Frequently Asked Questions - Florida Trailer Insurance And Laws FAQS
Everybody who owns a car in Florida knows that they must have some sort of insurance for your car. Without insurance, you will not be able to register your vehicle or get license plates. If you are caught driving without insurance in Florida, you can owe fines between $150 and $500 and lose your license and registration for up to three years. Without insurance, you become personally liable for injury you cause to others, and you may lose your privilege to drive until all of the damages you have caused are paid. But what about the trailer that I’m towing behind my car in Florida?
Do I need to get the trailer insured too?
For the most part, Florida law does not require a separate insurance policy for the trailer that you use to haul your boat, horses, yard equipment, motorcycles or a myriad of other items that people haul in trailers for in this state. Nonetheless, you may very well want to get that insurance if you own and regularly tow a trailer in Florida. Most auto insurance policies are going to provide some minimal level of insurance protection when your car and your trailer are involved in a motor vehicle accident, but you may be shocked as to what is not covered if you don’t have a separate trailer insurance policy. If you don’t have that separate policy, the damage that you cause to others in an accident may be covered but other losses probably won’t be. Your expensive trailer and its contents could be lost forever with nothing to compensate you for the loss. Let us address some common questions that people have about their trailers and insurance coverage.
Does Florida law require that I insure my trailer?
No. Florida law does not require that you purchase separate insurance to cover your trailer. The insurance that you carry on your vehicle will generally cover the vehicle it tows. However, there are limitations. First, your car insurance is only going to apply to liability insurance. In other words, it covers the accidental bodily injury and property damage that your trailer causes to others in an accident. If your trailer comes loose when you are on the interstate and hits another vehicle the damage to the vehicle your trailer hits will probably be covered. But that is about it.
What types of losses are not covered if I do not carry separate trailer insurance?
Many. If you don’t have a separate insurance policy for your trailer, then theft, vandalism, fire or storm damage to your trailer is likely not covered. Also, your car’s insurance probably won’t pay for the destruction of your trailer in a motor vehicle accident; a separate trailer insurance policy will. Your car’s contents insurance policy may also exclude the contents of the trailer you’re towing.
How do I purchase trailer insurance?
Check with your car insurance provider first. Many car insurance providers will write policies for boat trailers, camping trailers, horse trailers and other types of trailers. Keep in mind that not all car insurance companies will offer policies for your trailer, and you may need to shop around. Also, insurance that you purchase to cover a trailer that you use for personal use is unlikely to cover the commercial use of that trailer. Talk to an insurance agent to make sure that all of your potential losses that can be caused by various scenarios are covered.
How big can my insured trailer be?
In Florida, your trailer can’t be taller than 13.5 feet or wider than 8.5 feet. Also, the combined length of your trailer and the vehicle it tows cannot exceed 60 feet, with the trailer not being able to exceed 48 feet in length.
What safety devices must my insured trailer have in Florida.
There are several safety devices that your trailer must have to be eligible for insurance coverage. If the trailer exceeds 3000 pounds in weight, it must have its own brakes which can be controlled by the towing vehicle. Florida law also requires that your trailer have brake lights, tail and turn signal lights, and license plate lights.
Are there other safety requirements besides devices on the trailer itself?
Yes. For one, even if the posted speed limit is higher, you cannot exceed 65 miles per hour in Florida if you are towing a trailer. Also, Florida does not allow more than one trailer to be towed behind the towing vehicle: in other words, no training of trailers.
Are there separate laws and regulations if I’m trailing a boat in Florida?
Yes. As the state with the most per capita recreational boats, Florida has additional requirements for the towing of a boat. If your boat trailer weighs more than 2,000 pounds, you must a certificate of title for the trailer. Also, your boat trailer is going to require a license plate in Florida, which you cannot get without proof of insurance for the trailer. You also need a separate permit, known as an “over-dimension permit” if the beam of your boat that you are towing is more than 8.5 feet.
Does my insured trailer need to be registered?
Yes, Florida law requires all trailers to be registered. If your trailer weighs more than 2,000 pounds, it also needs to be titled. To title your trailer in Florida, you will need to have a bill of sale, proof of prior registration or manufacturer’s certificate of origin, and state issued ID.
To sum up, we all need some insurance when driving a vehicle in Florida. The insurance that you are legally required to purchase may not be enough to protect your interests in an accident. Those who can afford to do so are wise to purchase property damage liability beyond minimum requirements, bodily injury coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, and collision/comprehensive coverage. Without buying more than the law requires, the damage to your car, yourself and others will not be covered in a significant accident. The same is true if you have a trailer. You may not be required to have insurance, but without it you can lose very costly items. Nobody wants to be without their fancy boat, expensive trailer, ATV’s or other possessions they worked hard to acquire merely because they did not pay for the extra insurance.
We at Trial Pro are dedicated to protecting all your rights, if you’re involved in an accident. We will aggressively pursue all avenues of potential recovery that are available. If you contact us after an accident, we can ensure that your trailer insurance policy covers all losses you paid for it to cover and fully investigate any other potential coverage you may have.