I’ve never lived in Alaska, but I have friends who did. They said one of the tricks to living there is to forget about having a car, and instead drive a snowmachine (their word — I call it a snowmobile). I’m sure using a car or truck
is just as useful in Alaska as it is here in Michigan or any part of the six-state Hastings Mutual coverage area. But if you’re traveling somewhere that’s almost constantly covered in snow, a snowmobile is less likely to leave you stranded.
Of course, there’s plenty of opportunity to drive snowmobiles in our part of the country, more as a winter fun activity. Michigan State University estimated that the average snowmobiler in Michigan spends more than $4,000 annually on equipment, travel, and recreation time related to snowmobiling — it’s a winter hobby just as common as skiing and ice skating.
Snowmobiles themselves can also be covered by Hastings Mutual, as part of our Homeowners or Farmowners policy. You can talk with your local independent insurance agent about the specifics of your snowmobile, or the one you’re looking to buy, to make sure it’s covered just like your car is.
Driving a snowmobile is just like driving any other vehicle — and as I mentioned last week, there are some simple things you can do to drive safely in the winter weather. Keeping an eye out for other drivers and moving slowly in busy areas is just a start.
There are also a few guidelines specific to snowmobiling:
The International Association of Snowmobile Administrators cautions riders to be especially careful near groomers, the large machines that smooth and prepare snowy paths for future snowmobile riding. Groomers are intentionally slow and need time to do their work. The trails themselves need time to freeze too, or they’ll only be more rugged and difficult to ride.
What's the best trail to ride in your part of the country? Let me know in the comments.
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