Does your auto insurance policy cover trailers?

If you plan on towing a trailer behind your vehicle, it's likely that your auto insurance policy will cover trailers as long as you own the trailer. Your auto insurance policy will not cover trailer rental, but you may be able to purchase rental trailer insurance from the rental company.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Insurance Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

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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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Jun 6, 2022

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Does an auto insurance policy cover trailers towed behind your vehicle? Does car insurance cover boats and other items towed behind your car? Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about whether or not auto insurance covers trailers and other items towed behind your vehicle.

Most Liability Auto Insurance Policies Cover Trailers

If you are towing a trailer behind your insured vehicle, then your auto insurance policy may cover it. Most auto insurance policies provide liability coverage for trailers. If you own the trailer, if your vehicle is insured, and if you get into an accident, then you should have liability insurance on your trailer.

However, not all policies work this way. Not all policies from all insurance companies cover trailers, for example. Guidelines vary state-by-state and between companies. Some policies may explicitly forbid any type of trailer coverage. Other policies may require your trailer to be listed on your declarations page.

Generally, however, your trailer will be covered under your car’s liability coverage. Comprehensive and collision coverage is a different story. Furthermore, certain trailers – and other things towed behind your vehicle – may be exempt from all types of car insurance coverage.

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Your Auto Insurance Policy May Not Cover Trailers for Comprehensive or Collision Insurance

Many auto insurance policies automatically extend liability coverage to your trailer. The same cannot be said, however, about comprehensive and collision coverage. Many insurance companies require you to buy a separate insurance policy to receive comprehensive or collision coverage.

Some insurance companies are more generous. They will extend your comprehensive or collision coverage to the trailer without requiring you to buy a separate policy. In other cases, your trailer may need to be listed on the declarations page of your policy to be covered. Or, your insurance company may need to add an endorsement to your policy verifying coverage for your trailer.

Remember there’s a big difference between liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage. All three are types of car insurance that cover different things:

Liability Coverage: Liability coverage covers damage you cause to other people and property during a collision. It may cover the medical expenses of the other driver if you caused an at-fault collision, for example, as well as the cost of repairing the other driver’s vehicle. If your trailer was damaged during a collision with another vehicle, and the other driver was at-fault, then your trailer should be covered by the other driver’s liability insurance.

Collision Coverage: Collision coverage covers damage to your own vehicle during a collision – even if you were at-fault. It covers the cost of repairing your vehicle to its pre-loss condition. Or, if your car is sufficiently damaged, your insurance company will send you a check for the replacement value of your vehicle.

Comprehensive Coverage: Comprehensive coverage covers your trailer or vehicle in non-accident situations. If your trailer is damaged by hail, for example, or destroyed during a flood, then you may be able to make a claim under your comprehensive damage.

Talk to your insurance company to verify the type of coverage on your trailer. Depending on your policy, your trailer could have liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage – or no coverage whatsoever.

Your Auto Insurance Policy Might Not Cover Items Towed On Your Trailer

Up to this point, we’re assuming you are hauling a trailer with nothing on it. Most auto insurance policies will extend coverage to a trailer towed behind your own vehicle (assuming it’s your own trailer and not a rented trailer).

However, this coverage does not necessarily extend to the item towed on your trailer – like an ATV, RV, a boat, or a separate vehicle.

Sometimes, your auto insurance policy will cover anything on the trailer. In some cases, however, you will need to buy a separate insurance policy – or at least pay to add the item onto your current car insurance policy.

This is where insurance companies can vary widely. Some insurance companies will extend liability to your boat and your trailer while it’s being towed behind your vehicle. Typically, they only extend liability insurance – not comprehensive or collision coverage.

Does your auto insurance policy provide rental trailer insurance?

Generally, your auto insurance policy will extend liability coverage to anything towed behind your vehicle. Certain types of trailers, however, are not eligible for coverage on a typical policy:

  • Rental trailers, like a trailer you rent from U-Haul for a move
  • A farm wagon used to carry people
  • A trailer or mechanical device towed by a motor vehicle and used in a business or occupation other than farming or ranching
  • A trailer or car top carrier designed to be attached to the roof of a car
  • A vehicle other than a trailer being towed behind your vehicle

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Conclusion: Does your auto insurance policy cover trailers?

Most car insurance policies will extend liability coverage to a trailer towed behind your vehicle – assuming your vehicle is insured and you own the trailer. Your policy will not cover rental trailer insurance.

However, many car insurance policies do not automatically provide comprehensive and collision coverage for your trailer. In order to receive comprehensive and collision coverage, you may need to contact your insurance company and buy a separate policy.

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