Horse trailers are used in a wide range of horse-related activities. Whether you are an owner attending weekend events, ride your horse in varied locations or take your horse to Europe it does involve risk. Unfortunately, no matter how diligent you are when driving, accidents can happen.
Trailers, with foam-cushioned flooring and air-ride suspension kits, can be expensive pieces of equipment. Can you afford the repairs if there is an accident? Can you afford to buy a replacement if there is a theft?
These are essential questions to ask yourself when considering if you need horse insurance.
This guide will help you understand the main elements of horse trailer insurance, why you should compare and tips to select an appropriate policy that suits your needs.
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What are the risks associated with owning a horse trailer?
In the UK, it is not a legal requirement to have a horse trailer insurance policy.
There are two key risks, however, associated with a horse trailer, and they are driving accidents and theft.
Horses are large animals, and trailers are hefty pieces of equipment. The towing of such a combined weight is going to affect the manoeuvrability and control of your vehicle. Judging braking distance will require careful consideration. It all means that the risk of damage to the trailer, injury to the animal or yourself or injury to others heightens.
Theft is a real issue for owners. Security measures must be in place including immobilisation with a wheel clamp, combined with other devices like heavy-duty chains and tow switch disablers. Parking a trailer in a lock-up garage which is alarmed is also vital to keep it safe.
How does insurance for horse trailers work?
Horse trailer insurance provides financial protection for a range of different circumstances. Depending on the situation, monetary compensation is often in the form of a lump sum payout to the owner. The cost of cover is the premium, a monthly or annual ongoing fee paid to the insurer to provide coverage for any incident over the policy duration.
What does horse trailer insurance cover? All the features explained
Trailer insurance can include a wide range of cover options. Depending on the insurance provider, these can be standard or additional features. Some insurers allow you to choose your tailored coverage as part of a pick and mix policy.
We will outline every feature available, which will help you decide whether a particular option is relevant to your circumstance. We will explain later how to compare insurance to blend a policy to your needs.
Fire and theft
If a horse trailer is destroyed or damaged by fire, an insurer will typically repair it or if it is a write-off, will pay out the cost price, up to the lesser of the sum insured or the market value.
Theft defines as a violent or forcible entry. An insurer will generally reimburse the policyholder with the lowest amount of the following options:
- Cost price (how much you paid)
- Market value (the current value)
- Sum insured (the value declared in the policy documentation)
Reimbursement from theft is usually 28 days from when a robbery first reports.
If a trailer is involved in an incident, accidental damage provides financial protection. After consulting with an expert, the insurer decides whether it is repairable or needs replacing based on a damage assessment.
If the horse trailer is repairable, the insurer will pay for the repair, typically from a pre-approved list of companies specialising in the type of repair required.
If a write off occurs, the insurer will reimburse the policyholder a lump sum to purchase a replacement.
Reimbursement calculates in different ways.
Known as ‘new for old cover’ many insurers will pay the new price of trailers if they are under two years old and are a write-off.
For trailers typically older than two years insurers will still pay out, but depreciation takes into account. The insurer calculates the market value with depreciation one factor in the calculation resulting in the owner receiving a payout towards new horse transportation.
If you are taking your animal into Europe as part of an event or a holiday, European usage will see your policy extended when you are abroad and typically includes travel to Europe including sea crossings.
Depending on the insurance broker, the number of annual days coverage on a standard policy can range from 30 to 60 and more if explicitly requested as part of a quote. Exclusions can include leaving a trailer unattended for more than 24 hours.
Public liability, also known as third party insurance, covers your horse trailer when it is not attached or being towed by your vehicle. For example, it could roll away and injure a member of the public or damage other property. Public liability is usually around £1 million depending on the insurer.
When attached to your vehicle, public liability covers under your motor insurance policy. It is always essential to declare the extent of your driving activities with your car insurer to ensure that there are no doubts about the insurance being in place.
Replacement trailer hire cover
If your trailer becomes unusable for more than 24 hours, with this option, an insurer will meet the cost of a replacement hire. For example, following an accident, you may still need to travel to an event while it is under repair. Insurers can cover up to 10% of the insured value for insurance purposes for up to 4 weeks.
