Trailer & Semi-Trailer Insurance
Why Do You Need It
If you are a Manitoba resident, in order to drive with a trailer on a road in Manitoba, you are required by law to purchase an insurance policy for the trailer called Autopac from Manitoba Public Insurance along with Manitoba license plates and registration.
If you are financing the purchase of your trailer or are leasing a trailer, it will be a condition of financing or leasing to purchase and maintain trailer Insurance and in most cases provide confirmation of insurance.
The finance company (trailer manufacturer, dealer, bank, credit union, mortgage broker) will usually offer insurance on the financed amount. This policy will pay off the balance of your financing if you are disabled and cannot work or die. Trailer Insurance is very different, it pays for the cost or repair damage caused (or the actual cash value of the trailer if written off) to the trailer from an “insured peril” (ie. covered by the policy). Without trailer Insurance, you would be stuck paying for this damage by yourself.
Did you know that you are required to have a Class 3 or better Driver’s licence, if you are hauling a trailer which weighs 4541 KG and more. This includes all personal use trailers. Typical Driver’s Licence is a Class 5 which allows a driver to have vehicle plus a trailer up to 4540 KG Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). The Gross Vehicle Weight is printed on the registration and is the chosen weight for the trailer, however it must include the trailer weight and weight of largest load that you will ever carry.
Utility trailers are designed to carry cargo and can be either flat deck, box, or enclosed trailers and other trailers not fitting in the other trailer descriptions (ie. such as hot dog carts). Utility trailer hookup via a standard ball hitch to the back of the vehicle. If the trailer is hooked up via a 5th wheel style hitch, then it is called a Gooseneck trailer.
A Gooseneck trailer is the same as a utility trailer except it is designed towed with a 5th wheel style hitch which is the same type of connection used for a semi-trailer.
House or Cabin trailers are sometimes called travel trailers, fifth wheels, recreation vehicles or campers and regardless of what they are called, they are a trailer usually used as a travel trailer (designed for travel, recreational or vacation use), although they can be used as mobile homes or industrial or commercial structures.
Basic Autopac and license plate for a house trailer is not meant to cover a permanently situated trailer. In order to qualify for coverage, the trailer must be movable and capable of being towed on its own wheels by a motor vehicle (rather than a flatbed for example). In addition, If the trailer has any alterations (such as permanently removing wheels, removing trailer hitches, attaching permanent structures, permanent plumbing, electricity and/or oil connections and utility provider (although seasonal hooks ups are acceptable) , skirting or blocking (although temporary skirting or blocking is acceptable), permanent add a room (although temporary add-on rooms such as tents or awnings are acceptable) or anything that limits the trailer’s mobility), it does not qualify to be insured with Basic Autopac and a license plate. Most importantly if a claim occurs, Autopac can deny the claim if it turns out that any of these changes have been made.
We can provide a separate policy to cover the trailer if it does not qualify for Basic Autopac and license plate. Alternatively, in some cases the trailer can be added to your Home (or Tenant or Condominium) insurance policy. Each insurance company has different rules, but in some cases, in order to add to a home insurance policy you may need to do some modifications (for example, blocks, skirted, wheels off, etc.).
If you qualify for Basic Autopac and license plates, it sometimes works out to be less expensive, however in other cases it may be less expensive to have coverage extended from a home policy and/or a separate policy.
Basic Autopac and license plates coverage will only provide coverage for the trailer and any permanently attached equipment but does not cover any of the contents (example: if you have a generator that is permanently attached its included but same generator not attached is not). In addition, there would be no coverage for any attached or detached structures. By adding to your home insurance and/or purchasing a separate policy you can extend to also include coverage contents and optionally extend to cover any attached or detached structures, such as sheds, cabanas, etc.
You cannot purchase Basic Autopac or License plates for a pre-fabricated mobile home or modular home or any trailer which is over 41 feet long or wider than 8 feet 6 inches, regardless of if it has wheels or is towable. (If you need to get this from point A to point B you may be able to get an over dimensional permit).
