Ready to Roll – Trailer Insurance Basics for the Open Road


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We have all seen that vehicle on the road, towing a trailer with no plates, broken lights and cargo
that appears ready to fly off as soon as it encounters a big gust of wind. From afar you can tell that
it is an accident waiting to happen.

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Ready to Roll – Trailer Insurance Basics for the Open Road

  1. 1. Ready to Roll – Trailer Insurance Basics for the Open Road By Anna Szczurko, Siskinds LLPWe have all seen that vehicle on the road, towing a trailer with no plates, broken lights and cargothat appears ready to fly off as soon as it encounters a big gust of wind. From afar you can tell thatit is an accident waiting to happen.You are not that person. But you want to make sure that you have adequate insurance policies inplace to protect yourself from that person.With the arrival of vacation, cottage and horse show season in Southwestern Ontario, this may bea good time for you to review your insurance policies with your broker. This guide will provide youwith a primer on what you need to consider when purchasing an insurance policy for items that youtow; whether boat trailers, live in trailers, recreational vehicles, horse trailers or your standard utilitytrailer. Keep yourself safe on the road. Make sure you have the required insurance - with adequatepolicy limits - to protect yourself and your family in case of serious and permanent personal injury.1. The BasicsMost car insurance policies will provide protection for any harm or damage you may cause to otherpeople or property. If you injure someone else or their property while your trailer is in transit, yourinsurance company will step in to pay for their losses. This does not mean that they will cover youfor damage to your trailer or the contents of your trailer. If you typically tow low value goods andcan afford to replace your trailer if damaged this basic policy may be sufficient. Before towingcheck with your broker to make sure that your auto insurance policy provides coverage for trailersattached to your vehicle.2. The ContentsWhile your basic liability policy will probably provide protection for damage that could occur to othervehicles or people involved in a collision, it will typically not cover property damage to the traileryou are towing or its contents. You may want to consider purchasing additional insurance in caseyour trailer and its contents are damaged. Trailer insurance is often an “add on” to either your autoinsurance policy or your home insurance policy. Speak with your broker to ensure you understandyour Siskinds LLP
  2. 2. -2- A. Recreational Vehicles and Live In TrailersIf you require coverage for items inside your RV or ‘live-in’ trailer, you should purchase additionalinsurance as part of your property insurance. This would extend your home insurance coverage toinclude the contents of your ‘live in’ trailer. You would be protected if anything inside your trailerwas damaged or even stolen.A more comprehensive option for recreational vehicles is to purchase a separate RV and trailerinsurance policy. This type of policy protects the contents within your RV and can be customized tocover the replacement value of your unit. B. BoatsBoat insurance policies often include trailer coverage as part of the policy. If that is available to youand is sufficient to cover the value of your boat and trailer, additional coverage for your trailer maynot be required. C. Horses and Horse TrailersFor horse trailers, trailer insurance can often be added through your horse insurance policy.General group insurance policies, such as that offered by the Ontario Equestrian Federation, canprovide liability coverage for the care, custody and control of non-owned horses.1 This will protectyou if you are transporting horses owned by someone else and a car accident occurs. Thiscoverage does not protect the value of your horse trailer and will not provide coverage incommercial situations (i.e. you are being paid to transport a horse) or for your own horses.To protect your own horses, you should consider purchasing an additional insurance policy in theform of horse mortality (or horse life) insurance. Horse mortality insurance can be bundled withmedical and/or surgical coverage that would then pay for medical expenses you could incur if atrailer accident occurs. Specialty horse insurance brokers can customize a plan suitable to yourneeds.Ensure that you have considered additional coverage for the replacement value of your horsetrailer if it is damaged.1 Siskinds LLP
  3. 3. -3-3. Consider the worst case scenarioReviewing your insurance coverage ensures you are prepared should a collision or mishap occur.Accidents can and do happen, statistically often very close to home. The tragic trailer accidentrecently suffered by Michael Pollard has brought the issue of insurance to the minds of many in thehorse community.2Be prepared with a first aid kit and the basic mechanical tools needed to make minor repairs. Makesure you understand your insurance coverage for all your towing situations. Make sure your lovedones are covered with sufficient accident benefits coverage ($100,000 for medical rehabilitationbenefits, not the post-September 2010 $50,000 limits). You owe it to yourself and your family tohave a frank discussion with your insurance broker to make sure you are all protected in case of acar accident causing personal injury.If you are involved in a car accident or have suffered serious personal injury because of anotherperson’s negligence, discuss your situation with a lawyer. I can make sure that your legal rights areprotected and answer your questions regarding catastrophic injuries, property damage, lost wagesor other pressing issues you may have.Contact Anna Szczurko at (519) 660 – 7784 or send an email to to discussyour situation free of charge.2 Siskinds LLP