The insurance is in place to recover your trailer and take it to the nearest repairer and then the redelivery to your storage location following repair. The amount of financial protection that can reclaim under-recovery costs typically starts at £750.
Loss of entry fees
If you are pencilled in to attend an event, being unable to travel due to an incident can result in the loss of expensive entry fees. If alternative transport for you and your animal is not available following an accident with your trailer, insurers will provide financial compensation under a loss of entry fees cover. The amount of coverage varies between insurers but can start at £350.
Often included as a policy option is legal assistance. It is usually a telephone service giving legal advice regarding any incident arising from your trailer. The level of legal aid can range from £5,000 to £15,000.
Additional insured persons
Policies give the option to include additional people on the insurance who can use the trailer for domestic, social and pleasure purposes.
Breakdown cover is an option that you should know is available. Not all insurers provide integral horse trailer insurance and breakdown cover. Many will set up coverage as stand-alone insurance known as horse trailer breakdown cover. It can be vital; however, if a trailer fails on a busy road and lanes may need cordoning off before it can get towed to safety. Essential features of breakdown insurance include:
- Roadside assistance
- Home start
- Emergency Accommodation
- Roadside recovery
- Coverage for keys
The cost of breakdown coverage as part of a stand-alone policy can range from £75 to £125 per year. If set up as an independent policy, many insurers will use reputable firms such as the RAC to provide the breakdown service.
Other policy features
- Multiple quotes to include one to six stall trailers
- Policy extensions to include any driver over 25
- Flexibility to spread premium payments
What features should you include in your policy?
Every horse owner will have different requirements as they participate in horse-related activities at varying levels.
There is no one-size-fits-all policy. It is essential to consider how your trailer fits in with your activities. Some features may not be relevant to you; only take insurance for things you need.
For example, if you never travel abroad with your animal, why have European coverage included in your policy? If you only hack socially at the weekends, a replacement trailer might be less critical than for a competitive eventer who needs certainty that they always have transport available.
As you begin comparing insurance, it is essential to be aware of all the possible policy inclusions that we have listed. Also, be aware of any exclusions that may affect the insurance of a horse trailer. These often revolve around security. Finally, consider the level of excesses contained in a policy and if they are comparable to other plans.
Why you should compare horse trailer insurance
Having established which you think are the key features relevant to your activities needed as part of your insurance, now you need to compare plans. It is helpful to get three quotes from insurance providers that specialise in equine insurance.
Without comparing insurance, you cannot be sure that you have the best policy to match your requirements. Comparisons shopping will give you a feel for what is available between insurers and at what price; allowing you to match a competitive quote with a tailored policy.
Many insurance providers offer an instant horse trailer insurance quote online. Some provide telephone quotes only. It is less convenient to telephone for a quote; nonetheless, you must do your research. It is essential to compare quotes to get the best policy and ensure you are not paying for unnecessary features.
How can WiseHorse help
- We provide you below, with a list of specialist horse trailer insurers highlighting their expertise for you to get quotes from directly.
- Get online comparison quotes from additional horse insurers by completing one simple form through the quote button below.
- We have produced a detailed guide that is essential reading and lists the five steps to comprehensive insurance that will help you ask the right questions to insurers and get a policy that tailors carefully to your needs.
Compare horse trailer quotes from some of the leading specialist providers
The best horse trailer insurance providers
The following providers offer specialist horse trailer insurance quotes. Not all of them provide an instant online quote. We have highlighted those that do not. For those, you will need to telephone for a quote or request a call back after submitting your details.
An insurer specialising in horse trailer, horsebox, roadside rescue, and breakdown insurance
An online discount insurer providing a wide array of add on options
Telephone only quote. A specialist insurer that can provide coverage for expensive and personalised trailers up to £40,000
An insurer with a long history providing insurance to the equine industry including events, competitions, and European travel
A specialist equine insurer that allows high-value trailers up to £20,000 to receive an instant quote through its online quote system
Telephone only quote. Equine experts that can talk you through personalising a policy aligned to your horsey activities
An experienced equine insurer providing insurance for up to a value of £25,000
Further money-saving considerations through research
Comparing insurance brokers and providers can also provide you with further insight to save money on your policy. Here are some ways through research that you can save money on your policy.