A Tenet trailer is a type of travel trailer (designed for travel, recreational or vacation use) which is built on its own chassis but has a canvas top and side walls which may be folded for travel.
A Tow Dolly is a trailer designed to allow a vehicle to be towed behind another vehicle. It carries one axle (ie. Two of the wheels) of the vehicle being towed. If the trailer has been designed to carry two or more axles (ie. Four of the wheels or more), then is considered a utility trailer not a tow dolly.
All NON Semi-Trailers – Important information
If a trailer is hauled by a Truck with Commercial plates, the trailer will then have to have a Commercial Trailer plate.
Trailers which are used for storage on a private property or business property, which are not being moved, could OPTIONALLY be insured under business insurance policy. In addition you can usually purchase coverage for the contents of the trailer.
Semi-Trailers connect to the truck via a 5TH Wheel style of trailer connection to the towing vehicle (which is often a Truck Tractor/Semi Truck). It’s constructed so that the weight of its load is carried partly upon an axle of the truck towing it and partly upon an axle of the trailer.
Semi-trailer licence plates DO NOT provide any Autopac coverage whatsoever. There is no coverage for liability, and no coverage for physical damage to the trailer. The licence plate and registration must be renewed every two years (but all semi-trailers insured to one client will come due the same time).
If a trailer is hauled by a Truck Tractor – even if it does not meet the description above, it will need to have a Semi-trailer plate. A pup trailer, single or double axle with or without steering axle, when attached to a semi-trailer unit as a train, will also require a separate semi-trailer plate.
How Much Coverage do you need?
Semi-Trailers do not include any coverage with the Basic Autopac Plate, however we can sell a separate policy through Manitoba Public Insurance – Special Risk Extension (SRE) to cover the trailer.
When insuring your trailer, it is important to think about each coverage individually to determine how much coverage you need.
For damage to your own trailer, you need to consider if the trailer was destroyed or a total loss payout, how much would the Actual Cash Value of the trailer be. When insuring a trailer, it is typically provide the option to choose what limit of insurance is required. It’s important to remember that the limit is the maximum that you could receive in the event of loss of a loss, however it does not guarantee the value of the trailer. We recommend that you review your limits every year. In some (especially with new trailers), the values drop quickly and you could be paying additionally for limits that you could never use.
It’s also a good idea to keep all bills and receipts for any parts or labour or bodywork done to the trailer as these may be of use in attempting to negotiate a higher price if the trailer is ever written off and to keep pictures of your trailer to show the condition prior to a claim.
Certificate of Inspection – Safety Inspection
Trailer – Inspections
Most passenger vehicles (such as cars, vans, SUV, etc.) in Manitoba are only required to have a Certificate of Inspection (Autopac calls these COI’s), however these are not required for trailers.
Trailers including Semi-Trailers (including pup trailers and trailer converter dollies) are required to get inspections called Periodic Vehicle Mandatory Inspection (PVMI’s). As a general rule if your trailer GVWR is 4,500 KG’s or more, you will need to get an inspection completed every year. It’s important to know that the GVWR or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is based on the manufactures maximum allowed weight for the trailer, not based on the GVW which may be shown on the registration card (or not shown for semi-trailers).
Farm trailers and House Trailers do not require an annual inspection even if over 4500 GVWR.
Some trailers do not include coverage for All Perils and in some cases the deductible is higher. It’s extremely important to understand the coverage that comes with the “BASIC AUTOPAC”. In most cases this coverage will not be sufficient and you will need to purchase a separate policy through Manitoba Public Insurance – Special Risk Department to provide coverage over and above the coverage that comes with (or is not included with) Basic Autopac.
All Perils (Owned Trailers)
If the trailer has All Perils coverage, it will provide coverage for the cost of repairing damage to your own trailer, which occurs from a trailer collision. All Perils will provide coverage for Comprehensive Claims, such as fire, explosion, vandalism, hail, glass breakage, theft and flooding.
