Does auto insurance cover towing a trailer?

Your car insurance usually covers you for bodily injury liability when you're towing a trailer, but you may still want extra coverage. Read on to learn about your options.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Jun 2, 2022

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Things to remember

  • Your standard liability coverage may cover your trailer, but only if it’s considered eligible
  • Eligible trailers and vehicles are defined as utility trailers, travel trailers, and horse trailers that you own and are registered in your name
  • If you think you need more coverage, you can purchase a specialty policy that covers recreational vehicles

If you’ve recently bought a trailer, you might be wondering, “Is towing a trailer covered by insurance?” Or “do you need special insurance to tow a trailer?”. You don’t need special insurance to tow a trailer in most cases, and your insurance company can’t deny a claim just because you were towing.

If you are in the market for new auto insurance for your trailer, start comparing auto insurance rates now by using your ZIP code in our free tool.

Does auto insurance cover towing a trailer if you only have liability coverage? 

There are many different types of auto insurance coverage, but the most common type is liability auto insurance. Your vehicle’s liability coverage will usually extend to any trailers you are towing, and so you’re covered for bodily injury claims even if they’re caused while you’re towing a trailer.

The only exceptions are if the trailer is not roadworthy or registered, or if the tow vehicle is unsuited to tow it. For example, if you’re towing a large trailer with a small car and overload it, your insurance company may deny your liability claim for negligence. This is rare, however. 

Take a look at this table to see average liability coverage rates across the country.

Average Annual Liability Auto Insurance Rates by State
StateAverage Annual Rates for Liability Coverage
District of Columbia$628.09
South Dakota$289.04
New Hampshire$393.24
New Jersey$865.55
New Mexico$462.21
New York$784.98
North Carolina$357.59
North Dakota$282.55
Rhode Island$720.06
South Carolina$497.50
West Virginia$501.44
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As you can see, costs can vary widely by state. Keep in mind these are averages that may not reflect exactly what you’ll pay, particularly because there are a number of factors that affect auto insurance rates including age, gender, ZIP code, driving record, credit score, and more.

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Does auto insurance cover towing a trailer if you have collision coverage?

While your liability coverage will protect you when towing, your comprehensive or collision coverage won’t extend to your trailer automatically. This means if you’re towing a trailer and your car is stolen, the car insurance policy will usually only cover the cost of the car. Likewise, if you’re involved in a crash and you’re at fault, your insurance company won’t pay for damage to your trailer. 

However, you can purchase specific trailer insurance. For example, GEICO utility trailer insurance will most likely cover your trailer or towing of your trailer as well as protect you from losses related to theft, vandalism, or other perils.

Do you have to tell your car insurance company when you’re towing? 

Towing a trailer is more difficult than normal driving, and that means it is more risky, but you don’t have to tell your insurance company you plan to tow things occasionally. Even if you happen to crash while towing a trailer, your insurance will usually operate as it would for any other car accident claim — although as we cited above, you are not likely covered for property damage to your trailer. 

Are trailers covered in a minimum car insurance policy?

Any vehicle driven on the road is required to hold a minimum insurance in all but two states. There are different minimum car insurance requirements by state. They’re referred to as minimum auto insurance coverage laws. As discussed above, you have to have this insurance to drive legally.

Insurance policies that adhere to these requirements generally include all of the following: 

  • Newly purchased vehicles
  • Temporary substitute vehicles
  • Replacement vehicles
  • Trailers in tow

That means a trailer is included in your state-mandated liability insurance and you are protected if someone is injured while you’re towing a trailer.

Minimum Auto Insurance Liability Coverage Requirements by State
StateInsurance required to legally driveMinimum liability limits
AlabamaBI & PD Liab25/50/25
AlaskaBI & PD Liab50/100/25
ArizonaBI & PD Liab15/30/10
ArkansasBI & PD Liab, PIP25/50/25
CaliforniaBI & PD Liab15/30/5
ColoradoBI & PD Liab25/50/15
ConnecticutBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/20
DelawareBI & PD Liab, PIP25/50/10
District of ColumbiaBI & PD Liab, UM25/50/10
FloridaPD Liab, PIP10/20/10
GeorgiaBI & PD Liab25/50/25
HawaiiBI & PD Liab, PIP20/40/10
IdahoBI & PD Liab25/50/15
IllinoisBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/20
IndianaBI & PD Liab25/50/25
IowaBI & PD Liab20/40/15
KansesBI & PD Liab, PIP25/50/25
KentuckyBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/25
LouisianaBI & PD Liab15/30/25
MaineBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM, Medpay50/100/25
MarylandBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM30/60/15
MassachusettsBI & PD Liab, PIP20/40/5
MichiganBI & PD Liab, PIP20/40/10
MinnesotaBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM30/60/10
MississipiBI & PD Liab25/50/25
MissouriBI & PD Liab, UM25/50/25
MontanaBI & PD Liab25/50/20
NebraskaBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/25
NevadaBI & PD Liab25/50/20
New HampshireFR only25/50/25
New JerseyBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM15/30/5
New MexicoBI & PD Liab25/50/10
New YorkBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/10
North CarolinaBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM30/60/25
North DakotaBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/25
OhioBI & PD Liab25/50/25
OklahomaBI & PD Liab25/50/25
OregonBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/20
PennsylvaniaBI & PD Liab, PIP15/30/5
Rhode IslandBI & PD Liab25/50/25
South CarolinaBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/25
South DakotaBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/25
TennesseeBI & PD Liab25/50/15
TexasBI & PD Liab, PIP30/60/25
UtahBI & PD Liab, PIP25/65/15
VermontBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/10
VirginiaBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/20
WashingtonBI & PD Liab25/50/10
West VirginiaBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/25
WisconsinBI & PD Liab, UM, Medpay25/50/10
WyomingBI & PD Liab25/50/20
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Does liability coverage protect you when towing a trailer out-of-state?

What if you’re traveling cross-country and you need to tow your trailer in another state? Are you still covered?

No matter where you are if you have low limits and you’re traveling through a few states, your out-of-state liability limits will bump up to the state requirements of whichever one you’re in at the time. 

Does auto insurance cover towing a trailer? A Final Word

It’s always best to know exactly what’s covered in your policy. Does your auto insurance cover towing a trailer? Liability insurance extends to an eligible trailer in most situations, but a lot of people who tow trailers need more financial protection than liability coverage can provide. You can buy specific insurance to cover damage to your trailer or theft if you need it. 

Start comparing auto insurance rates for your trailer now by entering your ZIP code in our free tool.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

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