If you have a long-standing no-claims discount, some insurers may consider this as a basis for cheaper horse trailer insurance.
Low annual mileage
How far and how often do you travel with horses? Low mileage can be a consideration for a discount when asking for a policy quote.
If you are looking to renew existing insurance, as opposed to a new policy, insurers may give you a better deal to transfer your existing policy over to them, or they may include additional extras for free.
If you have an existing horse insurance plan, it is worth enquiring with your insurer whether they offer a horse trailer bolt on to a current policy; it may be cheaper.
What does typical horse trailer insurance cost?
Insurance does not have to be expensive. Below is a quote from Insurance Emporium, a provider of equine pick and mix policies, allowing you to tailor a plan according to your needs and leave out features not needed.
Example Quote: Insurance Emporium
Security: Fitted with Hitchlock Security Ball and data tagging
- Fire and theft
- Accidental damage
- European use: Up to 50 days per year
- Recovery costs: Up to £750
- Public liability: £1.5 million
- Replacement hire: £150 per week for up to 4 weeks
Total cost: £28.08 per month
The policy does not give the option to include breakdown cover, which is highly recommended coverage available to horse trailer owners. Taking out independent breakdown insurance is £132 with the RAC which works out £11 per month as a stand-alone policy, on top of horse trailer cover.
What are the security requirements to insure a horse trailer?
For most insurers, trailers must be immobilised by a secure wheel clamp when not in use and also when in use but not attended. Also, wherever possible, a Hitchlock security ball should be in place as well as an approved security ID system. All additional security measures help bring down insurance premiums as well as policy acceptance.
Any place of storage should be a secure, permanently enclosed, and solid structure made of stone, brick, or timber. Doors should be locked securely with a patent five lever lock.
4 Security tips for cutting the cost of your insurance
- Only fit anti-theft devices that are approved by insurance providers to ensure there is no risk of a claim rejecting following a theft
- If trailers are personalised with different colours of paint and other personalisation, it will make it harder to sell on by thieves and so less desirable to steal
- Make sure you have detailed photos including any serial numbers which can help the authorities track it. It should be in addition to the year and model.
- Never keep valuables in trailers, even if they are securely stored
Is my horse trailer covered by my car insurance?
Many car insurance policies are limited to providing public liability cover for horse trailers. Although this is useful, it only provides coverage if it damages other people’s property. It does not protect trailers themselves, and without separate insurance, any damage will come out of your pocket, which could be thousands of pounds. With stand-alone insurance starting at around just £10 per month, you need to ask yourself is it worth taking the risk of being without dedicated coverage.
Can my horse trailer be used for business reasons?
Many insurers will allow business use under a policy. As it is likely to result in a more substantial excess, it is essential to discuss your intentions with your insurance broker beforehand. Some insurers, however, will strictly allow only social, domestic and pleasure use.
Can all types of horse trailers be insured?
Insurers will provide cover for factory-made trailers. Home-made or converted trailers are unlikely to meet the requirements of insurers. Some brands are popular to insure due to their higher security levels. They include Equitrek, Ifor Williams and Wessex.
Can my friend or a hacking partner borrow my horse trailer?
Insurers will often grant permission to allow other people to use your horse transporter. It must not be for financial gain, and they must have a valid licence for the towing vehicle. It is best to speak to your insurer if you intend to let other people use your transportation, so they can make provisions on your policy.
What is the difference between a horse trailer and a horsebox?
Trailers attach to the back of a tow vehicle. When not being towed, they are static. A horsebox is a motorised vehicle specifically developed to transport horses. For insurance purposes, insurers have separate policies to cover for these different types of transportation, namely horse trailer insurance and horsebox insurance.