Insuring Trailers

Camping, tailgating, and the ever popular fall festival hay rides are upon us!

Before you fall into the festive activities the season has to offer stop you may want to ask your Swingle Collins agent some important questions about the risk pulling a trailer can expose you to.

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Most personal auto insurance policies automatically provide liability coverage on a trailer when the trailer is owned by the person or persons named on the "declarations" page of the policy. In addition, liability coverage is provided when any trailer - owned or not - is used by you or a family member who resides in your household.

However, auto insurance policies sold by some insurance companies may not automatically provide coverage on all trailers, so ask your agent to be sure your policy does. And if a trailer is owned by a family member rather than the person or persons named on the "declarations" page, the policy does NOT provide liability coverage unless the trailer is specifically listed on the policy along with the vehicles.

Your policy contains some coverage exclusions regarding the use of a trailer. Two exclusions preclude coverage for a trailer while it is being used to carry property for a fee or other compensation or while it rented or leased to another. Another exclusion precludes coverage if the trailer is being used for business purposes, unless it is being towed by a private passenger auto, pickup or van. In one policy sold by some companies, the pickup or van must be one that is listed for coverage on your policy.

Coverage for damage to the trailer is NOT provided automatically on the typical policy. If your trailer is worth more than you can afford to lose should it be damaged in an accident or weather-related incident, you need to ask your agent to add damage coverage to your policy.