Chuck’s RV Insurance Answers: Unhitched Trailer Trouble

Ask Chuck
August 27, 2012

Dear Chuck,

I was driving up the road when my travel trailer came unhitched and hit another car. Is the damage to both vehicles covered?

Loose Cannon

Dear Loose Cannon,

If you have Collision coverage on your RV, you should be covered up to the limits of your RV policy and, in some circumstances, under your auto policy. Some auto policies include a small amount of physical damage for trailers you are towing. However, an auto policy is rarely enough to cover the damages to your travel trailer or toy hauler — and it most likely won’t cover all the toys and contents in the unit. To help avoid this situation, make sure you’ve accurately valued your RV and are covered to replace it with a similar one. If you have Liability coverage on your car, you should be covered for the damage to the other person’s vehicle.

Talk with a company that specializes in RV insurance and ensure that you have the right amount of vacation protection — a coverage that helps pay for hotels and travel if something happens to your RV while you’re away from home. Also, make sure your agent or insurer understands any special activities that you participate in with your RV. If you use your RV for commercial or racing activities or for full-time use, you may need special coverages. A little research can make a difference.

There are also steps you can take to make sure your trailer stays latched on. Before you take off for that day in the woods, make sure the ball that attaches the trailer to your vehicle has completely settled into the coupler, the latch is securely closed, you’ve attached your chains from the trailer to the tow vehicle, and you’ve pinned the coupler. It’s also important to regularly inspect your hitch system to make sure it’s free of cracking, wear, corrosion or loose bolts. Over time, your hitch system can wear and corrode from age and rust, particularly for those of us in states that use salt or brine on the roads.

Happy RVing!
– Chuck

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Chuck Mozingo enjoys RVing with his wife, two kids and their dog Scout. They enjoy RVing locally in Cleveland, as well as heading north to Whittier, Alaska to their favorite spot, Williwaw Campground. When RVing, Chuck can’t live without his iPod, s’mores and family thumb war tournaments. When he’s not hitting the open road, Chuck is the RV Product Manager for Progressive Insurance, where he has worked for nearly 20 years.