Buying travel trailer insurance is essential, but it can be a little confusing due to the huge range of trailer types and the many different purposes they serve.
Most people assume their trailer is automatically covered by either a home or auto insurance policy, but this isn’t always the case.
Regardless of whether you have a stationary trailer, a horse trailer, or a towable trailer, you’ll want to protect your investment and ensure you have the right type of trailer insurance in place
What is a Travel Trailer?
Unlike a traditional RV or motorhome, a travel trailer is a non-motorized, portable unit that typically serves as a mobile dwelling for camping or recreational purposes.
Because of their intended use, they’ll often contain furnishings, property, and in some cases, appliances too.
They present a unique set of risks when it comes to insuring them due to their portability and temporary nature.
What are the risks associated with travel trailers?
Owners of travel trailers need to insure against a number of risks.
- collision liability
- collision damage
- injury liability
- medical liability
- property damage
So, not only is there the damage to the trailer itself to cover, but there is also the risk of damage to other vehicles, property, and people to consider as well.
As such, it’s important to buy the right level of travel trailer coverage to ensure all of your liabilities are adequately covered.
Does auto insurance cover a travel trailer?
You will usually find that most auto insurance policies will offer a level of coverage for a travel trailer. Most of the time, this is bare and basic coverage only.
Please note that you will not usually get comprehensive coverage for a travel trailer and its entire contents as part of a standard auto insurance policy.
And, you’ll also need to own the trailer outright for this coverage to apply.
Depending on the value of the items and the trailer itself, you might find that there isn’t enough coverage on your auto policy, and in this case, buying extra travel trailer insurance is best.
If you plan on using a travel trailer, then you should always check the terms of your auto insurance policy to make sure you know what is and isn’t covered, before you hook it up to your vehicle.
Do you need separate insurance for a travel trailer?
When you’ve purchased your trailer (of any kind), immediately call your insurance company and let them know.
This way, they can help you determine if you need separate coverage, or whether they can extend your present auto coverage to the trailer being pulled by your auto.
Discuss with them what you plan to do with the trailer, how often you plan to use it, etc.
If you’re merely renting or even borrowing a trailer, it will most likely not be covered under your existing auto policy. It will need to be owned by and registered to you.
Because driving with a trailer connected to your automobile is a bit trickier than “normal” driving, coverage is generally designed with a slant towards assuming that any damage or accidents involving a trailer are in some way connected to the individual actions of the insured driver.
This brings into play liability coverage—involving bodily injuries related to third parties, and property damage to another’s property. Since you own your trailer, general liability coverage won’t help cover the costs of damage to your trailer.
To make sure you know exactly what is covered under your existing auto plan, speak to your insurance agent.
What types of insurance can you buy for a travel trailer?
Different insurers will each have their own terms for insuring travel trailers, but the types of coverage on offer can usually be divided into three main categories.
Liability Coverage for Travel Trailers – This provides you with coverage should the property owner’s indirect or direct actions result in any third-party losses or damage.
Personal Effects Coverage for Travel Trailers – This is typically bought for the items that are situated in the travel trailer itself, along with covering personal effects while they are outside of the travel trailer.
Comprehensive Coverage for Travel Trailers – This type of coverage is the most popular choice with people wanting to insure the equipment, parts, and accessories. It can provide you with coverage for damage caused by vandalism, theft, fire, fall objects, windstorms, floods, explosions, and more.
Most insurance companies will also offer a range of add-ons, where you can build up your level of coverage to include some of the below options:
Emergency Expense Coverage – this could help with the cost of accommodation or travel in the event you are more than 50 miles away from home, and your trailer is damaged.
Total Loss Replacement Coverage – If your new travel trailer is declared as a total loss within the first five years of its purchase, it can give you a new trailer as a replacement, which will be of similar size and quality.
Towing and/or Roadside Assistance – This can be added onto a travel trailer insurance policy and may include locksmith services, towing, fluid delivery, and tire changes.
Campsite Liability Coverage – If your travel trailer is parked and being used for recreational purposes or as a dwelling, this extra coverage could be a suitable add-on to cover your additional liabilities.
How Do Travel Trailer Insurance Quotes Work?
Before you decide what type of travel trailer coverage you need to buy, you’ll need to be sure of what type–and what category–of trailer you have.
Not all insurance companies classify trailers the same, but in general, the following is a good guideline.
Motorized trailers (motorhomes), consisting of:
Class A – The largest driveable RVs
Class B – Much smaller, and usually the size of a large van, having no slide-out/pull-out features
Class C – Motorized or non-motorized; generally, somewhere between A and B in size; possibly have an over-cab extension
If the trailer is non-motorized, it will then fall into a fourth category comprising campers and trailers designed to be towed.
Some types of campers and trailers in this category include the following:
Conventional Trailer – Usually averaging 12-40 feet in length, sometimes have a living area with bathroom, dining area, and sleeping area.
Horse Trailer – Larger than a cargo trailer and not designed for occupancy by anything other than a horse, or perhaps physical cargo or an ATV.
Cargo or Utility Trailer – A small trailer designed for small cargo or perhaps a single horse.
Pop-up Tent or Mounted Camper – A camper meant for people, but not generally “towed.” It sits on top of a truck and has extension; in total, generally around 18-21 feet long, and has no bathroom or kitchen area.
Fifth-Wheel or Conventional – Quite large, and generally have a raised front section that sits over the bed of a truck. Usually averaging 21-38 feet, they sometimes have multiple slide-out or pull-out areas.
A conventional trailer can often be confused with a motorhome due to its size, but the difference is that it is non-motorized. These are sometimes referred to as travel or bumper-pull trailers.
Travel trailers can be expensive to buy, but they enable you to have great fun and convenience while away from home. Be sure you’re adequately covered before you hit the road to make sure you are protecting your equipment, yourselves, and others.
At M&P Insurance, we live and work here in your community, and many of us have travel trailers ourselves! Stop by or give us a call and let us help you make sure you have everything in place before you set out on your travels. We’re friendly, easy to deal with, and we offer highly competitive insurance for travel trailers and more!