Snowmobiling Without Liability Insurance?

Imagine this. It’s a winter weekend. A few groups of people head to one of the local ponds, where there are a string of cabins — fun on a Saturday. But visibility isn’t good as John and Max decide to take their snowmobiles out onto the frozen pond for a spin. John suddenly pulls right. Max accidentally hits him. John receives serious head and back injuries, leading to an extended hospital stay and substantial financial loss; He can’t return to his fly-out mining job. The situation is tragic, and compounded by the fact that Max has no liability insurance. John sues and Max has to declare bankruptcy.

Sound dramatic? It is. And it is possible. In Canada, of all popular winter sports, snowmobiling has the highest rate of serious injury. In Newfoundland and Labrador, liability insurance is required by law where a snowmobile will be operated off the owner’s property and driven across a highway. Incredibly, some people take their chances and ride without liability coverage.

Perhaps they think little can go wrong in the back country, away from roads. Collisions, though, do happen. Damage to property can happen too. Bankruptcy can occur and assets can be lost after a terrible accident. It can be a life changer.

Consider this:

  • Liability insurance can protect you in the case of injury to others or damage to property
  • Others’ liability insurance can protect you in the case of your injury or damage to your property

One golden rule of snowmobiling is never to ride alone. Another is not to drink and ride. We can add a third: make sure you, and everyone in your riding party, is sufficiently covered. “The season” is just around the corner, and we wish all of Newfoundland and Labrador’s snowmobile lovers the best of powder and tracks. When the ground is covered, get covered, and get out there and have fun! Safe trails, everyone.