Trailer insurance defined
After buying an RV or a trailer, you must purchase insurance to cover it. This type of insurance can protect your trailer from damage and losses, whether they occur while parked or on the road. Trailer insurance is designed to cover a wide range of trailers, from non-motorized travel trailers and stationary travel trailers to utility trailers, park model travel trailers, truck-mounted campers, and pop-up campers.
Personal car insurance and trailers
Many drivers assume that their personal car insurance policies will also cover their trailers. However, the truth of it is that most basic car insurance policies in Canada do not cover travel trailers.
For example, the mandatory types of auto insurance, which include liability car insurance, will offer little to no protection in the event that your travel trailer is damaged. Third party liability insurance may cover some damage to your trailer if the damage was done while the trailer was on the road and hooked up to the tow vehicle. However, it will not cover any damage done while your trailer is stationary or parked. Further, basic auto insurance coverage would not cover you if your trailer was stolen or vandalized. This means that if you are relying on your standard car insurance policy to protect your trailer, you may be in trouble if something goes wrong. Should a loss or damage occur, you could be on the hook for all kinds of expensive costs.
As such, the best way to protect your trailer is to purchase a separate trailer insurance policy or by adding an endorsement or rider to your existing car insurance policy that specifically covers your trailer.
Is trailer insurance mandatory in Canada?
Unlike regular car insurance, trailer insurance is not mandatory in Canada, assuming your trailer is non-motorized. Thus, you are allowed to travel with your trailer or use it in whatever way you wish without insuring it. The only catch is that when on the road, it must be towed by a registered and insured vehicle.
If you do not have car insurance, you are not legally allowed to drive, whether you have a trailer affixed to your car or not. Thus, in order to drive a car with a trailer in tow, you will need to purchase an auto insurance policy that complies with the minimum insurance requirements in your province. If you choose not to purchase auto insurance and drive your car, with or without your trailer, you could face expensive fines, the impoundment of your vehicle, the suspension of your driver’s licence, and even jail time.
One final note on motorized trailers - if you own a motorized trailer and plan to drive it, you will need to insure it first. It is only non-motorized trailers that do not need to be insured. Think of motorized trailer insurance like mobile home insurance. Mobile homes, motor homes, and recreational vehicles (RVs) require car insurance to be driven. More specifically, they require individual car insurance policies. You cannot simply add an endorsement or rider to your personal car insurance plan. Learn more about purchasing multiple auto insurance policies and the benefits of doing so by contacting BrokerLink.
Trailer insurance coverage
Now that you know a little bit more about trailer insurance, let’s dive into what it actually covers. Typically, most people insure their trailer by adding certain riders or endorsements to an existing car insurance policy.
As mentioned above, certain types of coverage are mandatory in Canada, such as accident benefits coverage and third party liability coverage. Then, there are types of coverage that are optional, like accident forgiveness. While third party liability coverage can offer some protection to your driver, it is these optional types of coverage that are usually more applicable when it comes to protecting your trailer from damage. Below, we outline each type of coverage and how it can safeguard your trailer:
Third party liability coverage
Third party liability coverage is mandatory, which means all drivers in Canada are required to have it. With liability coverage, if you are involved in an accident that you caused, your insurer will help pay for the associated costs. These costs could include medical fees, vehicle repair bills, legal fees, and more.
Although the third party liability coverage included with your own car insurance policy won’t protect your trailer, if another driver hits you and damages your trailer in the process, their third party liability coverage may pay for the repairs. Keep in mind that liability insurance will only apply if your trailer was hooked up to your vehicle at the time of the accident and if it was on the road (i.e. not parked).
Collision car coverage is not mandatory like third party liability insurance but it can be extremely useful when looking to cover your trailer. Collision coverage deals with damage caused to your vehicle or trailer following a serious car accident. For instance, if your car or trailer were totalled after it collided with another vehicle, animal, or grounded object, such as a lamp post, collision coverage would help pay to repair or replace it.
