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Is a Non-Owned Trailer Covered on a BAP with Symbol 1?

Does symbol 1 mean any non-owned trailer of 2,000 pounds has liability coverage? The carrier’s underwriter says the trailer isn’t covered if it’s used regularly.
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is a non-owned regular trailer covered on a bap with symbol 1?

Q: A client has a business auto policy with a symbol 1. Does symbol 1 mean any non-owned trailer of 2,000 pounds has liability coverage? The carrier's underwriter says the trailer isn't covered if it's used regularly. 

Response 1: I don't think you're right—I know you're right! Symbol 1 covers any auto for liability. Your underwriter should look up the word “any" in the dictionary. 

Response 2: Assuming this is an ISO BAP, the definition of “auto" is any land motor vehicle, trailer or semi-trailer designed for travel on public roads. Symbol 1 is any auto—owned, leased, hired, rented, borrowed, or more.

If covered auto liability coverage is provided by this coverage form, there should be coverage for a non-owned trailer regardless of load-carrying capacity. Certainly, semi-trailers have a load capacity of over 2,000 pounds. 

Another way of looking at it: Symbol 2 covers only those autos you own and—for covered autos liability coverage—any trailers you don't own while attached to power units you own. If symbol 2 provides coverage, symbol 1, which is broader, certainly provides coverage.

Response 3: Symbol 1 will provide liability on the trailer, subject to an added endorsement.

As a side note, if the insured has a trailer over 2,000 pounds—going to 3,000 pounds with upcoming ISO filings—it needs to be scheduled on the auto policy and they need to pay a premium. Symbol 1 is not a free for all where the insured doesn't have to pay. It's a safety net in case a unit is left off, but it doesn't mean you purposely don't have to pay for autos and trailers. 

Response 4: As long as the trailer is connected to a covered auto, it should have coverage. Depending on the carrier, some may charge an additional premium. Since the carrier is telling you it isn't covered, request the carrier to cite specific language within the policy in a written format.

Response 5: An unendorsed BAP with symbol 1 would certainly seem to provide coverage. A non-owned trailer would fit the definition of "any auto." Regular use doesn't disqualify a vehicle from the "any auto" category. 

However, if the insurance company says there's no coverage, you're bound to follow their direction. They may be wrong, but they are still the last word. Bucking them will only bring you grief.

Response 6: I believe that you are correct. Symbol 1 should establish that there is liability coverage, not physical damage coverage, for any vehicle used in the insured's business, whether owned, leased or borrowed. Whether the use is regular or not is immaterial.

This question was originally submitted by an agent through the Big “I" Virtual University's (VU) Ask an Expert service, with responses curated from multiple VU faculty members. Answers to other coverage questions are available on the VU website. If you need help accessing the website, request login information.

This article is intended for general informational purposes only, and any opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s). The article is provided “as is" with no warranties or representations of any kind, and any liability is disclaimed that is in any way connected to reliance on or use of the information contained therein. The article is not intended to constitute and should not be considered legal or other professional advice, nor shall it serve as a substitute for obtaining such advice. If specific expert advice is required or desired, the services of an appropriate, competent professional, such as an attorney or accountant, should be sought.