South Africa has the 10th largest road network in the world. It is globally recognized and respected as a top travel destination. Southern Africa is enriched with multiple game parks and other tourist destinations, best enjoyed when driving across our beautiful landscape.

Do we need a trailer? For many of us, it is impossible to pack light, we wish to enjoy the outdoors and our plans for a lengthy stay might well justify towing a trailer!

In this section, we would like to reflect on trailer insurance. Trailers should be insured separately of the towing vehicle. To insure your trailer could be one of the wisest decisions you will make!

What is a Trailer?

  • By trailer, we refer to a vehicle that cannot drive itself and that must be towed by another vehicle.
  • Insurance cover options are available for multiple categories of trailers.
  • This could include from the standard household trailer, box trailer, camper, flatbed trailer, transport or tipping trailer, to the custom-made trailers to carry your horse, boat, motorcycle, quad bike etc.

The South African government classifies trailers in different categories.

Category 1 – single-axle trailer, other than semi-trailers, with a maximum mass not exceeding 750kg;
Category 2 – trailers with a mass of between 750kg and 3500kg;
Category 3 – trailers with a mass of between 3500kg and 10 000kg; and
Category 4 – trailers with a mass larger than 10 000kg.

What is Covered under Trailer Insurance?

Trailer cover usually covers some of the following:

  • Comprehensive insurance for accidental damage
  • Third-party cover for damage to another.
  • Damage due to fire, hail, snow, and storm
  • Hijacking and theft of your trailer
  • Cover for a replacement hire
  • The installation of wireless tracking devices
  • Roadside and medical assistance
  • Towing, recovery, and storage
  • Cover for damage beyond the borders of SA

Trailer Content Cover / Portable Possession Cover

  • Trailer contents insurance covers you for the loss of, or damage to, your and your family’s possessions that are kept within your trailer.
  • This would be everything falling out if the trailer was to be turned upside down.
  • The contents of the trailer must be stated separately on your policy schedule.
  • You should specify the correct replacement value.
  • If valuables are transported/kept in the trailer, protect it with portable possessions cover.
  • It is usually required that it must be property belonging to you and your household.
  • This could provide cover for
    • Malicious damage.
    • Theft or break-in if there is evidence of forced entry and damages caused by the break-in.
    • Loss of content through acts of nature such as lightning, earthquake, storms or flood.

Details needed when insuring your trailer

Various requirements are essential when acquiring trailer insurance. The following details are necessary when applying for insurance with most insurers:

  • Make and model of carrier
  • Size
  • Age (including purchase date)
  • If applicable the serial number
  • Is the area the trailer is under storage in a secure and safe environment?
  • Security of trailer and security of storage area

Safety Advice and Towing the Trailer Safely

  • Remember to lock the trailer
  • A trailer or boat trailer must always be stored in a locked space or be locked.
  • A trailer is considered locked when a hitch lock has been used, preventing the trailer from being hitched to a vehicle, or when another lock is used that prevents the trailer from being moved.
  • Do your research on various types of cover provided by different insurers.
  • Know how to tow your trailer safely!

Also view:

Fleet and Truck Insurance for Commercial Vehicles

Towing a Trailer Safely

Truck Insurance in South Africa