Comprehensive car coverage is also optional for most drivers in Canada. That said, it is very important for cars with trailers. This is the only type of coverage that may protect your trailer from loss or damage while parked. With this type of coverage added to your policy, your trailer can be protected against a wide range of risks, whether parked on the road, on your driveway, in your garage, or elsewhere. Comprehensive insurance typically protects insured vehicles against perils like wind, theft, vandalism, fire, water, explosions and riots, and falling and flying objects. If someone stole your trailer or a tree fell on it, your insurer would help pay to repair or replace it.
All perils coverage
All perils coverage is another type of optional coverage that can be worthwhile for cars with trailers. This type of insurance combines aspects of collision car coverage and comprehensive car coverage. For instance, by adding all perils coverage to your policy, your vehicle and trailer can be protected against damage caused by animals, theft, fire, vandalism, water damage, damage caused by extreme weather (e.g. lightning, wind, hail, etc.), and collisions. All perils coverage offers the same deductible no matter the claim, whereas collision and comprehensive coverage have separate deductibles.
A few additional types of coverage that you may wish to add to your car insurance or trailer insurance policy for extra protection include:
Campsite/vacation liability coverage
This covers you when your travel trailer is parked in a trailer park or campsite.
Accessories endorsement coverage
This covers you against damage to items attached or affixed to your trailer, such as satellite dishes, antennas, and awnings.
Emergency expenses coverage
This covers you if your trailer suffers an unexpected breakdown.
Vehicle storage coverage
This covers various types of trailers while in storage.
Towing and roadside assistance coverage
This covers you if your trailer breaks down and needs to be towed or if you need to be rescued if it breaks down (in the case of motorized trailers).
Total loss replacement coverage
This covers you if your trailer is totalled and needs to be replaced.
Does trailer insurance cover the contents of my trailer?
No, trailer insurance in Canada does not typically cover the contents of your trailer if they are damaged and stolen. The same goes for personal car insurance. Car insurance policies may cover the cost of your entire car being stolen or permanent fixtures of your car being stolen, such as your steering wheel or catalytic converter, but they will not cover personal belongings, like electronics if they are stolen from your car.
Comprehensive coverage can, however, pay for repairing your car if a thief damaged it while stealing an item inside, e.g., if they smashed a car window to reach in and grab your smartphone.
The same goes for trailer insurance. Trailer insurance will not cover you if items stored inside your trailer are damaged or stolen. If you add accessory endorsement coverage to your policy, some items, like satellite dishes or antennas, may be covered. But generally speaking, you should not expect your trailer insurance policy to cover you for personal belongings.
Find trailer insurance with help from an insurance broker
If you are ready to take the plunge and invest in trailer insurance for your travel trailer, or you wish to add extra coverage to your car insurance policy that protects your trailer, reach out to BrokerLink today. There are so many advantages to purchasing insurance through an insurance broker. Perhaps the main benefit is convenience. An insurance broker will do everything for you. We will shop around on your behalf, suggest policies, explain coverage options, and help you bind your coverage. A second benefit is our insurance expertise. The brokers at BrokerLink are all fully licensed, meaning they know the ins and outs of car insurance. With the resources to help you find a great policy at an affordable price. Speaking of affordable insurance, it is BrokerLink’s mission to ensure you get coverage at a competitive rate. We will compare insurance quotes and unlock discounts to ensure your trailer insurance policy doesn’t break the bank.
Contact BrokerLink for a free trailer insurance quote
Want to obtain a free trailer insurance quote? Contact BrokerLink today. We offer free insurance quotes to all customers. Whether you want a quote for a separate trailer insurance policy or want to find out how your premium may be affected by adding extra coverage, like comprehensive coverage, to your existing Toronto car insurance policy, BrokerLink is here.
As one of the leading car insurance brokerages in Canada, we offer a variety of auto insurance services, from helping customers renewing car insurance to helping them update their policies or add a driver to their policy. We can also provide a range of maintenance tips and safe driving tips to help you stay safe on the road.
If you want to learn more about what it’s like to work with a licensed car insurance broker, or if you have questions about how trailer insurance works or how much it costs, contact BrokerLink today. We also have an online quote tool on our website that is free and easy to use. Begin your car insurance journey today with BrokerLink. We can’t wait to hear from you!