Do I need special insurance if I plan to hitch a trailer to my car, truck, or SUV?

truck with boat trailerSemi-trailer accidents have become a hotbed of controversy and fear for many drivers over the past few years. However, trucks with semis attached aren’t the only vehicles with trailers on the road, nor are they the only threat.

Personal trailers and cargo haulers can cause just as much damage as semi-trailers, and have the added risk of coming loose more often. Semi-trailers are attached to high-grade hitches installed and maintained by professional trucker drivers. Motor vehicle trailers, on the other hand, are attached to smaller hitches and most often maintained by drivers not as experienced with towing. As a result, personal cargo trailers are more likely to detach from lead vehicles, and the results are often catastrophic.  

The Insurance You Need for a Trailer

If you're towing a trailer that detaches and causes damage to property, an accident, or harm to someone, you’ll be held financially responsible. It's best to understand all the ways you can protect yourself and others with the right insurance choices. Here's what you need to know:    

  • Insurance law. Depending on the size and weight of the trailer, some states require drivers to purchase additional trailer insurance to cover any potential accidents. However, Florida trailer laws focus more on preventing accidents rather than planning for accidents. Florida statute 316.530 specifically addresses particular towing requirements without mention of the need for permits or additional insurance. 
  • Insurance recommendations. Although your car insurance policy may include trailer liability, purchasing additional coverage is highly recommended. A loaded trailer can weigh as much as 10,000 lbs., and the force of its release at high speeds has severe consequences. Additional insurance provides coverage—up to your policy’s limit—for the following:
  • Property damage. Coverage for when your trailer strikes another vehicle or object and causes significant damage to another person’s property. This policy reimburses the owner for any damage caused by the trailer.
  • Bodily Injury. Coverage for when your trailer is responsible for injuries to another person. This policy provides compensation for medical bills, recovery expenses, and potential funeral costs.
  • Legal costs. Coverage for when you’re sued for injuries or damages resulting from a trailer accident. This policy provides aid for legal defense and court fees.

We Can Help

Need more information about the dangers of towing, trailers, or cargo loading? Have you or a loved one been injured as a result of a loose or detached trailer? Browse our site to learn more about safety and injury claims through our blogs and FAQs.

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