Auto, Boat or Homeowners Insurance: Where Does the Boat Trailer Fit In?
If a tree damages your boat and trailer, do you know which insurance policy will take care of the trailer? BoatUS has some answers.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — It’s clear what auto, boat or homeowners insurance policies are for. But which insurance policy insures your boat trailer?
The answer is it depends on how and what type of damage occurred, says Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS).
“If a boat trailer is damaged in an accident on the road, it’s the separate trailer coverage provided by your boat’s insurance policy that pays for repairs or replacement,” said BoatUS Vice President of Marine Underwriting Mike Pellerin.
“But if your boat trailer damages others’ property or leads to injuries when it is connected to your tow vehicle, it’s your auto insurance policy’s liability coverage that would pay for damages to other vehicles, property or any medical claims.”
“The same goes if you accidentally back your rig into your neighbor’s stone wall,” continued Pellerin. “Your boat’s trailer repairs would be provided for by the trailer coverage in your boat’s insurance policy, while repairs to the neighbor’s wall would go under the auto policy’s liability coverage.”
What happens if a tree falls on your unloaded trailer while it is parked in your driveway?
There are two possible answers here: it could be the trailer coverage in your boat’s insurance policy that will compensate you, or you may also be able to make a claim on your homeowner’s policy. If a trailer is damaged or stolen when stored at a marina or other storage location, the trailer coverage in the boat’s insurance policy will compensate you.
Here are five insurance buying tips for trailer boaters:
1. Not all boat insurance policies automatically provide boat trailer coverage. When shopping for boat insurance be sure to ask this question, and also find out if there are geographic limits on where you may trailer the boat.
2. If you do decide to add trailer coverage to your boat’s insurance policy, ensure that your insurer knows the cost of the boat and trailer separately. If you don’t separate these two, they may have difficulty in fairly compensating you for a claim.
3. Ensure your vehicle’s insurance policy includes liability coverage for any damage to others’ property that you cause while trailering your boat.
4. Ask your homeowner’s insurance company if your trailer is covered when stored at home.
5. If you store your boat trailer at your marina or other storage facility, be sure to read the fine print in your contract as it relates to insurance. Many include language that holds these facilities “harmless.”
For more information on boat insurance, or to get a free quote online, go to www.BoatUS.com/insurance or call 800-283-2883.
BoatUS — Boat Owners Association of The United States — is a leading advocate for recreational boaters providing over half a million members with government representation, programs and money-saving services such as boat insurance and on-the-road assistance through the BoatUS Trailering Club. For membership information, visit www.BoatUS.com or call 800-395-2628.