Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Most car insurance policies will cover an owned trailer attached to an insured automobile
  • The determining factor whether or not your car insurance covers your trailer depends on the state and insurance company you have
  • Checking the declarations page can help you determine what coverage you have

Trailers are extremely common assets among owners of cars across the United States.

Trailers can serve many purposes, whether you need a trailer to help you move across the country, to get all of your belongings to a campsite for a vacation, to tow a boat or a jet ski, ATV, or something else.

What many people do not know, though, is whether or not a trailer will actually be covered by your typical car insurance policy.

Understanding what you have covered and what you do not on your car insurance policy is very important.

The more that you are aware of what your coverage is, the better off you are going to be in terms of having peace of mind that if something were to happen, you would be in good shape to be indemnified or made whole again.

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Liability Coverage on a Car Insurance Policy

The vast majority of car insurance policies out there are going to cover trailers for what is known as liability coverage in the event that you own the trailer.

The important thing to remember here, though, is that the coverage is usually only going to apply in the event that the trailer is being pulled by an insured automobile at the time of the accident.

Take an example such as one where your trailer is being pulled by a friend who has his car insurance policy. He gets in an accident with the trailer and the trailer is not a part of his policy, it is a part of yours.

Since the trailer was being pulled by an automobile that was not an insured auto on your policy, that loss would not be covered. If it was your car that is on your policy that got in the accident, liability coverage is usually going to kick in.

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Check the Terms and Conditions

What you really need to do is to check the terms and conditions of your car insurance policy. The best place to look is on the declarations page of the insurance policy. This is where it is going to detail out for you what coverages you have, what is included, and so on.

In the event that you want coverage above and beyond just basic liability coverage, an endorsement to your policy or a separate insurance policy is going to be needed.

Many people who own trailers want to add what is known as comprehensive or collision coverage for their trailer. This is going to help you be indemnified for the damage to the trailer, the belongings on the trailer in some cases, and so on in the event of an accident.

This is different than your typical liability coverage, which will only help you cover the damages made to others in the event of an accident.

Varying Rules by State

The state in which you have your car insurance policy, as well as the insurance company, is going to play a role in the trailer coverage that you have.

Some states are going to automatically extend the liability coverage to anything that is attached to your insured auto, such as a trailer. The states are going to require you to have a separate insurance policy or an endorsement to your current insurance policy.

This is why checking your declarations page is so very important, to see and understand truly what is covered.

In the event that you have any questions about your car insurance policy and whether or not it covers a trailer, the best thing to do is to call your insurance company.

When doing price comparisons online as well, be sure that you are aware if this coverage is included in the premium quote you are obtaining. This could be a deciding factor in helping you determine which insurance company is right for you.

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References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trailer_(vehicle)
  2. http://www.autohomeboat.com/research-center/real-life-situations/buying-a-boat
  3. http://www.rmiia.org/auto/steering_through_your_auto_policy/Glossary_of_Auto_Terms.asp
  4. http://www.investopedia.com/terms/a/automobile-liability-insurance.asp
  5. http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/government/oca-agencies/doi-lp/