Caravans. Travel trailers. Camper trailers. In the eyes of insurance companies, each of these recreational vehicles go by many names. If you’re buying a caravan to explore the country or to build a closer relationship with Mother Nature, it’s important that you understand how your auto insurance covers you. Since caravans are towed behind a vehicle and don’t have their own motor, insuring them can lead to some confusion. Your auto insurance will provide coverage, but there are restrictions and major limitations all vehicle owners should be aware of. Compare car insurance rates now by using our FREE tool above!
Before you hitch your travel trailer and haul, it’s important that you protect your assets with a fully stocked insurance portfolio. A basic auto insurance policy can protect you to an extent, but that doesn’t mean that you’re covered against all of the risks. Here’s your guide to insuring a caravan under your auto insurance and when you’ll need to consider a standalone policy:
What is a caravan?
A caravan is a trailer that is towed behind a private passenger vehicle or another motorized recreational vehicle with the towing capacity. Unlike some other types of trailers, a caravan is one that is equipped with features like a bed, a kitchen, a bathroom and even sometimes a washing machine. It has four walls, offers superior weather protection, and is one of the more secure trailers that still offers flexibility and freedom that you can’t necessarily get with a larger, fully stocked motor home.
Will your auto insurance cover you when towing a caravan?
Once you’ve done your homework and you’ve settled on a caravan trailer, the next step will be comparing models and features. One detail you can’t avoid is how much it’ll cost to insure the trailer. Buying liability coverage on a vehicle that isn’t motorized or capable of moving on its own is impossible. This is why it’s important to look at how your private passenger policy extends when your soon-to-be caravan is in tow. Luckily for you, your Personal Auto Policy does extend to trailers under the right circumstances.
How will a PAP extend when towing a caravan?
Since caravans are designed to be towed behind a vehicle, you’ll need to be sure the vehicle that’s doing the towing will provide coverage while you’re in transit. When you’re using your personal vehicle to tow the caravan, your standard policy will typically provide third-party liability coverage if you have a loss.
Under your contract, it specifically says that the company will pay for damages when you’re legally responsible for an auto accident and you cause bodily injury or damage real property.
This is true when you’re driving your covered auto and when you or any other insured under the policy is towing a trailer. In layman’s terms, this means that third-party damages will be paid up to the limits that you carry on your policy if an eligible caravan is hitched to your covered auto.
When is a caravan classified as a covered auto?
There are very specific policy provisions and terms that are used to define the insuring agreement. Under these provisions, there are definitions that say which types of vehicles are eligible for coverage and which aren’t. Based on the wording in the contract, trailers are covered autos under Part A. Part A means Liability Coverage. For the trailer to be covered, it must be owned by the named insured and registered in his or her name. If it’s an non-owned caravan, you’ll need special coverage through a rental agency.
Does the car’s policy provide damage coverage?
While there is special covered autos liability coverage for trailers, the policy for the vehicle that the caravan is hitched to won’t provide physical damage coverage for the recreational vehicle. This is the case for all standard insurance policies. If you want physical damage coverage that pays to repair or replace your travel trailer, you’ll need a specialized trailer insurance policy that provides just that.
Will the car’s physical damage still pay to fix the car when you have a towing mishap?
No matter how experienced you are with towing a trailer, there’s more of a risk of having a loss when you have your caravan hitched. If you’re concerned about your physical damage coverage applying, you’ll be happy to hear that your coverage will still pay to fix your private passenger vehicle as long as you have comprehensive and collision. Towing a caravan that doesn’t exceed the recommended weight by your manufacturer won’t violate the terms of your contract as long as you’re responsible and cautious.
How are items inside of the caravan protected?
Now that you understand how your auto insurance works, you might be interested to learn how to protect your caravan and your belongings.
The recreational vehicle itself may be covered if it’s stored on your property for a limit of $1500, but this is only true when you have a standard homeowner’s insurance policy.
The items inside of your caravan may also be covered under your homeowners insurance with restrictions. To be sure that all of your items are covered in transit, you can add personal property coverage to a trailer insurance policy. Some of the benefits of trailer insurance include:
- Protecting the caravan for physical damage
- Satisfying loan requirements when the vehicle is financed
- Covering removable personal property without restrictions
- Selecting lower deductibles
- Medical payments coverage for injuries sustained in trailer
- Low premiums
- Personal Liability coverage to protect yourself for guest injury lawsuits
- Avoiding premium surcharges for filing homeowners claims
When you’re towing a caravan or any other vehicle, it’s important to exercise caution. It’s also important to equip yourself with high limits of liability coverage so that you can protect your assets. If you have low limits now, request quotes through several carriers to check into pricing by using an online comparison shopping tool. After you find the right plan, you can decide which limit fits into your budget. Compare car insurance rates now by entering your zip code in our FREE tool below!