Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Apr 14, 2022

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In a nutshell...

  • If you’re towing a caravan or travel trailer behind your vehicle, your insurance will cover some perils but not all
  • You must be the registered owner of the caravan for any coverage under the policy to extend while in tow
  • Your auto policy will only pay for liability losses that arise while the caravan is being towed by a covered auto
  • The standard personal auto policy doesn’t pay for repairs to the caravan if it’s involved in any covered loss
  • If you need more liability cover, you’re living in the caravan, or you need damage coverage, buy a standalone policy

Caravans are equipped with all of the amenities that you need access to when you’re going on vacation or you’re living life on-the-go.

From a shower and a kitchen to beds and storage areas, you will have access to the simple things in life that you need without having to pay for nightly accommodations.

By simply hitching the caravan to the back of your car, you’re ready to hit the open road and seek adventure.

Before you start on your itinerary, it’s best that you verify that you have the right level of protection.

Towing a caravan can be a hazard in itself. The moment that you hitch a camper to your car with a mass of thousands of pounds, you’re at higher risk of getting into an accident.

Without the right type of insurance, an accident could leave you bankrupt. Compare car insurance quotes and find the coverage that’s right for your situation. Enter your zip code above to get started.

Here’s a guide on how your car insurance covers caravans in tow:

What is a covered auto?


Auto policies are written to protect vehicle owners if they are involved in accidents. The policy itself is written on a specific vehicle and it will include a specific level of protection.

While insurance companies use the term “covered auto” to describe the vehicle that’s listed on the declarations page and rated on the policy, more than just that vehicle is covered.

Policies provide additional coverage that is specifically designed to protect the policyholder is some normal scenarios. This is why you have covered when you acquire a new car during the term of your policy for a certain period of time.

Here are some other types of vehicles that are covered under the standard policy form:

  • Replacement vehicle (when a car is purchased and another is sold)
  • Newly acquired vehicle (for 10 to 30 days from the date of purchase)
  • Rental car or temporary substitute vehicle when your car is broken down
  • A trailer or camper

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There Are Limits to the Coverage Provided for Trailers

A trailer, camper, or caravan may be covered under your auto policy, but there are some very big limitations that you must know about.

  • First off, the recreational vehicle can’t be motorized and must have to be towed to move from one point to another.
  • Secondly, the registration and the named insured on the policy must match.

If you’re not the registered owner of the caravan, any type of coverage that does extend under your personal policy won’t apply. A rental caravan has no coverage under your insurance.

All trailers that you’re renting for the short-term need to have coverage that’s sold through the rental agency.

It doesn’t matter if you have a liability-only policy or a full coverage policy, the coverage that will extend to your caravan will remain the same. All auto insurance policies provide only liability protection while towing covered trailers.

Whatever level of bodily injury and property damage coverage that you carry on your vehicle will extend while the trailer is hitched and being towed.

Does this eliminate the need for extra coverage?


Your auto insurance isn’t meant to change the need for a standalone trailer policy altogether.

You should still contemplate whether or not you’re going to need added protection, but knowing that you have some coverage when you’re liable for an accident will give you some peace of mind.

If you don’t have any other insurance, you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to several different types of claims.

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Why does your auto insurance pay for liability claims?

It’s nice that the insurance company extends liability coverage to a caravan while it’s in tow, but you might question why that’s the case.

You’re not charged any type of added fee for the protection and you don’t have to request any type of special ID card showing you have coverage, so why do you get added protection?

The answer to these questions is quite simply that you’re covered to drive your vehicle and these claims will still arise out of the operation of the covered auto.

Since the caravan or fifth-wheel trailer doesn’t have its own motor, it must be hitched to your car to set sail on the open road. That’s the qualification for coverage to extend.

At the end of the day, if you’re involved in a collision while you have the caravan attached, it’s still an accident claim filed against you and you’ll still be liable, the same as you would if you were driving your vehicle without anything hitched.

It wouldn’t make sense for the insurer not to cover a claim arising from the operation of the covered auto.

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What happens if the caravan is damaged?

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You may have comprehensive and collision to pay for damages to your car, but these coverage options aren’t going to pay for the caravan too. The caravan is only an extension to your car when liability is concerned.

It’s a separate vehicle when it comes time to pay for claims for damage.

If your caravan jackknifes and you’re left with a damaged car and a damaged trailer, the insurance carrier may help you pay for the car’s damage but it’s not going to help with the caravan.

No physical damage coverage is afforded to a recreational vehicle under an auto policy. It doesn’t matter if you have a basic policy or the broadest coverage available.

Will your adjuster help you file a third-party claim?

Once you’ve reported the accident and given your adjuster the details, it’s time to leave the investigation to the professionals.

Your insurer will do their best to piece together the puzzle and to determine whose actions caused the accident to happen. If you’re the victim in the loss, you can seek compensation for your damages from the other party.

As long as you’ve filed the claim for your insurer and it occurred while your vehicle was being operated, your auto insurance adjuster will help you deal with the other carrier.

It’s the adjuster’s job to help you recover money that will pay for all of the damages sustained during a car crash. That includes damages to your car and damages to your caravan.

If you have clothing, food, furniture, and other belongings in the caravan, your auto policy won’t pay for them.

You could file a claim against your homeowner’s insurance, but there are limits to how much property is covered away from home. It could also lead to a rate increase.

Why do you need a standalone policy?


Your auto insurance provider might not offer caravan insurance but many companies do. Since it requires another vehicle to move, the policy probably won’t offer the typical type of liability protection.

Instead, it will offer personal liability insurance that pays for all types of instances where you could be held liable for damaging property or injuring people, much like a home policy.

You can purchase more than just liability coverage. You’ll also have the option to buy physical damage coverage, property damage for the contents inside, and medical payments coverage.

Always know your options when it comes to insurance. You may have protection now but it’s extremely limited. If you have low limits of liability, consider raising them before you tow any large vehicle or trailer.

To price the cost of higher limits, use our online rate quote tool and then compare your current rates to see if the increase in rates is reasonable.