Semi-Trailers – NO COVERAGE for All Perils is included with the “Basic Autopac”. We can provide a separate policy through Manitoba Public Insurance – Special Risk Extension (SRE) or other private insurance companies to provide this coverage.
You are responsible for paying your deductible, at the time when you have the damage to your trailer fixed. If you want to purchase a lower deductible option, with most trailers this is only available if you purchase an OPTIONAL policy through Manitoba Public Insurance – Special Risk Extension.
Choosing the Right Deductible for you…
|Type of Claim||All Trailers (Except Semi-Trailer) – With Basic Autopac|
|Autopac Basic Trailers (Valued up to $2,500)||Autopac Basic Trailers (Valued $2,501 and over)||Autopac Extension Optional Deductible Packages||MPI-SRE Separate Policy (Valued up to $2,500)||MPI-SRE Separate Policy (Valued $2,501 and over)|
|Collision or Upset, Fire, Hail, Lightning and theft of vehicle parts||$150||$500||Not Available||–||$250||$150|
|Glass Replacement||$150||$500||Not Available||–||$250||$150|
|Theft or Attempted Theft of Vehicle||$150||$500||Not Available||–||$250||$150|
|Glass Repair||$150||$500||Not Available||–||$250||$150|
|Collision with Animal||$150||$500||Not Available||–||$250||$150|
|Type of Claim||Semi-Trailers with Basic Autopac No All Perils Coverage|
|Basic Autopac||MPI – SRE Separate Policy Deductible Packages||Autopac Extension Packages|
|Collision or Upset, Fire, Hail, Lightning and theft of vehicle parts||–||$5,000||$2,500||$1,000||$500||N/A|
|Theft or Attempted Theft of Vehicle||–||$5,000||$2,500||$1,000||$500||N/A|
|Collision with Animal||–||$5,000||$2,500||$1,000||$500||N/A|
Note: Semi-trailers must be valued over $7,500, in order to qualify for the $5,000 deductible option.
There is no coverage under Basic Autopac for anything that is in or on the truck or trailer. Cargo Insurance can be purchased as an OPTIONAL coverage – see Heavy Trucks – Cargo Insurance Section
Legal Liability for Damage to Non Owned Trailers
If you are hauling a semi-trailer that is not belong to you, you need to determine in your agreement, who is responsible for insuring the trailer. In most cases, even if the owner (other party) of the semi-trailer has their own insurance, they will make you responsible for both liability and physical damage – if something happens while you have possession of the trailer.
We can add coverage to a Manitoba Public Insurance –Special Risk Extension (SRE) policy for Non-Owned Semi-trailers and this can be customized for your needs. You can add just Liability coverage or you can add Liability and Physical Damage (All Perils) coverage.
It’s important to get in writing from the third party, what you are responsible for and provide to us so that we can review and assist you to arrange proper coverage for your needs. It’s also important to know the maximum value of any trailer you are hauling of others because this can often range significantly between loads, but you would want to ensure that you have enough coverage to pay for the value of the trailer if damaged.
Semi-Trailer – Licence plates do not include Basic Autopac coverage and so there is no liability coverage provided. You cannot legally operate a semi-trailer without Liability insurance, but you can purchase a separate policy through Manitoba Public Insurance – Special Risk Extension.
Trailers – Basic Autopac for all other trailers will usually include $200,000 of Liability coverage. If you are towing a trailer and are involved in a collision, the liability from the towing vehicle will also extend to the trailer as one unit, however this only applies if the trailer was being towed at the time. We recommend increasing liability on the trailer by purchasing a separate policy through Manitoba Public Insurance – Special Risk Extension.
Reider Insurance recommends that clients purchase a minimum of $2,000,000 Liability if the trailer will remain in Manitoba and recommend $10,000,000 if the trailer will go outside the province. If the trailer will go to the United States – even if it’s only one trip per year, we recommend the $10,000,000 limit.
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* Please note all types of policies have exclusions, conditions and limitations. This information is not intended to be a full explanation of coverages and in all cases the wording of the actual insurance policy will apply.