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Whether you own a box trailer, tool trailer or mobile home, trailer Insurance can provide you with cover against accidental damage, fire, theft, vandalism and more. This guide breaks down your trailer insurance options, what's covered and how to find the right insurance for different kinds of trailers.
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Is trailer insurance compulsory?
No. But while you're not legally required to insure your trailer, it's probably a good idea to get cover for third-party property damage at the very least in case you hit something expensive. Third-party covers you for damage to another person's vehicle or property. Without it, you could be liable for hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of dollars in legal liability.
You can usually get third-party for your trailer with the following types of insurance.
- Car insurance generally includes third-party property damage insurance for trailers, provided your car is insured.
- CTP car insurance also covers trailers, but only while they're being towed by an insured vehicle.
- Third-party-only trailer insurance can be very cheap and save you from a lot of trouble.
- Comprehensive trailer insurance costs a bit more but can also cover you for a wide range of damage to the trailer, even when it's not in use.
What kind of trailer insurance can I get?
Many insurers offer the same type of cover for trailer insurance and caravan insurance. Trailer and caravan insurance is suitable for a wide range of trailers because the cost of a policy is largely based on the value of the trailer. This means it can cover everything from cheap box trailers to stationary caravan residences, and your premiums will vary accordingly. You can generally choose from the following cover options:
- Third-party property damage trailer insurance. This is the cheapest type of trailer insurance which can cover you for third-party property damage and legal liability, such as injuries or damage caused by the trailer.
- Third-party fire and theft trailer insurance. This policy gives you the above cover plus insurance against fire and theft.
- Comprehensive trailer insurance. This policy gives you third-party property damage and liability insurance as well as cover against a wide variety of different damage.
What does trailer insurance cover?
With comprehensive trailer insurance, you can get cover against a range of different events, similar to the type of cover you get with comprehensive car insurance. This can include:
- Legal liability
- Third-party property
- Fire or explosion
- Storms, lightning or hail
- Theft and damage caused by attempted theft
- Vandalism and other malicious damage
- Accidents, collisions and other damage types
If an insured event occurs, you can claim the following benefits:
- Replacement and damage cover. You can get a brand new replacement trailer, have the old trailer repaired or be reimbursed for the cost of repairs or a new trailer as appropriate.
- Towing costs. This covers the cost of towing a trailer from the site of an incident to a repairer, from a repairer to you or to elsewhere as needed depending on the policy.
- Storage costs. This is cover for necessary storage costs following an insured event.
- Clean-up costs. This covers the cost of removing debris from the road and cleaning up following an insured event.
How much does trailer insurance cost?
Trailer insurance prices differ depending on the risk level and the sum insured. Some factors that might impact your trailer insurance costs include:
- The value of your trailer. More expensive trailers naturally cost more to insure.
- The value of other insured items. The full sum insured under the policy, including all items and cover types, can affect the cost of your policy.
- Age and driving history. Younger and less experienced drivers are generally more likely to have higher premiums.
- Frequency of use. A trailer that's used more often is more at risk and may have higher premiums.
- Other risks. This can be affected by the types of roads you drive on, your location, and other risk levels for things that are covered under your policy.
- Your cover types, options and excess. More comprehensive cover with additional options is naturally more expensive. Your excess can also make a significant difference, with a higher excess leading to lower premiums.
What types of trailers can you insure?
You can get insurance for all kinds of trailers. Below are some of the most common.
- Box trailers & camper trailers. You can usually insure box trailers and camper trailers with a standalone trailer policy. This can cover it for third-party property damage and legal liability when and if it is not covered by your car insurance. Alternatively, car insurance policies can also cover trailers. This can sometimes be a cost-effective option, but exclusions can apply.
- Boat trailers. If you're looking to insure a boat trailer, one of the first places to check might be your boat trailer insurance. Boat insurance will often include cover specifically for boat trailers, and if you have a boat trailer, you are likely to need boat insurance anyway. As such, this can be a cost-effective way of finding cover. However, depending on your needs, you might also want to take out an additional policy to fill the gaps in your boat insurance or to get a higher level of cover.
- Tool trailer insurance. If you have a trailer for work purposes, such as a tool trailer, then business-use car insurance might effectively cover your car, the trailer and the equipment carried. Business-use car insurance covers vehicles that you use for both personal and business purposes. This insurance might be an effective all-in-one type of vehicle insurance for tradies and others.
- Truck insurance. For larger truck trailers, specifically for multi-ton loads whether as part of a rigid truck or as a detachable trailer for prime movers, you might want to look at policies that cover heavy equipment trailers, such as concrete pumping trailers.
Is my contents covered by trailer insurance?
Yes, most trailer insurance policies will cover the contents of your trailer, but the amount can vary from provider to provider. The contents cover included with trailer insurance policies will usually specify a limit, such as $1,000. To find out how much cover is being provided, read the product disclosure statement (PDS) before you purchase a policy.
If the contents of the trailer are worth more than this, you may want to consider additional cover to raise the sum insured. Note that exclusions apply and not all types of contents can be covered.
Business items, such as trade tools or merchandise, are often not automatically covered with trailer insurance. To make sure these items are covered, you can select this as an additional option with general trailer cover. Alternatively, you might be able to purchase trailer cover through business insurance.
For a camping trailer or caravan with an annexe, you can also extend your trailer insurance policy to cover belongings kept in the annexe.
Is my trailer covered while I'm at home or driving?
If you purchase trailer insurance, it should be covered for both. However, there are cases when you might not be covered for driving or while at home if you buy a different type of insurance. For example:
- With car insurance, trailers will generally only be covered while they are attached to the insured car. If it's parked at home and not attached to the car, it might not be fully insured against theft or other damage.
- Boat trailer insurance, when bought with boat insurance policies, might only cover the trailer while it's parked or during loading and unloading. You are not necessarily covered while driving on the road.
- CTP car insurance only covers trailers while they're being towed by an insured vehicle.
Some insurers distinguish on-site insurance from travelling insurance, so it might be worth asking about this when you buy a policy. Generally though, a trailer insurance policy will cover you while it's at home or on the road.
What does trailer insurance not cover?
Trailer insurance can cover you for accidents, thefts and damages but there are some cases in which it might not cover you. Some of these are listed below. For a full list, always check the product disclosure statement (PDS).
- You didn't secure your trailer well enough. If you leave your trailer open and unattended, you probably won't be covered if something is stolen.
- You didn't maintain your trailer. Your insurer can reject your claim if they think damage or loss was a result of poor upkeep.
- Your insurer won't pay for anything that's covered under a manufacturer's warranty.
- You're generally covered for most weather events, but some policies exclude actions of the sea, extreme temperature and erosion.
- Business items, such as tools and equipment, are often only available as optional extras.
- Events that occurred outside of Australia
- You won't be covered for wear and tear, rust, corrosion or deterioration.
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