Info on insurance for selling modified trailers

Devon Larson

New Member
Hi Everyone,

I have been having a hard time confirming the requirements for selling modified trailers. Our company specializes in security and surveillance solutions and we have customers interested in us purchasing trailers with cameras and batteries that can easily be towed from one location to another. In the State of Oregon, some people are telling us we need to jump through several hoops to do this (and others say it is not necessary). One of the requirements is that we need insurance. I assume this would cover something like a defective wheel coming off and causing a traffic accident, but it seems that would be a liability for the manufacturer of the original trailer and not for us if we just added one of our custom designed camera systems.

In any case, it seems insurance companies will only give us this kind of insurance if we stop all other business, which is a non-starter for us. The other option we were given was to start a second business and do the sales through that. That would be a ridiculous amount of extra paperwork and confusion for our customers that would now have to write separate purchase orders for different products. This just doesn't sound right to me.

Why would every insurance company we check with only want to sell to us if we only sold a very specific type of product?

Any ideas what might be going on here, or why no one wants to touch this question? I have reached out to lots of different sources. Even our outside laywer says she doesn't know anything about it or any other lawyer that could help.

Devon Larson
If you buy the trailers and modify them, then you become a trailer dealer. It wouldn't surprise me that you would have to get a dealer's license. You can find out by contacting the DMV.

It's no surprise that insurance companies will only insure the business as a separate entity.

The North American Trailer Dealers Association might have helpful insurance information.

If your customer brings you the trailer and you just install the equipment the business will be kind of like shops that install stereos. You'll have possession of a customer's vehicle. That's likely a risk that insurance companies will want to insure separately, though I don't know if you'll need a license for that.

Bottom line, if you want to perform those services for customers, you'll need the proper insurance. If it takes forming a separate company, then that's what you do.