While the rules and requirements for registering and insuring street motorcycles are clear, insurance requirements for dirt bikes can be a little more confusing.
For one, dirt bikes aren’t always ridden on public highways or even public land. (What is a Dirt Bike?)
Additionally, not every state is explicit when it comes to coverage requirements.
However, if you’re going to ride a dirt bike, it’s a smart idea to carry insurance coverage – regardless of whether it’s required by law or not.
Read on for more details.
Do you need dirt bike insurance?
You will often need to carry proof of dirt bike insurance if you plan on riding on public riding trails (state-owned) or paved streets.
If your dirt bike is street legal and has license plates, you will definitely be required to have an active motorcycle insurance policy when you ride.
Since accidents can occur while off-road riding, carry liability coverage is the best way to protect yourself in the event that you are responsible for damages to other riders or other property.
Causing an accident without insurance can result in your being personally liable for up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
So, bottom line – whether you need it or not – you should always carry some liability insurance coverage when riding your dirt bike.
On top of that, you can protect your bike from other damages and events with full coverage policies.
Is your dirt bike covered by other insurance policies?
Many new riders make the mistake in thinking that their dirt bike will be covered by other insurance policies they may have – like their motorcycle insurance or home insurance.
However, many of these other policies will explicitly exclude coverage for dirt bikes.
Riding a dirt bike off-road is a lot different than riding a street motorcycle.
That’s why dirt bike specific coverage is often required.
Which States Require Dirt Bike Insurance?
If you have a street-legal or dual sport dirt bike, you will definitely be required to carry motorcycle insurance in every state (except Florida).
If you have an off-road only dirt bike, state requirements for dirt bike insurance will depend on where you ride.
If you’re only riding off-road on your own private property, insurance is generally not required.
However, when riding on state-owned land and public OHV riding areas, proof of insurance is often required.
When riding on OHV trails in state forests or state parks, you’ll often need to have at least liability coverage for your dirt bike.
This will protect you if you are at-fault for an accident.
Additionally, privately-owned off-road riding areas may set their own requirements for insurance coverage.
Some examples of popular off-road riding states that require dirt bike insurance include:
- New Jersey.
Be sure to confirm your state’s and riding area’s requirements for insurance coverage before you ride.
What Type of Dirt Bike Insurance is Required?
When dirt bike insurance is required by law, you will need to carry at least the minimum liability coverage requirements.
Liability coverage kicks in and protects you financially when you are responsible for causing damage to other dirt bikes, property, or if you injure another rider.
Your liability coverage will include:
- Bodily Injury Coverage, which pays for medical expenses incurred by other riders when you are at fault for an accident.
- Property Damage Coverage, which pays for damage that you cause to property such as other bikes, fences, buildings, etc.
Whether or not your state requires it, you should always carry liability coverage when you operate any type of vehicle – including dirt bikes.
On top of that, you can get optional coverage such as:
- Comprehensive coverage, which pays for damages caused by things like hitting a stationary object, fire, theft, water damage, vandalism, etc.
- Collision coverage will pay for damages from an accident, regardless of fault.
The cost of dirt bike insurance will depend on which coverage you choose as well as other factors, such as:
- You age and demographics.
- The bike you have.
- Where and how often you ride.