Does car insurance cover trailers towed behind your vehicle? Does car insurance cover boats and other items towed behind your car? Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about whether or not auto insurance covers trailers and other items towed behind your vehicle.
Most Auto Insurance Policies Provide Liability Insurance for Trailers
If you are towing a trailer behind your insured vehicle, then your auto insurance policy may cover it. Most auto insurance policies provide liability coverage for trailers. If you own the trailer, if your vehicle is insured, and if you get into an accident, then you should have liability insurance on your trailer.
However, not all policies work this way. Not all policies from all insurance companies cover trailers, for example. Guidelines vary between states and companies. Some policies may explicitly forbid any type of trailer coverage. Other policies may require your trailer to be listed on your declarations page.
Generally, however, your trailer will be covered under your car’s liability coverage. Comprehensive and collision coverage is a different story. Furthermore, certain trailers – and other things towed behind your vehicle – may be exempt from all types of car insurance coverage.
Your Trailer May Need Its Own Comprehensive or Collision Coverage
Many auto insurance policies automatically extend liability coverage to your trailer. The same cannot be said, however, about comprehensive and collision coverage. Many insurance companies require you to buy a separate insurance policy to receive comprehensive or collision coverage.
Some insurance companies are more generous. They will extend your comprehensive or collision coverage to the trailer without requiring you to buy a separate policy. In other cases, your trailer may need to be listed on the declarations page of your policy to be covered. Or, your insurance company may need to add an endorsement to your policy verifying coverage for your trailer.
Remember there’s a big difference between liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage. All three are types of car insurance that cover different things:
Liability Coverage: Liability coverage covers damage you cause to other people and property during a collision. It may cover the medical expenses of the other driver if you caused an at-fault collision, for example, as well as the cost of repairing the other driver’s vehicle. If your trailer was damaged during a collision with another vehicle, and the other driver was at-fault, then your trailer should be covered by the other driver’s liability insurance.
Collision Coverage: Collision coverage covers damage to your own vehicle during a collision – even if you were at-fault. It covers the cost of repairing your vehicle to its pre-loss condition. Or, if your car is sufficiently damaged, your insurance company will send you a check for the replacement value of your vehicle.
Comprehensive Coverage: Comprehensive coverage covers your trailer or vehicle in non-accident situations. If your trailer is damaged by hail, for example, or destroyed during a flood, then you may be able to make a claim under your comprehensive damage.
Talk to your insurance company to verify the type of coverage on your trailer. Depending on your policy, your trailer could have liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage – or no coverage whatsoever.
Items Towed On Your Trailer May or May Not Be Covered
Up to this point, we’re assuming you are hauling a trailer with nothing on it. Most auto insurance policies will extend coverage to a trailer towed behind your own vehicle (assuming it’s your own trailer and not a rented trailer).
However, this coverage does not necessarily extend to the item towed on your trailer – like an ATV, RV, a boat, or a separate vehicle.
Sometimes, your auto insurance policy will cover anything on the trailer. In some cases, however, you will need to buy a separate insurance policy – or at least pay to add the item onto your current car insurance policy.
This is where insurance companies can vary widely. Some insurance companies will extend liability to your boat and your trailer while it’s being towed behind your vehicle. Typically, they only extend liability insurance – not comprehensive or collision coverage.
Which Types of Trailers Are Not Covered by Insurance?
Generally, your auto insurance policy will extend liability coverage to anything towed behind your vehicle. Certain types of trailers, however, are not eligible for coverage on a typical policy:
Rental trailers, like a trailer you rent from U-Haul for a move
- A farm wagon used to carry people
- A trailer or mechanical device towed by a motor vehicle and used in a business or occupation other than farming or ranching
- A trailer or car top carrier designed to be attached to the roof of a car
- A vehicle other than a trailer being towed behind your vehicle
Conclusion: Talk to Your Insurance Company to Verify Trailer coverage
Most car insurance policies will extend liability coverage to a trailer towed behind your vehicle – assuming your vehicle is insured and you own the trailer.
However, many car insurance policies do not automatically provide comprehensive and collision coverage for your trailer. In order to receive comprehensive and collision coverage, you may need to contact your insurance company and buy a separate policy.