Do Auto Insurance Policies Cover Trailers?

Last Updated on October 21, 2020

Auto insurance policies generally cover trailers. In fact, a standard auto insurance policy covers anything you tow behind your vehicle.

Whether you’re hauling a boat, an ATV, a snowmobile, a motorcycle, or anything else, your auto insurance policy could extend to that trailer. In fact, your auto insurance policy may even cover the item being hauled – like your boat.

Your auto insurance policy may extend its liability insurance to your trailer, but it may not extend collision coverage or comprehensive coverage. That means you’ll be covered if your trailer injures someone else, but you may not be compensated if, say, someone steals your trailer.

Trailer insurance policies can sound confusing. We’ll break everything down below.

do auto insurance policies cover trailers

How Does Trailer Insurance Work?

A normal auto insurance policy extends liability coverage to a trailer whenever that trailer is attached to your vehicle. Whether you’re hauling a tent trailer, boat trailer, or anything else, your trailer should be covered by your auto insurance policy’s liability insurance.

Liability insurance includes bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage. Bodily injury liability coverage covers medical bills, lost wages, and similar costs. Property damage liability covers the cost of repairing or replacing someone else’s property after a loss.

Let’s say your trailer comes loose and hits a car behind you, causing $1,500 worth of damage to that vehicle. You are responsible for this damage because you improperly secured your trailer. Your auto insurance property damage liability coverage covers the cost of repairing this damage to the other vehicle.

Or, if the other driver and passengers are injured in that accident, then your bodily injury liability insurance would cover their medical bills, pain and suffering, and similar costs.

However, your standard car insurance policy would not cover the damage to your own property. If your trailer sustained $1,000 of damage in the collision, for example, then you may not receive compensation for that loss. Damage to your own vehicle is usually covered under collision coverage. If you already have collision coverage with your auto insurance policy, the collision coverage may help pay for repairs to your trailer. To be sure, confirm with your insurance company that trailer damage would be paid for under your collision policy.

Trailer Insurance Limits

Auto insurance policies cover certain aspects of trailer insurance, but not others. All policies have certain exclusions for trailers. Some policies exclude certain liabilities but not others.

First, most standard car insurance policies extend coverage to any personal trailer – assuming that trailer is designed to be hauled behind a vehicle. That means anytime you are hauling a normal trailer behind your vehicle, you should be covered by your auto insurance liability coverage.

However, it’s rare for a standard car insurance policy to extend comprehensive or collision coverage. That means if you’re trailer is damaged in an accident, then you may not be compensated for any repair or replacement expenses.

Even if your auto insurance policy does extend comprehensive and collision coverage, the limits will be lower than they are on your standard auto insurance policy. Your car insurance may have $100,000 of property damage liability coverage for a standard accident, for example, but only $2,000 of trailer coverage.

Types of Trailers Covered by Car Insurance

Most auto insurance policies cover standard trailers. In fact, most auto insurance policies do not specifically include certain trailers; instead, they cover all trailers except ones that are excluded.

Your car insurance should cover all of the following:

  • Boat trailers
  • Other watercraft trailers
  • Toy haulers or recreational trailers
  • ATV or snowmobile trailers
  • Storage trailers

However, a standard auto insurance policy excludes certain trailers. Most policies will not cover any trailers used to carry people – like a farm wagon or a similar trailer. Standard auto insurance policies will also not cover any trailers used for business purposes or racing.

Similarly, a standard car insurance policy will not cover another vehicle hauled behind your vehicle. You still need insurance on that vehicle if you want coverage.

Consider Buying a Separate Trailer Insurance Policy

Standard car insurance policies do not cover your trailer in all situations. They also do not provide collision or comprehensive coverage. Or, they only provide a small amount of collision and comprehensive coverage.

If you don’t have collision or comprehensive coverage, or if you only have a small amount of coverage, then your trailer may not be protected against theft, vandalism, hail damage, fire damage, water damage, and other non-accident-related issues.

That’s why some people buy separate trailer insurance policies. Most insurance companies offer some type of trailer insurance.

Trailer insurance can extend your limits and add new types of coverage. It can protect your trailer against uninsured and underinsured motorists, for example, collisions, non-accident damages, and more.

Some trailer insurance also comes with campsite and vacation liability coverage, emergency travel expense coverage, and other coverages that are suited for those hauling trailers.

You May Need Separate Insurance for Boats, ATVs, Snowmobiles, etc.

You can buy trailer insurance to protect your trailer, although you may still need to buy separate insurance policies for what you’re hauling on that trailer.

Trailer insurance may not cover your boat, ATV, or snowmobile against damage or theft, for example. Even if you have car insurance and trailer insurance, you might not be covered against all losses if you do not have ATV or boat insurance – or another specific policy for the item being hauled.

Final Word on Insurance Coverage for Your Trailer

Contact your insurer or check your policy to verify trailer insurance coverage. If you frequently haul a trailer behind your vehicle, then you may need separate trailer insurance.

Sometimes, you can add trailer insurance to your policy for a few dollars per month. In other cases, a standard insurance policy provides adequate coverage.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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