Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...

  • Trailers are only partially covered under your personal car insurance policy while they are being towed
  • It’s important to review the restrictions on your auto policy contract to find out
  • Under a standard policy, you have to be the owner of the trailer for coverage to extend to a trailer in tow
  • There are weight restrictions to be aware of. Trailers must always weigh less than 10,000 pounds
  • Only the motor vehicle liability coverage limits that you’ve selected will pay if you have a loss while towing

Trailers can really change your vacationing experience. You’ll never have to worry about renting a hotel room again.

Whether you’re going to spend time cooking out at the beach for the weekend or you’re going on a summer road trip, with your very own travel trailer in tow, you’ll be comfortable and save money in the process.

You can cut lodging expenses when you have a fully furnished trailer with a fully stocked kitchen, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to worry about other costs.

One cost you’ll have to budget for is insurance.

Compare car insurance premiums today and see how much you could save.

You may have standard coverage through your auto insurance provider, but coverage isn’t guaranteed. Here’s what you need to know:

Standard Auto Policies Do Cover Trailers and Other Unlisted Vehicles

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Auto insurance policies are indemnity contracts that cover the property that’s listed on your declaration’s page.

You need to be sure to list any car, truck, or van that you own and drive for personal use, but there are scenarios where cars that you don’t list or pay for will still have coverage.

It’s shocking to some, but coverage is afforded to protect the policyholder from preventable lawsuits. You should look at your contract and see what your insurer says a covered auto is defined as.

There are named driver and named auto policies available, but most standard companies define covered autos as the following:

  • Vehicles purchased by one or all of the named insureds after the start of the term
  • Vehicles rented by one or more of the named insureds during the term
  • Temporary substitute vehicles borrowed by the named insured when a covered vehicle is involved in a loss or when it’s being serviced
  • Trailers owned by the named insured

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Is any type of trailer covered?

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There are a ton of different types of trailers that you can purchase that each suit a different purpose.

They are hauling trailers, horse trailers, utility trailers, concession trailers, and the ever popular travel trailer. For your trailer to qualify for any type of coverage under your policy, all of the following conditions needs to be met:

  • It must be for personal use and not for commercial use
  • The policyholder must be the registered owner of the trailer
  • The trailer must be registered to be towed legally
  • You must be towing the trailer behind a covered auto on your policy
  • The trailer must weigh less than 10,000 pounds
  • You can’t permanently be living in your trailer

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What coverage will cover you while you’re towing a trailer?

You can’t just assume that your standard insurance is going to provide you gap-free coverage. There will be gaps in the protection whenever you’re towing a trailer as long as you’re only relying on the coverage afforded under your car insurance.

Here are the coverage options that will pay when you’re in an accident while the trailer is hitched to your car:

  • Bodily Injury Liability – pays for injuries sustained by other drivers when you’re in an accident and your car or the trailer collide with a car and cause injuries
  • Property Damage Liability – pays for damages to someone else’s property if your car or your trailer collide with other vehicles, fences, trees, buildings, etc.
  • Medical Payments – pays for your own immediate medical bills when you need to seek medical attention after an auto-related accident
  • Uninsured Motorist Protection – pays for your medical bills, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs when you’re injured after having an accident with an uninsured vehicle

What happens if the car isn’t hitched to your vehicle when a loss happens?

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Your trailer has to be hitched to your very own car if you want those limits above to protect you.

If you are borrowing a friend’s car or you’re renting a car to tow the trailer, there’s a chance that your claim could be denied by your insurer. It all depends on the circumstances and how the car’s main insurance works.

If the trailer isn’t hitched to any vehicle, your standard insurance won’t provide any coverage for third-party damages and injuries. It’s not likely that your trailer can damage property or injure someone while it’s not being transported, but it can happen in the grips of a storm.

When this happens, you’ll have to file a claim against your property liability or your individual trailer policy.

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Is damage to your trailer covered?

If you have full coverage on your covered autos the physical damage coverage won’t automatically extend to your trailer. Your comprehensive and collision coverage doesn’t protect anything that you tow even if it meets all of the requirements above.

The physical damage coverage will still pay to repair your car if it’s damaged while towing your trailer.

If you need physical damage coverage to your trailer or it’s being financed, you’ll have to buy a separate trailer policy. These policies are sold through some auto companies and other specialty carriers that partner with travel agencies.

These policies will include liability coverage, comprehensive, collision, medical payments, and property coverage for items that you keep stored in the trailer while on trips. You can even add an endorsement for protection while you’re living in the trailer.

As you can see, there are some very serious restrictions that you should know about when you want to cover your trailer. You will have liability protection to safeguard you but you might still want to buy damage protection.

If you want to get quotes for your trailer so that you can safeguard yourself, use the Internet and compare premiums for trailer insurance now. Try our free quote tool today.