The Insurance Every Dirt Bike Owner Needs

09/01/2016 11:36 am ET Updated Sep 02, 2017

Dirt bikes are a lot of fun but they can be dangerous. Part of being a responsible dirt bike owner includes being selective of who you allow to ride it and having an insurance policy for your bike.

Although dirt bikes are designed for navigating different terrains, accidents can happen. Inexperienced riders are especially vulnerable to harming either themselves or the dirt bike they are riding.

But only permitting experienced riders take your dirt bike for a spin (or no one at all) isn't enough to protect an owner from potentially major financial consequences. An owner could be liable for anyone who rides their dirt bike - whether they have permission or not.

Considering the potential costs of medical bills, damage to property or damage to a dirt bike itself, even wealthy owners should get insurance to avoid paying those costs out of pocket. Purchasing an insurance policy is the only way to mitigate that financial risk.

Many people wrongfully believe dirt bikes (and any injuries or damages related to them) are covered by homeowners insurance but they are not. Unless a dirt bike owner has a policy specifically for their vehicle, they are vulnerable to paying for those expenses.

The good news is dirt bikes are typically covered under motorcycle insurance policies, which are very easy to find, purchase and understand. The coverages are identical for both motorcycles and dirt bikes and are pretty straight forward.

Standard coverages for a dirt bike - bodily injury and property damage liability - are the most important. They cover any bodily injury to others or property damage a motorcycle rider might cause while operating their vehicle. So, for example, if a friend or neighbor crashes your motorcycle and injures his or herself, your insurance would cover those costs.

Medical costs for a dirt bike injury can be extremely high. For many owners, having to pay those expenses out of pocket would be financially devastating.

A dirt bike insurance policy that only includes bodily injury and property damage liability coverages is relatively inexpensive, considering the protection provided. Riders can get a the standard coverages for as little as $99 per year.

Another option available to dirt bike owners is medical payments coverage, which pays for any rider or passenger's medical bills resulting from an injury while riding. Medical payments claims can be filed no matter who is at fault for an accident and act as supplemental coverage if a rider meets their health insurance coverage limit. It's a nice additional layer of financial security in case a policyholder meets their claim limit for their bodily injury coverage.

Comprehensive coverage is another option dirt bike owners should consider purchasing. It repairs or replaces dirt bikes after damages due to perils such as fires or flood, as well as thefts. Like motorcycles, dirt bikes are susceptible to being stolen.