Home is where you tow it
Because your travel trailer moves away from a fixed location but does not have a motor, it doesn’t fall into a specific category like homeowners, auto, or even RV. Insurance companies like to create policies that are specifically targeted to sets of risks associated with the product. Meaning, anytime there is a unique aspect to what you want to be insured, they will create another product for it. Let’s explore the finer points of travel trailer insurance, as well as how to save.
Your auto policy will typically extend to your trailer when you are pulling it — but only for liability and provides no coverage to your actual trailer. Meaning, an auto policy alone will only cover damage your trailer causes to other people and their property.
So, depending on the kind of travel trailer insurance you choose, it can extend past basic liability to cover the gaps left by your home and auto policies. Your home or renters policies provide coverage for your personal belongings that are kept outside of your home (such as a travel trailer), but at a fraction of your coverage limit (usually 5-10% less). This amount of coverage is simply insufficient if you have anything valuable in your trailer.
Moreover, travel trailer insurance offers physical coverage much like your auto policy would. Without this coverage, you would be forced to pay for the damages yourself in the event of an accident.
Now that we discussed why it’s important to have travel trailer insurance, let’s break down what is covered.
As previously mentioned, your auto policy's liability coverage is extended to your travel trailer when you are towing it. However, if you live full-time in your travel trailer or use it quite a bit, you should consider some additional liability coverage that is above your original auto coverage.
Not provided by your auto policy, comprehensive coverage will cover damages to your travel trailer that result from:
Again, like your auto coverage, collision covers your travel trailer in the event it is damaged by in traffic accident.
Although your travel trailer works in many ways like your home and auto, the typical things that are excluded from both are actually covered here. Damages resulting from flood, which is excluded on your homeowners, is covered under your comprehensive coverage. And, your personal belongings, which are excluded from your auto insurance, can be covered by your travel insurance much like your renters or homeowners would.
However, there are some things that wouldn’t fall under your normal insurance policy:
If you spend a significant amount of your time in your travel trailer or have one that is particularly valuable, you should consider some additional coverage.
If you have expensive equipment or in general valuable items in your travel trailer, you should consider additional insurance to cover your contents. Usually, you'll be able to set the amount of personal property coverage you would like.
If you live in your travel trailer full time, you should consider if you need something closer to a homeowners policy with increased liability or medical payments to others.
The name pretty much sums up this coverage and is useful if you have an expensive travel trailer. While it varies by company, this coverage will replace your travel trailer if it is destroyed with a model that is within the first 5 years of yours.
If you travel trailer is damaged to the point it is unlivable, this coverage will pay for your additional living expenses if you are more than a certain amount away from your home.
The distance in which you will be covered for depends on your company and your policy.
The cost of travel insurance is highly variable — depending on the type of trailer you have as well as what coverage options you choose. Still, there are some general guidelines we can outline.
If you get your travel trailer insurance with the same company as your auto, you can expect a multi-policy discount.
If you’re worried about the increased cost of travel trailer, you should consider the relationship between your deductible and your premium. If you raise your deductible, i.e., what you pay in your claim payout, you lower your premium.
If you are able to afford to do so, paying your premium upfront can save you money. Typically, your insurance company will refer to this discount as a "paid in full" discount.