Do’s & Don’ts of horsebox and trailer insurance

Horsebox insurance from shearwater insurance

If you’re transporting your horse or pony in a horsebox or trailer, then you’ll need to ensure you have insurance cover in place.  Just the same as driving your car, driving a horsebox without insurance is against the law. You need to make sure you are covered for all eventualities. The Shearwater Insurance team are here to help with some of the commonly asked questions when it comes to specialist horsebox and trailer insurance.

What kind of insurance do I need for my horsebox?

Horsebox insurance varies in levels however the majority of horse owners choose to take out a fully comprehensive policy. Shop around to make sure your cover fits your individual requirements. A key policy feature to look at is the excess you will be paying in the event of a claim. Check that it is an affordable amount. Higher excesses can result in lower premiums; however, horsebox owners still need to ensure they can pay the excess should a claim arise.

It is also worth looking carefully at your yearly mileage as insurance companies offer something called a ‘limited mileage policy’ which means if you are driving less than 5,000 miles a year your premium could be significantly reduced.

Do I need insurance for my trailer?

Legally there is no requirement to hold a separate insurance policy for your horse trailer whilst it is in use. When it is attached to a car that is insured sufficiently, the horse trailer is covered for third party liability only – which means if there is an accident any damage to property or other vehicles will be insured. However, this will not cover you for theft or damage to the trailer itself, so it is always advisable to take out a separate insurance – usually at a minimal cost – to protect you if it is stolen or involved in an accident.

Trailer insurance will not automatically include breakdown cover; however, many companies do offer it as an add-on. Look for a policy that gives total breakdown cover in the UK, including emergency road assistance, long distance recovery and home breakdown for trailer owners. Specialist horse trailer breakdown policies are available, that include onward travel and/or accommodation for the horses in transit, not just the driver and passengers.

Can I transport other people’s horses in my horsebox or trailer?

Should you wish to transport other people’s horses – providing there is no exchange of money other than say a share of diesel costs, this will still be classed as social, domestic and pleasure use so you will be protected with a standard insurance policy.

If you do wish to charge a fee above the maintenance costs you will need to contact VOSA to discuss whether you need a transporters licence and you will then need to review your insurance policy to ensure the correct level of cover is in place. It some instances it may mean that you require Hire & Reward Use.

Do I really need separate breakdown cover?

The services that you receive from you breakdown organisation will depend on the company you use and the level of cover you take out. In the case of transporting horses, or any livestock you are always advised to take out a specialist equestrian vehicle breakdown policy that makes provision for the horses in transit. For this reason, it is beneficial to use a specialist who will be knowledgeable and sympathetic to your problems – should the occasion arise.

It is also worth taking an insurance policy where anyone over the age of 25, who has the appropriate driving licence, is insured to drive the vehicle – this should not cost any more to do and in the event that you are unable to drive will ensure you are fully protected.

Ready to discuss your customisable and comprehensive insurance options? Call Shearwater Insurance to chat to an experienced advisor who understands the unique requirements of your equestrian business.

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Keen to take the next step and discuss your horsebox or horse trailer insurance?  Speak a member of Shearwater's friendly and professional team today.