Trucks and SUVs pulling cargo, flatbeds, horse trailers and other types of trailers fill Missouri's highways and roadways on a daily basis. You need trailer insurance whether you drive one of Missouri's dozens of uniquely treasured numbered scenic routes with the boat behind your truck or you just need to pull cargo from point A to B around Kansas City. Before you search for quotes on insurance policies for your trailer, there are a few things to keep in mind. This article will help you understand some of the risks you face and the ways that insurance can help you mitigate financial exposure when you're hauling a trailer.
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How Does Trailer Insurance Work?
Just like most insurance coverage, a trailer policy protects the owner in a variety of ways. In some cases, you can cover your trailer and its contents under an existing policy, such as your auto insurance policy. Unfortunately, too many owners realize their auto insurance does not cover any trailer losses until it's too late.
If you do have coverage and someone damages, steals or destroys your trailer, you can file a claim on your trailer insurance to recover some or all of your loss.
Total loss coverage provides basic levels of emergency expense and vacation liability coverage (although the latter is not available for full-timers), which you can increase to better fit your lifestyle.
When you build your policy, you can mix and match the following additional coverages until you have the protection you need:
- Roadside assistance
- Emergency expense
- Replacement cost personal effects
- Vacation liability
- Full-timer's package
- Pet injury
Total loss is any loss that requires repairs or replacement parts that cost more than the total value of the insured item. You can select which total loss coverage you want when you get your free quote, as follows:
- Market value: Pays the current market value of your travel trailer at the time of loss. Depreciation and market trends do affect the total amount you receive.
- Agreed value: Provides you with the trailer's value at the time of purchase if you bought it within a specified time frame.
- Total loss replacement cost: Provides a new, untitled travel trailer if your trailer is a certain number of years old at the time of loss.
Do You Need to Insure Your Trailer?
According to the Missouri Department of Revenue, the following types of trailers are subject to license and registration. Therefore, it's a good idea to find insurance coverage for them:
- Homemade trailers
- Kit trailers
- Farm wagons
- Boat trailers
- Utility trailers
- Flat bed trailers
- Semi trailers
- Livestock trailers
- Camping trailers
The type of trailer you own will determine the type of coverage you need.
Although MO does not require you to carry trailer insurance, you will want protection from accidents and injuries involving your trailer. Assuming you are not hauling junk behind your vehicle, you will also want to protect the property your trailer hauls. If you're worried about vandalism, theft or even having a tree topple over onto your trailer, you may want to consider taking out a separate comprehensive policy for the trailer.
What Would Trailer Insurance Cover?
The type of trailer you have and the way you use it will dictate the kind of insurance coverage you need. Some of the insurance coverage you may need for your trailer includes the following:
- Liability: Covers medical expenses due to injury
- Collision: Covers damage from an accident
- Comprehensive: Covers things like hail and storm damage, theft and vandalism
People often overlook liability insurance because they tow rather than drive a trailer, and it does not have its own engine. However, trailers can become unhitched on Missouri's winding roads and can cause extensive damage. Your auto liability may or may not cover damage from your unhitched trailer.
If you use your trailer for business, you will need to cover the trailer as part of your commercial trailer insurance. This type of insurance covers auto haulers, side dump trailers, dump body and transfer boxes, concession trailers, dry freight trailers, flatbed trailers, gooseneck trailers, livestock trailers, logging trailers and any other trailer you may use for your Missouri business.
It’s always a good idea to talk with a knowledgeable insurance agent about your particular trailer, its use and any unique risks you may encounter. Be sure to review coverage for the contents you carry in the trailer.
How Much Trailer Insurance Should You Buy?
The amount of insurance you need depends on the type of trailer you own and its value. For example, if you have an expensive trailer, you may want full collision and comprehensive coverage in the event that an accident causes it damage or destroys it in an accident, or someone steals the trailer. You may also want liability coverage in the event that the trailer becomes unhitched and rolls away causing bodily injury or property damage.
It's also a good idea to take inventory of the things you haul with your trailer. If you pull a $20,000 boat behind your vehicle, it may be wise to purchase a more comprehensive policy. If your trailer is more suited for work around your Missouri farm, a liability policy may be more appropriate.
What Does Trailer Insurance Cost?
Trailer insurance costs vary widely. Thousands of "light" trailers travel Missouri roads every day. These do everything from hauling personal watercraft to the Lake of the Ozarks to towing loads of debris. Trailers can be small and lightweight, or they can be fifth-wheel RVs outfitted with living space. A horse trailer can be a simple straight-load stock trailer or a box stall trailer for shipping long distances.
The only factors trailers have in common is that they all attach to the back of a vehicle and they are used to haul things, including livestock, boats, personal watercraft, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, and farming and ranching equipment.
While you might be able to add a small utility trailer to your auto insurance for no additional cost, a $90,000 toy hauler might cost you $500 a year to insure.
What Factors Affect Trailer Insurance Expense?
The value of the trailer you want to protect and how much coverage you want for it will determine the cost.
These additional factors affect your trailer insurance premium costs:
- The length and width of the trailer
- How you use the trailer
- How often you use it (year-round, seasonally or just weekends)
- How often it’s on the road
To get a better picture of the costs you can expect for your trailer insurance, determine the value of your trailer (actual or estimated). Also, determine how and when you will use the trailer.
How Do You Find Trailer Insurance?
Whether you use your trailer to tow horses from Springfield to St. Louis or to haul the boat down to Bull Shoals Lake, finding the right policy for your needs is just a click away. The best way to find trailer coverage suited to your needs is to contact a Trusted Choice® member agent. Your agent will be able to help you evaluate your risks, determine the appropriate amount of coverage you will need and compare plans from a range of different insurance carriers.
Before you go on the Maine roads, contact an agent in the Trusted Choice network for trailer insurance quotes so you can get a policy that fully covers your trailer and its contents.