Many drivers believe that only cars and motorbikes are covered by third party liability insurance. In fact, however, the owners of other, even smaller vehicles, must also take care of this issue. These include car trailers, which also need to be insured. Lack of civil liability may result in high fines - often exceeding the value of the vehicle itself. Here's everything you need to know about car trailer insurance in Poland!
Does the car trailer must have its own insurance?
The lack of awareness of some drivers about car trailer insurance is usually related to the fact that the vehicle does not have an engine and, as a result, cannot independently move on the road. Nevertheless, the civil liability of the car to which the trailer is connected is not enough - it is also necessary to separately purchase civil liability insurance for it.
Why is this the case and how is the situation in practice? Two separate issues are worth distinguishing here. The first is the one that concerns a trailer attached to a car participating in road traffic. In a situation where it damages another vehicle while driving (e.g. when turning) or after disconnecting from the car (but still moving) - compensation will be paid from the car insurance.
However, when the trailer is in a parking lot and damages another vehicle (e.g. as a result of rolling away) or when it is disconnected from the car while driving and causes damage after stopping - compensation will be paid from the trailer's liability insurance. These provisions can be found in Art. 37. The Act on Compulsory Insurance.
So, as you can see, car trailer insurance is essential because in some situations, after it has caused damage, the owner would have to pay the costs out of his own pocket. It is worth remembering about it and taking care of all formalities.
How to insure a car trailer and how much does it cost?
In practice, purchasing insurance for a car trailer does not differ in formal terms from buying insurance for a car. You can do it at any insurance company, having previously familiarized yourself with the prices and comparing them. The cost of civil liability for a trailer is lower than that of a car - usually it ranges from PLN 40 to PLN 150 per year and depends primarily on the load capacity of the vehicle (owners of light trailers weighing up to 750 kg will pay less).
The insurer will require a few pieces of information from you, most of which concern:
- the type and brand of the trailer;
- the year of manufacture of the trailer and the date of its first registration;
- trailer registration number;
- owner's data, such as name and surname, PESEL number, place of residence and date of issue of the driving license;
- insurance history.
Please remember that you can also take advantage of voluntary insurance, such as AC or assistance. Thanks to this, you will not be charged with the repair costs if your trailer is damaged while driving.
What is the penalty for not having car trailer insurance?
Lack of compulsory third party liability insurance for the trailer carries a penalty. It is imposed by the Insurance Guarantee Fund. The fine amount depends on how long has passed since the last insurance (or trailer registration). In 2022, for the lack of insurance:
- up to 3 days is subject to a fine of PLN 200;
- from 4 to 14 days there is a fine of PLN 500;
- over 14 days, there is a fine of PLN 1,000.
So it is worth taking care of the obligatory civil liability insurance before setting off on the road with a trailer. Thanks to this, you will not be exposed to high costs, which may exceed the value of the trailer itself!
Car trailer liability insurance - additional information
There are still a few important issues that often raise doubts among trailer owners. It is mainly about:
- the length of the third party liability insurance - it is the same as in the case of passenger cars and it is 12 months for each trailer;
- extension of the policy for another year - it occurs automatically, unless, of course, you terminate the contract with the insurance company (no later than 1 day before its expiry date);
- using the civil liability of the previous owner. This is of course possible as long as the purchased trailer has insurance.
Remember to register your trailer and towbar in your car!
If you want to buy third party liability insurance and go with a trailer, you need to remember about a few formalities before contacting the insurance company. Primarily about registering a trailer. In the light of applicable law, it is treated as a vehicle - despite the fact that it does not have its own engine. The registration certificate, pursuant to Article 71.1 of the Road Traffic Act, allows the trailer to participate in road traffic.
How and where to register a trailer? It is not a complicated procedure. All you need to do is go to the communication department in your city hall and submit the necessary documents, including:
- completed application for vehicle registration;
- proof of vehicle ownership (it can be both a VAT invoice and a bill, as well as a contract confirming the purchase of a trailer);
- vehicle card;
- confirmation of passing the technical examination (necessary for all trailers, except for light ones - with a GVM up to 750 kg).
Be prepared for costs when registering a trailer. Fortunately, they are not big. It will be necessary to pay for the registration certificate (PLN 54), registration plates (PLN 40), verification marks (PLN 12.50), as well as payment of the registration fee (PLN 1.50).
Note! If the trailer is registered by an attorney, it will also be necessary to submit an appropriate application and pay a fee of PLN 17.
It is also worth remembering that before setting off on the road with a trailer, it is necessary to equip the car to which it will be attached with a towbar. In addition to installing it, the regulations also require the owner to legalize it and add the relevant information in the registration certificate.