Whether you use your trailer to transport heavy equipment across town or you use a small utility trailer to move your college-bound students back from Orlando, Florida streets and highways are crowded with all sorts of trailers. Unfortunately, many trailer owners do not realize their vehicle insurance does not always extend to that which they tow behind their car or truck until it's too late. Before you search for trailer insurance quotes, there are several factors to consider.
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Why Trailers Pose Increased Risk for Accidents
Towing anything behind your vehicle can increase your risk of an accident. The following issues are common with trailer-related collisions and injuries:
- Mismatched equipment: It's important to find the right hitch for your trailer. Having the wrong hitch is a major cause of accidents.
- Limited visibility: Large trailers can impede a driver's ability to see other motorists and pedestrians while the driver is changing lanes and making turns.
- Increased inertia and momentum: Hauling heavy equipment in a trailer makes it more difficult for a speeding vehicle to slow down and stop.
- Tire blowouts: When a blowout occurs on a trailer tire, it is even more dangerous than on a car, as an unstable load can flip the trailer causing the driver to lose control.
- Improperly stored cargo: Items improperly stored on a trailer can come loose and strike other moving vehicles, causing accidents and property damage.
- Trailer sway: In high winds or speeding traffic, trailers can experience a lot of movement, sway back and forth within a lane and even cross into other lanes of traffic.
What Is Trailer Insurance?
Trailer insurance covers any form and size of trailer that you might use to haul and move supplies, goods, vehicles, equipment or animals behind your vehicle. There are many different types of trailers, varying widely in value from several hundred dollars to more than $100,000. You may be able to add your trailer to your vehicle's insurance policy if it is a small utility-type trailer. Your homeowners insurance may cover your trailer if it is small or is stored at home. It's important to speak with a qualified insurance agent about finding the right policy.
Is Trailer Insurance Required in Florida?
If you use your trailer to transport hazardous materials or you use it as part of commercial operations for your business, FL state law may require you to obtain trailer insurance on it. It's always a good idea to consult your local Department of Motor Vehicles to find out if you are required to carry trailer insurance. In most cases, this won't be required, but you may have to register your trailer with the state of Florida and pay a small fee in order to legally drive it on public streets.
Finding Insurance for Your Particular Trailer
Most Florida insurance providers offer policies for a wide variety of trailers. The common types of covered trailers include the following:
- Camper trailers
- Boat trailers
- Cargo trailers
- Utility trailers
- Horse and livestock trailers
- Flatbed trailers
- Auto-hauler trailers
- Gooseneck trailers
If you have a homemade trailer, it may be difficult to find a policy to cover it. However, you should be able to find a policy that suits most trailers purchased from Florida retailers.
What Does Trailer Insurance Cover?
Trailer insurance operates much like vehicle insurance. Most Florida providers will give you options from which to choose as you build your trailer insurance policy, including these:
- Liability coverage: This can help pay for any injuries or property damage your trailer may cause if it unhitches or if flying debris from your trailer strikes another person or vehicle. This coverage can also help pay for your legal fees and court costs if you face a lawsuit as result of any injuries or damage.
- Collision coverage: This can help pay for repairs to your trailer if you are involved in an accident while you are towing it behind your vehicle.
- Comprehensive coverage: This can help pay for necessary repairs to or replacement of your trailer due to fire, severe weather, theft, vandalism or any other covered event.
- Contents coverage: This is an especially important coverage option if you haul valuable items in your trailer. Most vehicle insurance policies that have trailer coverage do not extend the coverage to the contents of the trailer.
Getting Trailer Insurance Quotes
Because trailers range in price from a few hundred dollars to several hundred thousand dollars, the range of quotes for trailer insurance is quite broad. Most Florida insurance companies take several factors into consideration when calculating your premium quotes, including these:
- The trailer's value
- The length and width of the trailer
- How you use the trailer
- How often you will the trailer
Quotes will be higher for more expensive, regularly used trailers than for smaller, less valuable and infrequently used trailers. You may be able to add a small utility trailer to your vehicle insurance policy at no additional cost, while you may have to pay a few hundred dollars a year to insure a larger, high-priced trailer.
Where To Find Trailer Insurance
The last thing you want to find out is that your vehicle insurance policy will not cover any damage to your trailer following an accident. Knowledgeable, independent insurance agents in our network are always available to answer your questions, suggest coverage options best suited for your trailer and even assist you in filing a claim.
Contact an agent near you to find out how you can protect your trailer and cargo with an insurance policy that meets your needs and budget.