Is It Essential to Have Trailer Insurance? Let’s Take a Look…
Trailer insurance is often overlooked because trailers are hitched to a towing vehicle. People usually think that this means their trailer is covered by their car insurance.
Although there are instances where your car insurance will include liability coverage for your trailer, it’s important to note that the insurance for your truck or car may not extend to your trailer.
What Is Trailer Insurance?
Trailer insurance covers any size of trailer that you may use to tow or transport goods, vehicles, equipment, or animals behind your vehicle.
There are many different types of trailers that range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousands.
The most common type of trailers include:
- Conventional trailer: This is the most common type of trailer at 12-40 feet long.
- Fifth wheel trailer: This is attached to a vehicle using a hitch in the bed of the tow vehicle.
- Pop-up tent trailer: This is a collapsible trailer used for camping.
- Truck camper: This trailer is mounted on the bed of the truck with an over-cab area for sleeping.
- Horse trailer: This is a trailer that can hold one to two horses.
- Toy hauler: This is an RV-type trailer with living space and the ability to haul ATVs or motorcycles.
- Cargo and utility trailer: These are small trailers used for moving goods.
When Will My Car or Auto Insurance Cover My Trailer?
Your standard minimum liability insurance may cover your trailer, but only if it is considered eligible. These trailers need to be owned by you and registered in your name.
Eligible trailers include:
- Utility trailers.
- Travel trailers.
- Horse trailers.
Your minimum liability insurance coverage will extend beyond your vehicle to include any eligible trailers that you are towing.
This means that you will be covered for bodily injury claims even if they are caused while you are towing a trailer.
If the trailer is not roadworthy or registered, then you will not be able to cover your trailer under minimum liability insurance.
While your liability insurance will protect you if you are towing a trailer, your comprehensive or collision cover won’t extend to your trailer automatically.
This means that if you are involved in an accident, the insurance company will only cover the cost to repair or replace your car, and not the trailer.
Key Point: What Is Minimum Auto Liability Coverage?
Auto liability coverage is a type of insurance that helps to pay for any damage you may cause to property or the injury/death of a third party while driving.
Each U.S. state has different minimum liability requirements, but there are always three key aspects that are included:
Why Do I Need Trailer Insurance?
Whether it’s an oversight on behalf of the driver, or something unexpected like theft or vandalism, you need trailer insurance to protect yourself, your trailer, and anything that the trailer contains.
Here are some of the key reasons why you should consider a separate insurance policy for your trailer:
Each year, thousands of people are hurt or killed in hitching and towing accidents. In fact, 400 people are killed annually and 14,000 injured in preventable accidents.
The reality is that an accident can happen at any time and this is just one reason why trailer insurance is essential.
Whether it’s a small utility trailer or a large semi-truck, hitching and towing accidents can happen to inexperienced and experienced drivers alike.
Some reasons for common trailer accidents include:
- Excessive speed.
- Unexpected turns.
- Steep declines.
- Faulty brakes.
- Failure to use safety chains.
- Overweight load.
- Rusted components in the trailer hitch.
- Poor road conditions such as potholes.
Vandalism and theft
Thousands of trailers and the cargo that they are carrying are stolen or vandalized every year. For larger loads, the impact of this theft runs into billions of dollars.
Even if you are towing a horse trailer, motorcycle trailer, or are towing smaller goods, theft and vandalism still remain a very real threat.
In addition to comprehensive coverage and collision coverage (which we will cover in more detail later), you can speak to your insurance agent about trailer insurance that will cover the value of the goods that you are towing.
Adverse weather events
Storms such as hurricanes, tornados, flooding, and hail can cause irreparable damage to trailers.
Fire is another weather condition in states like California that can present a real threat to your trailer.
It’s important to consider these threats when choosing your trailer insurance coverage.
What Type of Insurance Coverage Should I Have for My Trailer?
Unfortunately, many trailer owners only realize that a trailer insurance policy is necessary after a loss or accident has occurred.
Even if you are towing a trailer for personal use, don’t assume that your standard auto policy covers you.
If you already have car insurance, be sure to contact your insurance agent to double-check your liability coverage.
Most of the time, a trailer will only be covered if it’s hooked up to a vehicle and will have no coverage if it’s not.
Even if it’s not a legal requirement in your state to have insurance coverage for your trailer, you don’t want to be caught without it.
If an accident were to take place, you may be covered for bodily injury, but your trailer and its cargo would not be covered if you don’t have trailer insurance.
A separate insurance policy for your trailer would also be highly beneficial to you if you experience theft or vandalism to your trailer, or if it’s damaged due to an adverse weather event.
In this case, trailer insurance could replace or repair the trailer, depending on the cover that you have.
In addition to basic liability coverage through your auto insurance policy, you will need to consider two types of insurance:
In the event of an accident, collision coverage will cover the damage to the trailer no matter who was at fault.
If your trainer is stolen, vandalized, or damaged by a storm or fire, comprehensive insurance will cover the cost to repair or replace your trailer.
How Do I Get Insurance for My Trailer?
Getting insurance for your trailer will be much the same as getting insurance for your car.
You will need to provide the insurance company with some details about the trailer and they will in turn provide you with a quote.
If you already have an auto policy in place, you will only need to provide these details to your insurance company:
- Type of trailer.
- Gross weight of the trailer.
- Manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of the trailer.
- Primary use of the trailer.
- Type of vehicle that will pull the trailer.
- Address where the trailer will be parked during the day and at night.
If you are looking to get insurance for your trailer from another company, or change the insurers of your auto policy, you will also need to provide these details to get a quote:
- Name and surname.
- Social security number.
- Home address.
- Address where the vehicle will be parked at night and during the day.
- Average driving distance per year.
- Make of the vehicle.
- Model of the car.
- Year of manufacture.
- The car’s vehicle identification number (VIN).
Looking to Protect Your Trailer and Cargo? We’ve Got You Covered with Cheap Trailer Insurance
Whether you need insurance for your trailer or auto insurance for your car, you can get a good idea of how much you may be spending on insurance when you use our free quote generator.
With a list of quotes that you can compare, you can choose an insurer that best suits your needs and pocket.
From here you can head to step two of the process, which is to secure your formal quote with the insurer of your choice.
Getting trailer insurance should be a stress-free process. With CheapInsurance.com we’ve got you covered with an insurance finder that’s quick and accurate!
Once you’ve entered your zip code, you can start comparing quotes today.