When you’re towing your boat, you may expect your auto insurance to cover anything that happens. You might be right, but you might not. What coverage you have depends on your specific car insurance policy.
Damage To Your Trailer
Your comprehensive and collision coverage may not extend to your trailer. That means if you get into an accident that damages your trailer, or your trailer is stolen, you may not have insurance coverage for it.
To get coverage, most insurance companies require you to either list your trailer on your policy or purchase coverage for any trailer you’re towing. This will usually be at additional cost — since you’re buying additional insurance — but the cost is generally reasonable.
Damage To Your Boat
Your boat will generally not be covered by your auto insurance policy if you bought basic coverage. If you bought trailer or towing coverage, you might have some coverage for the contents of your trailer, but it probably won’t be as much as your boat is worth.
To get full coverage for damage to your boat, you may be able to increase your towing coverage. Or you can get a boat insurance policy that covers your boat on the water, in storage, and while you’re towing it.
Liability To Others
If you’re at-fault in an accident and have liability for injuries or property damage, your car insurance might cover the claim. This is a situation where you need to read your policy carefully.
- If you have a towing exclusion, you won’t have liability coverage. This might be for any towing, or it might be for towing things above a certain weight.
- If your policy doesn’t say anything about towing, many state laws will extend your liability coverage to accidents while you’re towing a boat. That said, some may not. Check your local laws and your insurance policy to be sure.
- If your policy specifically mentions towing, you’ll have coverage as described in your policy. There may be restrictions on the length of your trailer or weight of your boat. So, remember to review your coverage if you change trailers or buy a new boat.
Do You Have Business Coverage?
If you have business coverage, such as for the trailer you pull your lawnmower on for your landscaping business, don’t assume it applies. It may be a separate commercial policy or for that specific trailer.