Gearing up for a busy season behind the wheel? Before you dust off your sat-nav, make sure you’re properly covered
No matter how often you hit the road, it’s essential that you have the right insurance policy for your horsebox or trailer. But do you know which category your usage falls into? Shearwater Insurance breaks down the basics.
When it’s just for fun
A Social, Domestic, and Pleasure policy, adequately covers most horse owners. This level of coverage allows the non-professional rider to get out and about with their horse to compete for pleasure – but it’s not likely to be the right choice for an amateur competing at major competitions with huge prize funds. Regardless of whether you consider those prize pots a significant part of your annual income, they’ll likely push you into the professional category from an insurance point of view.
When it’s for profit
You may only ever move your own horses, but if there’s some financial incentive involved, you’ll need a Business Use policy. This generally applies to trainers and professional riders, who will take their horses out to compete for significant prize money. But significant is the key word, here: taking your horses out needs to contribute to your business in a substantial way.
If you’re producing horses or riding for owners, and the payment for which forms part of your income, then this would also put you into the Business Use category. Taking those horses to training or competition venues, or even to the vets, would classify as part of your business/income.
When it’s for other people
If you ever find yourself moving someone else’s horse for payment, you’ll need a Hire & Reward policy. This isn’t limited just to transporters – it’s also valid for livery yard owners or similar if they use their lorry primarily in this capacity. This policy protects the lorry itself, but it’s generally wise to top it up with a Care, Custody, and Control policy to offer cover in case anything should happen to your charge, allowing the horse’s owner to claim for damages and vet’s bills.
When you want to be prepared for anything
Most insurance policies don’t automatically include breakdown coverage, nor will they necessarily insure the contents of your lorry, so speak to your broker about adding these essential extras on. Similarly, if you want to travel abroad with your horses, policies and regulations are liable to change as Brexit unfolds – for your own peace of mind, call your insurer before you plan your trip.
CPC or leave it be?
A Certificate of Professional Competence, or CPC, is an additional certification designed for professional drivers of lorries over 7.5 tonnes. You’ll need a CPC if you drive a lorry in any sort of professional capacity – for example, if you transport someone’s horse for them for payment, or if the use of your lorry represents a significant part of your business. Professional riders generally need to ensure they have a CPC – after all, without a lorry, they can’t compete. As such, their lorry is considered essentially connected to their income, and that makes them a professional driver in the eyes of the law.
You’ll also likely need a CPC if you’re under 21 and want to drive a lorry with a payload of 7.5 tonnes or higher. In this case, the CPC effectively fills the gap created by a lack of on-the-road experience.
The fine for not holding a valid CPC is reasonably hefty at £1,000, but the good news? You only need to top up your training every five years once you’ve got it.
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