Case Study


Camper or Trailer?

Synopsis of Complaint:

The consumer had a “slide-in” truck camper stolen from their backyard. It was recovered but was damaged.

The insurer denied the claim, as they determined that it was a ‘trailer’ and an accessory designed for a motor vehicle which is not considered usual to a dwelling, which is a noted exclusion in the policy.

The consumer disagreed with the term “trailer” as their unit did not have a VIN, had no wheels, and could not be moved independently as it slid into the back of their truck. Most of the time (98%), it was situated in their backyard.

Further, while the consumer agreed that the camper could be a vehicle accessory, the determination of what is usual to a dwelling could vary from consumer to consumer. In this case, the consumer argued that it was usual to their dwelling as it was located and used in their backyard most of the time.

The insurer did not agree that a slide-in camper could be considered usual to a dwelling.

Review by GIO:

GIO investigated the complaint.

GIO noted other insurers use different language in their exclusions such as camper units, truck caps, trailers, or their equipment.

GIO further noted an increase in purchases of trailers, campers, and RV’s during the pandemic that were set up in backyards for staycations.

GIO inquired if the slide-in camper could be considered under the term “usual to a dwelling”.

The file proceeded to mediation.


Mediation was successful. The consumer received an “all in” settlement after their $1000 deductible was applied.

GIO is an independent body set up to help Canadians find a fair resolution to disputes with insurance providers. GIO can provide advice on dealing with your insurance company as a first step. If you are not satisfied with the decision from your provider on your claim, GIO can help resolve your claim. 

If you’d like to submit a claim visit here.

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