may not work in every situation and are intended only for the convenience and interest of the reader, who has the personal responsibility to confirm the validity, accuracy and relevancy of this information prior to putting it to their own use.


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