Should You Insure Your Trailer in Michigan?
Hauling a trailer around Michigan as you travel around for the summer is a great idea. Unfortunately, car accidents do happen on the road, and trailers can be caught by a rear-end collision or by a negligent driver. Thinking about the repairs for your trailer, not to mention all your equipment inside, can be a nightmare if you don’t have insurance.
In the state of Michigan, having some form of insurance is always advisable. The requirement for securing a policy depends on certain things. Regardless of the need, there is clear benefit in having an insurance policy for your trailer. This could also include your camping gear, boat, Jet Ski, mountain bikes, and other fun toys.
Determining the Need for Trailer Insurance
Without financial protection, getting into an accident is a significant loss of money. Trying to get paid for damages is bound to be taxing. Having trailer insurance is a way of protecting yourself from high costs and inconvenience.
You may wonder if you are actually required to have insurance, or this is all based on potential benefits and risk management. If you look at Michigan law, there is a particular requirement for trailer insurance.
In the insurance code of the state of Michigan, under MCL 500.3101(3)(i), you are required to have security for payment of benefits, such as a policy of insurance or another method, for motor vehicles including a trailer. Specifically, the section defines “motor vehicle” as a vehicle designed for operation on a public highway, by power other than muscular effort, and has more than two wheels.
What this means is that if you own a trailer with only two wheels, your trailer is not counted under the insurance code’s definition of a motor vehicle. However, it is still wise to get insurance. Under the no-fault insurance policy, a trailer’s status as a motor vehicle or not is also important.
Once you’ve determined the need for trailer insurance, you need to get a policy that covers your needs. We’d recommend a policy with liability, comprehensive, replacement, and contents coverage. You can also take out specific insurance policies for each expensive equipment, like jet skis, that you carry while traveling.
Paying for Trailer Damages After an Accident
If you find yourself in a rear-end accident, one of the first questions that may pop into your head is how you would pay for the damages. If your trailer is considered a motor vehicle and is insured by a valid No-Fault auto insurance policy, you can proceed with making a mini tort claim. In this instance, the at-fault driver will have to pay for the damages.
After the mini tort law change takes effect after July 1, 2020, the limit for accidents will increase to $3000. Right now, the maximum mini tort recovery limit is at $1000 for accidents.
Under the Michigan law, it can be easy to prove your mini tort claim for damages from a rear-end crash. The driver of the car that rear-ends another vehicle is seen as prima facie guilty of negligence under the law.
Aside from rear-end collisions, No-Fault also applies to instances when your trailer is safely parked. In this case, you are covered by the “property protection insurance” benefits, which pay up to $1 million to cover accidental damage to property, including vehicles and their contents as well as trailers.
Again, payment for trailer damages does not apply to the gadgets and equipment on your trailer. That’s why it would be good to have separate insurance policies for your toys.
Dealing with Car Accidents This summer
As more trailers and campers go out into the streets this summer for a holiday, you can expect some rise in automobile accidents. Even with traffic crash fatalities decreasing every year in Michigan, rear-end collisions, head-on collisions and other types of accidents are sometimes unavoidable.
Dealing with the financial and legal headache from a car accident can ruin your summer. Having a reliable team to see your settlement or case through is a must. The Clark Law Office is a leading Michigan personal injury law firm with experience in representing people, not insurance companies.
With us, you’ll be backed by 30 years of experience. The Clark Law Office ensures the high-quality work, dedication, and extensive courtroom expertise that you can rely on. Contact our Lansing automobile accident law firm to smooth out any of your concerns at your earliest convenience today.