The coming summertime probably has your thoughts turning to warmer weather and all the outdoor activities that accompany it. A great many Canadians will take to forests and lakes to kick back while camping, fishing, boating and enjoying other water sports. Before hitching up your jet ski, cabin cruiser or recreational vehicle to your truck or SUV be sure to know how insurance on these possessions works. Having the proper coverage could mean the difference between having a heavenly vacation or a trip from... well you get the idea.

Auto Insurance and Towing

You know how your auto insurance works, at least at a very high level. You get in an accident with another vehicle or inanimate object, and damage to your automobile, the other party's car or a paddock fence, is covered— provided your policy is designed to meet your needs. There is also liability insurance for an injury suffered to your own passengers or those of the other driver. But what about the playthings you pull behind you?

Damage to Other Property: Covered by Auto Insurance

You could misjudge the height of a canopy over a refuelling island and have your hitched camper take out a chunk of that structure. It happens. The upside, if there is one, is that an object in tow that causes damage to a structure or vehicle falls under the umbrella of your auto coverage. Even if the trailer or camper comes away from the ball hitch and that thing rolls downhill (it happens more often than you'd think), the runaway item is considered part of the towing vehicle for liability insurance purposes.

Damage to Trailers and Camper Trailers: Standalone Coverage

Damage to another party's vehicle or property by a boat, RV or trailer in tow is covered under an auto policy, but if you don't secure a separate insurance contract for the trailer or camper, you will end up eating the cost of repairs to that personal property. And therein lies the rub.

Any trailer, whether it is a cargo or camper trailer, requires insurance coverage of its own for damage.

If a tree does fall in the woods and crushes your fifth wheel, somebody will likely hear it, and you will definitely want somebody else to pay for it. That would be the insurer— if you acquire the right kind of coverage. Even if you have a car accident while towing your trailer, your car insurance will usually not cover the damage to that trailer.

Toys Under Tow: Standalone Coverage

If you tow a motorcycle, ATV, boat or jet-ski it is a good idea to get separate damage coverage for those toys.

Your auto policy would not cover repairs to the trailer, or the equipment inside while towing or in storage. So, strongly consider adding that trailer to your auto insurance policy. For your boat to be covered, it will likely have to be added to your home insurance policy.

Final Thoughts

If you're a bit unsure about the ins and outs of boat or RV insurance, you're probably not alone. Always talk to your insurance representative to make sure you are fully covered.

Recreational vehicle claims are less frequent than automobile mishaps, and that makes premiums for coverage fairly affordable. Check out costs for these types of policies on We will get you in touch with the insurance professional who can get you the policy and make sure all of your toys are properly covered.


The RATESDOTCA editorial team are experienced writers focused on sharing stories and bringing you the latest news in insurance and personal finance. Our goal is to provide Canadians with the information and resources they need to make better insurance and financial decisions.

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