Does Car Insurance Cover Towed Vehicles?

Trailer covered by car insurance towed behind vehicle

We all know that car insurance helps protect your vehicle while you’re on the road. But what happens when you’re towing another vehicle? Does car insurance cover towed vehicles in the first place? Here’s everything you need to know and how to stay safe for your next towing trip.

Understanding Car Insurance Coverage

It’s important to understand what car insurance actually covers and what those coverages mean. A typical car insurance policy may cover your medical expenses, bodily injury liability and property damage liability in the event of a car accident.

Medical expense coverage, like Medical Payments coverage (MedPay) and Personal Injury Protection (PIP) helps pay for your medical bills as a result of a car accident. Liability coverage protects you if you’re held responsible for injuring someone or damaging their property in a car accident.

Coverage for damage to your own car is not usually required. If you owe money on the car, you may be required to have coverage as a term of your loan or lease.

Comprehensive coverage may cover:Collision coverage may cover:
Natural disasters and storms Hitting another vehicle
Vandalism Hit by another vehicle
Damage caused by animals Hitting a stationary object

Car Insurance and Towed Vehicles

In general, vehicles being towed are only covered under their own insurance policy. Vehicles being towed are not typically covered by the policy of the vehicle doing the towing.

For example, say you’re towing your sedan with your pickup truck and you have comprehensive and collision coverage on each of those vehicles. If any damage happens to your sedan while it is being towed, the policy covering the sedan will cover damage to it. If any damage happens to your truck, your truck’s policy will cover it.

When Does Insurance Not Cover Towed Vehicles?

The most common situation where insurance will not cover towing is if the towed vehicle does not have its own policy. This is also the case even when the towed vehicle is not another car, like a boat or motorcycle. Your car’s comprehensive or collision coverage will not cover any additional vehicles it is towing.

If you’re towing a trailer with personal property inside of it, your car insurance may cover the trailer itself but not the contents within. Instead, your homeowners or renters policy may cover belongings damaged inside a trailer.

Rentals

Your personal car insurance policy will likely not cover damage to a towing rental, like a moving truck or van. It also will likely not cover your liability if you injure someone or damage property driving the moving truck. Similarly, your insurance may not cover damage to a trailer that you rent even if you tow it with your personal vehicle.

Most trailer rental companies will offer their own insurance you can purchase when you rent a truck or trailer. Additional insurance can give you peace of mind, especially if you’re not used to driving a large vehicle or towing a trailer. Check in with your rental company for their specific policies and coverage details.

Additional Towing Coverage

If your car insurance policy doesn’t already come with protection for a trailer, you may be able to purchase additional trailer coverage. Again, any towed vehicles are not covered under the towing vehicle’s policy and need separate policies.

If you’re planning to transport a vehicle by towing, you can’t use roadside assistance or towing coverage to do that. Roadside assistance and towing coverage only helps reimburse you to tow your vehicle in the event of a disablement.

5 Tips for Vehicle Towing

Keep the following safety tips in mind to make your next towing trip a success:

Preparation

Make sure that the vehicle you’re using to tow is in good shape, and that the towed vehicle is properly secured to the trailer or dolly. Inspect your equipment regularly for signs of wear before each towing trip. Look up the proper towing procedure for both the towing vehicle and the vehicle being towed.

Towing Capacity

Ensure your towing vehicle is rated to tow your trailer’s weight. Exceeding the towing capacity can quickly damage both the towing vehicle and the towed vehicle. It can also cause you to lose control of the vehicle while you’re towing, presenting a danger to yourself and others on the road.

Weight Distribution

Load the vehicle evenly on the trailer or dolly. Keeping the weight evenly distributed prevents dangerous swaying or fishtailing. It will also reduce stress on your equipment.

Safe Driving

Drive even more cautiously and defensively while towing. Keep a safe following distance from other vehicles, as you will need distance to slow down. Drive gently and avoid harsh braking or sudden movements.

Plan Your Route

One of the most important things to keep in mind while you’re towing is your route. Be aware of potential obstacles like steep inclines, narrow roads, height restrictions, sharp turns or weight restrictions. Plan your route to be safer, even if it means a longer travel time.

Conclusion: Does Car Insurance Cover Towed Vehicles?

If you’re towing a trailer or dolly with another vehicle attached to it, the towing vehicle’s insurance will not cover damage to it. It’s best to carry insurance coverage for each vehicle, no matter if it’s being towed or the one doing the towing. Remember to stay safe while towing any kind of load, and make sure you have the right insurance for your vehicles, trailer and belongings to take the stress out of your next towing trip.

Now Let’s Talk About You
Do you have the right coverage for your vehicle? We’d love to chat with you about it. Call us at 855-993-4470 or speak to a local agent.

If you’d rather not talk, you can get a quote quickly and easily online. Just enter your ZIP code to get started and see how much you could save!

*Amount based on average annual savings reported by Plymouth Rock customers in multiple states who switched between 10/1/2022 and 9/30/2023. Your premium may vary due to the state and underwriting company in which your policy is written, available discounts, driving record and other factors.

Save an average of $540* on car insurance

*Amount based on average annual savings reported by Plymouth Rock customers in multiple states who switched between 10/1/2022 and 9/30/2023. Your premium may vary due to the state and underwriting company in which your policy is written, available discounts, driving record and other factors.

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