Everything you need to know about rooftop cargo carriers

Summer’s here at last! If you’ll be driving to the cottage, a campground, or your favourite outdoor adventure spot, a rooftop cargo carrier could come in handy. Want to avoid headaches and get the most out of your cargo carrier? Choose one that meets your needs and make sure you install it properly.

Wondering where to start? And whether a rooftop cargo carrier will affect your car insurance? We’ve got everything you need to make an informed decision, install your carrier safely, and ensure you have the insurance coverage you need.


Hitting the open road gives you an irresistible sense of freedom. But depending on how long you’ll be away, the activities you’re planning, and the number of people in the car, you may have quite a few things to bring along. There are many advantages to installing a rooftop cargo carrier on your vehicle:

    Transport items more easily
  • Free up storage space in your vehicle
  • Reduce clutter in your vehicle for a safer and more comfortable ride
  • Bring along a storage box or things like kayaks, waterskis, fishing rods, and more

In addition to a variety of toys and games to keep the kids occupied in the car, you need to bring along everything you’ll need at your destination. That’s why it’s important to take the time to choose the right cargo carrier and install it properly.


There’s a cargo carrier for every need, budget, and vehicle. The first thing to do is identify how you want to use it.

Depending on what you’re carrying, cargo carriers generally attach to two crossbars that serve as anchor points for the fastening system. Your vehicle may already be equipped with the necessary brackets. If not, you’ll need to get a specific type of cargo carrier with extra parts that attach to the door jambs.

You need to consider the type of cargo you want to carry. Don’t limit your thinking to this summer’s road trip—consider any future trips you might want to take. Cargo carriers for bikes, surfboards, and other sporting good are designed for specific needs. Universal cargo carriers, on the other hand, are suitable for year-round road trippers and outdoor enthusiasts. Try to choose a carrier that will work for every trip!

You also have to choose between a rigid or soft-shell carrier. Soft-shell options are cheaper, easier to store when not in use, and provide better protection against the elements. Rigid carriers offer lots more storage space. Again, the items you’re planning to carry will determine the type and size of carrier you’ll need.


To transport your belongings safely, your cargo carrier must be installed properly. Here are some tips to guide you through the process.

  • Choose where to install it: Want to mount it in the middle of the roof, or closer to one side for easier access?
  • Take measurements: You’ll need a ruler or tape measure to measure the crossbars, determine what you can fit in the carrier, and ensure the crossbars are straight and parallel.
  • Position the contents properly and secure it using the correct fastening system.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely: each cargo carrier is different and may vary depending on your vehicle, so make sure to follow the instructions to the letter.
  • Think ahead: if you have a sunroof, be careful not to block it.

If you’re unsure at any point, don’t hesitate to ask a professional advice.

Now that you have all the information you need to choose the cargo carrier that’s right for you and install it safely, you need to find out whether it will affect your car insurance.


Will the installation of a cargo carrier affect your car insurance and premium? It depends. You’ll need to contact your insurance representative for more information.

A rooftop cargo carrier can be considered a vehicle modification. Any modification, no matter how small, could increase the risk for the insurer, so your new equipment may affect your car insurance policy. That’s why you need to notify your representative to ensure you have the proper coverage for your new equipment, accessory or addition. Your insurer most likely covers this type of modification to your vehicle, but if they’re not aware of it, they may reduce the amount of a claim in proportion to the premium you should have paid, deny the claim, or cancel the policy.

It’s always better to be forthcoming and honest so you get the coverage you need. While you’re at it, be sure to ask about your coverage in the event of a mishap with your cargo carrier.

You’re now ready to hit the road safely and tackle any adventure with a rooftop cargo carrier that fits your needs. Don’t hesitate to contact Promutuel Insurance for any questions about car insurance, including the potential effects of installing a rooftop cargo carrier on your vehicle. You can also ask for a quote to compare different coverage options. It’s the best way to hit the road with peace of mind.

Enjoy your road trip and the great outdoors!