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VOL. 11 NO. 4
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Boat trailer insurance

Find the right policy for your trailer

Boat trailer insurance

If you get in an accident while trailering your boat, do you know which insurance policy will pay for repairs to the trailer?

If it’s a simple accident with damage to the trailer only, it’s likely to be the trailer insurance coverage that pays. But what happens when you back the trailer into a neighbor’s stone wall or a tree comes crashing down on your trailer in your backyard?

Start with the basics. When shopping for trailer boat insurance, ask if the policy provides boat trailer coverage. Not all insurers provide it.

Know the trailer’s value. If you decide to add trailer coverage to your boat’s insurance policy, your insurer needs to know the cost of the boat and trailer separately. If you don’t separate these out, the insurer may have difficulty fairly compensating you in the event of a claim.

How far can you trailer? Ask if there are geographic limits on where or how far you trailer your boat.

Check your auto insurance. Make sure your tow vehicle’s insurance policy includes liability coverage for damage to others’ property caused while trailering your boat, in case you back into your neighbor’s stone wall. This liability coverage isn’t provided by your boat and trailer policy.

Check your homeowner’s insurance. Ask your homeowner’s insurance company if your trailer is covered while stored at home. And try not to park a boat trailer under a tree.

Read the fine print. If you store your boat trailer at your marina or other storage facility, read the fine print in your contract as it relates to insurance. Many contracts include language that holds these facilities harmless. Review these clauses with your insurance company to make sure you’re not in danger of breaching the insurance contract, which could result in no coverage.

Roadside assistance. For a nominal fee, many auto insurance policies offer roadside assistance. Boat trailers, however, aren’t likely to be included in the coverage, and if there is a breakdown of the tow vehicle or the trailer, your boat could be left on the side of the road. Consider adding separate roadside assistance for your boat trailer.

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