Do you have the right utility trailer insurance? Utility trailers are a great way to haul both large and small items. They come in many different sizes, depending upon your needs, and can be as small as a single-axel 4×6 foot trailer and as large as a double-axel 20 foot trailer.
Unfortunately, not having the proper utility trailer for the weight and size of the items you plan to haul can be very dangerous. In 2005, a man was killed instantly when a utility trailer hauling a motorcycle unhitched from another vehicle and careened into his car.
Owning a utility trailer comes with many risks, and having the right insurance can help to protect you.
Personal vs. Commercial Use
Utility trailers are used for both personal and commercial use. You may own one to haul your ATV, skiing equipment, or watercraft up to your cabin. Or, you may own a landscaping or construction business that requires you to transport all of your large tools and equipment.
If your uses are purely personal, then you are not required to own any insurance, but it’s always a good idea to have some protection just in case.
For commercial uses, there are laws in place requiring some coverage and be registered with the state department of motor vehicles. The type and amount of coverage can vary from state to state, so contacting your local independent insurance agent will help you to get the information that you need.
Auto Insurance Coverage
Car insurance is designed to cover your vehicle in the event of an accident. That does not necessarily mean that the insurance policy will extend to hauling a trailer. Depending upon your insurance, the utility trailer may be covered if an accident occurs while the vehicle and trailer are in motion. However, if you are parked and the trailer is stolen or vandalized, or if its contents are stolen, you will not be covered under a standard auto insurance policy.
Commercial Auto Policy: Utility trailers are often used for business purposes. They have many advantages. Most are designed to be open-air trailers and can therefore haul awkwardly shaped equipment quite easily. A commercial auto policy will not only cover the utility trailer, but also your vehicle. This type of insurance will help to pay for damages caused by a sudden and unexpected accident.
Liability Coverage: In the event of an accident, the parties involved will be covered under liability insurance. This includes the named insured, any one else driving the insured vehicle who is not named, and anyone liable for your conduct. So, if you have employees who tow the utility trailer for you, these individuals will be covered.
Property Coverage: This type of insurance will help to repair or replace the cost of a utility trailer damaged in an accident. Generally, this is within broader coverage, such as Comprehensive Insurance or Collision Insurance. Also, if the trailer is stolen or vandalized, the policy will help to pay the costs to repair or replace it with a new one.
Before heading out, be sure to follow the safety tips listed below to ensure that your utility trailer is not involved in an accident.
- Check to see if the trailer is properly attached to the vehicle.
- Make sure the brake lights and signal lights are working.
- Check that the equipment load does not exceed the maximum weight for the utility trailer.
- Strap down any loose equipment that may fly out of the utility trailer while in motion.
- Ensure that your path is clear when entering or exiting a parking space with your trailer.
Speak to an Agent
Utility trailer owners have unique insurance needs. If you are confused about the type of policy you need, speak with your local, independent insurance agent today. He will have the knowledge and expertise you need to recommend the right coverage for you.
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