In this short guide, we will discuss: Do I need to tell my insurance if I tow a caravan? We will answer all your questions regarding caravan insurance and more.
Do I need to tell my insurance if I tow a caravan?
Whether you will have to tell your insurance that you are towing a caravan, will depend on its weight. When its permissible gross vehicle weight (GVW) exceeds 750 kg, the trailer or caravan must be insured independently of the vehicle towing it. Otherwise, it will be covered by the third party liability insurance of the towing vehicle at no additional cost.
To make the matter simpler, we broke it into three simple tips:
- If the caravan has a GVWR of less than 500 kg, you are not required to inform your insurer.
- On the other hand, if a caravan weighs between 500 kg and 750 kg, you are invited to inform your insurer not so that he ensures your trailer or your caravan (it is already covered by the third party liability insurance of your vehicle), but so that you issue an insurance certificate. A certificate that you must be able to present to law enforcement in the event of an inspection.
- Finally, if your trailer or your caravan displays a GVW of more than 750 kg, you must, of course, declare it to your insurer because it must be insured individually.
The law requires that all motor vehicles called on to circulate are insured by civil liability coverage. This insurance, also called “third-party” insurance, is intended to compensate third parties who are victims of bodily injury or material damage caused by the vehicle.
This insurance obligation concerns motor vehicles but also trailers or caravans, whether or not they are attached to a vehicle.
Can I take out damage coverage for my trailer or caravan?
You do have the option of insuring your trailer or caravan beyond civil liability. You can thus take out optional guarantees against theft, fire, explosion, attacks, climatic or natural disasters.
You can also take out glass breakage, third-party collision coverage or cover damage to private or business objects and luggage contained in the trailer or caravan in the event of an accident or theft, for example.
Do not hesitate to contact your insurer to find out the extent of the guarantees they offer.
Do I have to register my trailer or my caravan?
Here again, everything will depend on its GVW. When the latter is less than 500 kg, the trailer or caravan must be equipped with a number plate identical to that of the vehicle towing it.
Over 500 kg, it must have its own registration card and a number plate showing the number of the latter. The procedures for obtaining a card for a trailer or caravan are the same as those for motor vehicles.
In the latter case, during a check, you must therefore be able to present the vehicle’s registration document to law enforcement officials as well as that of the trailer or caravan.
Do all vehicles have the power to tow a trailer or caravan?
Not all cars are designed to tow a trailer or a caravan. It is therefore advisable to refer to the manufacturer’s manual and to the vehicle registration card. The latter shows its GVWR (F.2), but also, in section F.3, and its authorized total vehicle weight. The difference between the two will give you the maximum weight the vehicle is able to tow. The latter cannot be greater than the GVW of the trailer or caravan.
How do I know if insurance is compulsory for my caravan or trailer?
The obligation to take out caravan or trailer insurance depends on the weight of the towed vehicle:
- If the authorized total weight of the trailer or caravan is less than or equal to 750 kg: we grant our “Civil Liability – Defense” and “Recourse” guarantees free of charge and without prior declaration to the caravan (or trailer) coupled to the insured vehicle.
- If the authorized total weight of the trailer or caravan is greater than 750 kg: for the assembly formed by the vehicle and the caravan (or trailer) to be insured, it is essential that the vehicle and the caravan (or trailer) are both insured.
- If the weight of your caravan (or trailer) is over 500 kg, you must, in the event of an inspection, be in possession of an insurance certificate (green card).
You choose one of our 4 formulas then you personalize your insurance by choosing options according to your needs. Whatever your choice, we recommend to always include in your caravan or trailer insurance guarantees and essential services:
- compulsory civil liability, to repair material and bodily damage caused to third parties,
- 24/7 assistance, whether you are in the US or abroad, as well as help in drafting your amicable report,
- legal information by telephone, if you are faced with a dispute in the context of your private life.
When should I take out insurance for a trailer?
It all depends on the maximum authorized mass (MMA = sum of the payload and the self-mass):
- MAM less than 500 kg: this trailer does not require compulsory motor vehicle insurance;
- MAM greater than or equal to 500 kg: this trailer is covered by compulsory insurance.
- If the MAM is 750 kg or more, you will also need to request a license plate for that trailer. You will need to affix this Q plate (now trailer license plates begin with the letter Q) on the trailer.
What happens if I cause an accident with a towed trailer or caravan?
Damage caused to others when towing a trailer is compensated by the auto third party insurance of the vehicle with which you are travelling.
The towing of a trailer up to 500 kg is automatically covered. If you connect a trailer with a mass between 500 and 750 kg to your vehicle, it is best to contact your insurer. Some insurers will cover a trailer up to 750 kg free of charge, while others will claim an additional premium. If you are towing a trailer over 750 kg, you must always inform your insurer.
Tip: Always check the insurance conditions with your company before towing a trailer.
What happens if I cause an accident with an unhitched trailer?
An accident can also occur when your trailer is not attached to a towing vehicle. For example, she can walk down an aisle on her own! Which insurance should you then turn to?
- Up to a MAM (maximum authorized mass) of 500 kg, it is the family liability (if it is for private use) or the Company liability (if it is for professional use) which covers the damage. If you do not have either of these two insurances, you will have to compensate for all the damages yourself.
- For a MAM between 500 and 750 kg, it is generally the RC of the towing vehicle that covers the damage. Warning: some insurers require to be informed for trailers with a MAM exceeding 500 kg.
- From a MAM of 750 kg, the trailer has its own number plate and you need specific insurance to cover it, even when it is not hooked to the towing vehicle.
Does my comprehensive insurance, assistance and legal assistance also apply to the caravan?
Your car’s omnium and mini-omnium usually do not cover the caravan. On the other hand, this is frequently the case for additional guarantees such as roadside assistance and legal assistance. On the condition, however, that the caravan:
- weighs less than 500 kg or 750 kg (depending on the insurer);
- is mentioned in the special conditions of your insurance contract;
- or towed by the vehicle mentioned in the same special conditions.
Our final advice is to consult the insurance policy of the company that is covering your vehicle. In some cases, you may get some sort of compensation for wear & tear situations, but as we mentioned already, it all differs depending on the circumstances.
Please let us know if you have any comments or questions or the content.
FAQ on Do I need to tell my insurance if I tow a caravan?
What insurance does a caravan need?
For a caravan, as essential as with cars, it is mandatory to have insurance that covers damage that you can do to third parties and civil liability insurance, but in the case of caravans weighing less than 750 Kg, it is included with the insurance. of the towing vehicle.
What trailers have to be insured?
Trailers or semi-trailers that have a maximum authorized mass must be provided with mandatory civil liability insurance. According to current law, trailers and semi-trailers that exceed 750 maximum authorized mass of weight must be insured.
How to insure a trailer?
Trailers of less than 750 kg or light trailers do not need to have their own insurance but can be covered by car insurance, whose civil liability coverage may be sufficient to cover damages to third parties.