With some exceptions, all snowmobiles are required to be registered in accordance with the provincial Off-Road Vehicles Act of Manitoba. Some of the most common exceptions are when the snowmobile is operated solely on land occupied by the owner, when the owner is a registered trapper or fisher or when the snowmobile is operated by a resident of a remote community.
When you register your snowmobile, you and all operators are automatically covered for $200,000 third party liability in the event that you cause damage with your machine or injure another. As well, ownership is more easily proven and traced in the event that your snowmobile is stolen. However, registration provides no coverage for collision damage, theft or injury to you as an operator or for injury to your passenger.
- Who can register a snowmobile?
No one under the age of 16 is permitted to register a snowmobile. If you are between 16 and 18 years old, you may register a snowmobile if you provide written consent from your parent or legal guardian. When registering, you may be asked to provide an official birth certificate or other acceptable proof of age.
- What insurance coverage is included when I register my snowmobile?
The provincial government rules that registration of all off-road vehicles, including snowmobiles, must carry automatic third party liability of $200,000. This coverage applies if you cause injury to another person or cause damage to another’s property while operating your snowmobile.
- What happens if I am injured while operating my snowmobile?
You don’t have any insurance coverage for injuries unless you purchase Accidents Benefits coverage. Regardless of fault, this coverage provides weekly payments for total or partial disability, payment for permanent impairment, reimbursement of out-of-pocket medical expenses and death and funeral payments.
- Will I receive insurance benefits if another snowmobile operator who doesn’t have any insurance coverage, or just has the basic $200,000 third party liability, injures me or a member of my family?
If the other operator has no insurance coverage, then you wouldn’t receive any benefits through insurance. However, if the operator has the basic $200,000 coverage and is found to be at-fault, then you could receive benefits to that level, depending on the damage and injury incurred. In either case, you may also sue the other operator in a court of law; however, if they do not have enough financial resources you would have to pay all remaining costs yourself.
To protect yourself and your family from under-insured snowmobile operators, you can purchase Family Protection coverage that increases your benefits by an additional $200,000, $1 million, $2 million or $5 million.
- Am I able to increase my third party liability over the basic $200,000 to protect my finances if I am found to be at-fault in an accident?
Yes, you can purchase extended Third Party Liability Protection of $1 million, $2 million or $5 million.
- Does this basic coverage apply to damage or theft of my snowmobile?
No, you must purchase additional insurance for this type of protection. Manitoba Public Insurance offers Collision Damage Protection with either a $200 or $500 deductible. You can also buy Comprehensive Damage coverage for losses such as fire, theft, hail and vandalism with either a $200 or $500 deductible.