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I was mortified when I dumped my dirt bike in the creek near my best friend’s home. The engine wouldn’t start. What would my family say?

I decided to walk the bike home. It was four miles, so I had plenty of time to consider different excuses. Had it been left out in the rain? Did some random flooding event come down the roads and trails by our property?

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As I thought about it, I realized there was nothing I could say or do to cover the fact that I’d flooded the dirt bike. I began thinking about negotiating a payment plan to pay for the repairs.

My parents caught up on the road as I walked home. They asked what had happened, so I told them the truth. My mother was stern, but my stepdad just laughed.

“I’ve got the dirt bike insured,” he said. “We’ll get enough to replace it completely, and I can work on restoring it to give us a second one if they total it.”

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How Many Riders Experience Accidents on Dirt Bikes?

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were an estimated 240,000 emergency department-treated injuries associated with dirt bike riding in the United States in 2020.

This statistic includes injuries ranging from scratches and bruises to more severe issues like broken bones, skull fractures, and spinal cord injuries. Thankfully, I only wounded my pride when I ditched mine in the creek.

My friend still sends me memes on Facebook to remind me of that day.

That’s why riding safely and wearing proper safety gear is essential for minimizing your risk of injury during an accident.

Does Dirt Bike Insurance Cover Damage for Off-Road Use?

Most standard motorcycle insurance policies do not cover damages incurred while riding off-road or unpaved terrain, including dirt bike riding.

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Some insurance companies offer specific policies designed for off-road vehicles, including dirt bikes. This option supports equipment damage and liability coverage for injuries or damages.

It’s essential to read the fine print and understand the policy details before purchasing off-road or dirt bike insurance. Some may restrict where you can ride, require specific safety equipment, or have higher deductibles or premiums.

Will My Insurance Cover Dirt Bike Racing Activities?

Dirt bike racing activities are considered high-risk, even if you bring your equipment to a licensed track for an authorized competition.

A dirt bike falls with a rider falls

Insurers may offer track-day policies that let you race your dirt bike. The quoted rates are often for the event only, and you need to work with your agent or organizer to secure the necessary coverage for your activities.

Street racing is typically illegal, so most insurers would not cover any damages to your dirt bike from this activity.

When you can get a dirt bike racing policy, you’ll find some insurers may exclude coverage for certain types of injuries or damages.

Do I Need Dirt Bike Insurance for Street-Legal Riding?

If you plan to ride your dirt bike on public roads, you must have liability insurance and meet any other legal requirements for street-legal operations in your state.

Liability insurance covers damages or injuries you may cause to others while riding your dirt bike on the street.

Most states in the US require motorcycles, including street-legal dirt bikes, to be insured. Some jurisdictions also require additional protection, such as uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, to have financial safeguards available if you’re involved in an accident with another driver who doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your damages.

If you plan to ride on public roads, you might need a title, plates, and tags for your dirt bike. Some exceptions apply, including if you only ride in your specific neighborhood in some areas.

Should I Insure My Dirt Bike?

Insuring your dirt bike is a good idea, especially if it’s a high-value model or you ride frequently.

Dirt bikes can be expensive to repair or replace if damaged, and liability claims from accidents can also be costly.

Although it might not be necessary for specific situations, it’s still worth reviewing the different insurance types to protect your finances if an unexpected event occurs. Even if you don’t often ride, checking collisions and comprehensive benefits to cover damages from other objects or events like theft or fire is worthwhile.

It’s important to shop around and compare policies from different insurance providers to find the coverage that best meets your needs and budget.

After all, you never know when you might dump your dirt bike in a creek.

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Mike Navarette has more than a decade of experience in the auto insurance industry, but that's not his true passion. He loves getting on a motorcycle to explore roads he's never traveled. You'll find Mike in the garage working on something when he isn't helping clients or leaning into curves. It's sometimes a side hustle, more often a favor, but it keeps his hands busy doing something productive. Since the first time his father strapped on his helmet and took him for a ride, Mike has loved bikes. That passion, along with a desire to help others through a deep understanding of insurance policies, led to the creation of Motorcycle Ride Coverage.

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