In the insurance world, trailers can be tricky! So many types, shapes, sizes, uses and values. Our office frequently gets questions on insuring trailers and the answers can be very specific due to the type of trailer, their use, and also their value!
For personal use trailers, clients often ask us if they need to list the trailers on their auto policy. The short answer is.... you don't have to if you want LIABILITY ONLY. But if you want physical damage coverage, you need to list each trailer individually on your policy. The liability coverage on your auto insurance policy will protect you against any damage or injuries you're liable for while pulling your utility trailer, but it won't cover any damages to the trailer or the contents inside. For older trailers or trailers with lower values, some clients do opt into having liability only coverage. In this case, the trailer is not listed on the policy
For personal use travel trailers (also commonly called campers) including fifth-wheels, some companies will allow the travel trailer to be scheduled on the auto policy. However, many carriers are starting to require that travel trailers be listed on a specialized policy. While this can be a small nuisance as you have yet another policy to manage, most of these policies offer specialized coverages, such as vacation liability, that help protect you and your travel trailer better.
For personal farm trailers, carriers underwriting dictates if these need to be listed on a personal farm auto policy or a commercial auto policy. Again, if liability only is requested on the trailer, we may not have to list it on the policy. However, to add physical damage (comprehensive and collision coverages), we will need to schedule each trailer individually. Remember this is for PERSONAL FARM trailers only. We are starting to see more and more farm trailers being used in "for hire" situations which therefore would require the trailer to be scheduled on a for hire commercial auto policy.
Sometimes on a farm, we will run across Non-licensed trailers. If a trailer is NOT licensed for road use (field trailers, spray trailers, etc.), the trailer can be added to the farm property blanket to gain physical damage coverage. It is important to remember that the trailer must not be licensed for road use for this to apply.
For commercial trailers, the owned trailers should always be scheduled as with most carriers, the liability does not automatically extend to the trailer. Commerical auto insurance is complex and we recommend that clients discuss coverage with their agent and review frequently. Be sure to also ask your agent about non-owned trailer liability, non-owned trailer property damage and trailer interchange coverages! It is imperative that your agent knows your business well so we can provide coverage for your various different exposures. We also recognize that the exposure changes with time so it is crucial that you keep us up to date on changes.
As always, our agents are willing to discuss coverages and answer any questions you have! Give us a call at 419-375-4041 to discuss your trailer insurance needs!