Jessica Sautter is a Content Writer for CarInsuranceCompanies.com with a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University in Elementary Education with a Major in Reading and a Minor in Mathematics.

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Oct 5, 2020

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Key takeaways...

  • Most insurance companies will consider the load you are towing behind your vehicle to be covered under your insurance policy if it inflicts damage on another vehicle
  • Some companies may offer an add-on to your standard car insurance policy that covers boat towing, trailer towing, or your RV itself
  • First and foremost, boaters and RVers will want to make sure that their insurance policy covers any personal effects in the load they are towing
  • Adding this to your policy may increase the premium slightly, but as any boater knows, the personal items stored in a boat are often as valuable  and sometimes as expensive  as the boat itself

Car insurance policies are named as such because they cover automobiles that drive on the highway. These insurance policies generally do not cover any damage experienced by what the car is towing — be that a boat, an RV, or a trailer of any kind.

However, there are always options when searching for a new insurance policy and, because most insurance companies offer multiple types of insurance, it is possible to cover both your vehicle and your boat or trailer without dealing with separate companies or separate agents.

Find out how by comparing car insurance quotes for FREE by entering your zip code and start comparing today!

Table of Contents

The Fine Line When Dealing with Towing Damages

Most insurance companies will consider the load you are towing behind your vehicle to be covered by your insurance policy if it inflicts damage on another vehicle.

If you get into an automobile accident and the trailer itself becomes out of control and inflicts damage on other motorists, it will be considered part of your vehicle and therefore covered under your policy and subject to your deductible.

However, if the boat or trailer you are towing manages to separate from your vehicle and cause damage to other motorists after this separation, it will not be considered part of your car insurance policy and you will have to deal with those damages separately.

Even if the boat you were towing was hitched to your vehicle for the majority of the incident, it becomes a separate claim and liability issue the moment it detaches from your hitch.

In another scenario, your car insurance policy will likely not cover any damage inflicted upon your boat or trailer by another vehicle in the event of an accident.

It’s a strange quirk of the car insurance industry, but any damages inflicted on the load you are towing at the time of an accident is considered to be covered under a trailer or boat insurance policy and not by your vehicle policy.

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The Importance of Comparison Shopping

If you’re someone who is frequently towing a boat, RV, or trailer behind your vehicle, this is an important part of the comparison shopping process when picking a new policy.

Each insurance company may have a slightly different take on just what towing-related incidents they cover and how they process those claims.

Some companies may offer an add-on to your standard car insurance policy that covers boat towing, trailer towing, or your RV itself.

Others may state that it is actually covered under their policy, and still others may require you to hold separate insurance for each load you tow behind your vehicle.

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Bundling Boat Insurance with Car Insurance

Even if your insurance company doesn’t offer an easy add-on to cover the objects you frequently tow with your vehicle, there are other options that will keep you covered and keep your mind at ease when you’re on your way to the lake for a long day of fishing.

Most car insurance companies have diversified their offerings to include things like home and renter’s insurance, floor insurance, ATV and RV insurance, and even boat insurance.

These policies will cover not only the damage to any towing device such as a trailer, but to the boat, RV, or ATV which is being towed.

These policies also cover any damage inflicted by your boat or RV, and come with their own separate deductibles in case of an emergency situation or a serious accident on the highway.

This unique quirk of two insurance policies for one load on the highway means that you may be spared a large financial burden in the case of an accident involving only your boat, and not your vehicle.

It also means you will have minimal liability for any driver who does damage to your trailer or the boat it is hauling.

They will have to deal with your insurance company and work within your policy, which is much more preferable than being uninsured or relying on a questionable fine-print situation with your vehicle insurance.

Additionally, bundling multiple insurance policies with the same provider is an excellent way to save up to ten or twelve percent on the monthly cost of your insurance.

Almost every insurance company offers some sort of car insurance discount for bundling your services, and most will even reward customer loyalty as an added bonus.

So, if you’ve been with your insurance provider for a good number of years, it’s worth asking if your loyalty will result in any additional discounts when you add your boat to your list of insurance policies in good standing.

Additional Considerations for Boat and Vehicle Insurance

In addition to the price of your insurance policy and the fine print regarding what is covered and uncovered in case of an accident or emergency, it’s important to consider a few other items when comparison shopping.

First and foremost, boaters and RVers will want to make sure that their insurance policy covers any personal effects in the load they are towing.

Some policies  generally the more affordable ones  will cover any collision or damage done to (or by) the boat you are towing, but will not cover the loss of any items stored in the boat at the time of the accident.

Adding this to your policy may increase the premium slightly, but as any boater knows, the personal items stored in a boat are often as valuable  and sometimes as expensive  as the boat itself.

Another consideration is who the policy actually covers both when the boat is on the trailer and on the water.

Some policies cover only the policyholder, while others will cover the policyholder and dependents, or the policyholder and one or two additional people who can be named on the policy itself.

This, again, may result in a higher premium but will ultimately pay for itself in the event of an accident on the water or on the highway.

An uninsured driver passes the enormous amount of damages and debt onto the policyholder, exposing you to great financial risk if this consideration is not fully thought out.

Bundle and save on car insurance for FREE with our ZIP code search! The best car insurance companies are waiting for you to compare quotes for free now! 

References:

  1. https://www2.chubb.com/us-en/individuals-families/understanding-boat-insurance.aspx
  2. https://www.thebalance.com/considerations-for-buying-boat-insurance-3884317
  3. https://www.boatingmag.com/how-to-get-best-boat-insurance-policy-0
  4. http://www.financemyboat.com/boat-insurance-info/
  5. https://www.metlifeyourlife.com/belongings-insurance/save-on-boat-insurance/#.WpQ8z6inG00