Non-Owned Trailer Attached to an Owned Truck: What Does the BAP Cover?

A trucker who hauls agricultural product within a 200-mile radius owns their own trucks and trailers. Occasionally, however, he attaches someone else's trailer to one of his covered vehicles if the trailer is more specifically designed to carry certain product.

Under a business auto policy, the insured has Symbol 4 under Liability, Comprehensive and Collision, which is supposed to extend coverage to trailers used with a listed vehicle in the CA 00 01 10 13. 

Q: Does the BAP extend physical damage coverage to the non-owned trailer attached to an owned, covered truck?

Response 1: Symbol 4 provides coverage for owned autos other than private passenger-type autos. It also provides liability coverage for non-owned trailers attached to owned, covered autos. The insured would need Symbol 8  to get physical damage coverage for borrowed trailers.

Response 2: I could be missing something, but it seems to me that using Symbol 4 on the declarations page provides only liability coverage, not physical damage coverage, for non-owned trailers attached to owned commercial vehicles.

Response 3: Symbol 4 only provides coverage for autos owned by the insured. If the insured has a non-owned trailer, they need Symbol 8 on physical damage. Under liability, there would be no coverage for the trailer if it sustains damaged due to the Care, Custody & Control exclusion.

The definition of Symbol 4 includes liability coverage for non-owned, attached trailers, but that applies to bodily injury or physical damage to others, not damage to the trailer itself.

Response 4: The answer is on the first page of the policy:


"Autos" Other Than Private Passenger
"Au­tos" Only

Only those "autos" you own that are not of the private passenger type (and for Li­ability Coverage any "trailers" you don't own while attached to power units you own). This includes those "autos" not of the private passenger type you acquire ownership of after the policy begins.


Symbol 4 extends liability coverage to a non-owned trailer, but only when it’s attached to an owned power unit—leaving a liability gap for unattached trailers, for which the insured is legally responsible.

Symbol 4 does not, however, extend physical damage coverage to a non-owned trailer. You can cover the physical damage exposure with Symbol 8.

Trailers are one of the most common topics among submissions to the Big “I” Virtual University (VU) Ask an Expert service. Search “trailers” to find multiple articles about all kinds of trailer exposures, including “Business Auto Coverage for Nonowned Trailers” and “The BAP and Automatic Trailer Coverage.”

This question was originally submitted by an agent through the VU’s Ask an Expert Service. Answers to other coverage questions are available on the VU website. If you need help accessing the website, request login information.