Insuring a horse trailer, plus breakdown cover

  • Cover for a horse trailer can usually be added to your existing horse or car policy, and commonly covers theft, accidental and internal damage. Third-party liability for a trailer needs to be covered by the towing vehicle’s policy, while horseboxes must have their own motor policy.

    Expert tips

    • Give your insurer details such as serial numbers and identification, which will be recorded by them on your schedule. “It is an insurance requirement to provide accurate information,” explains Alec Brown, senior motor underwriter at NFU Mutual. “Keep clear identification details of your lorry, for example, digital photos and proof of value.”
    • Remember that the percentage paid out for a theft claim is relative to the value insured – insurers will not pay market value if it exceeds this sum.
    • Claims may not be paid out if the vehicle is being used for hire and reward, or any commercial purpose, unless specific cover has been arranged.
    • Check policy terms in case a security device is specified. Failure to have such a device on your trailer could void your policy.

    Rescue and breakdown

    Rescue and breakdown policies are available with various elements of cover, from full roadside rescue to “pay on use” services. It’s important to let your insurer know if the location where the vehicle is kept changes, as this could invalidate any claim you make.

    Jon Phillips of the Organisation of Horsebox and Trailer Owners (OHTO) has the following tips:

    • Check there is no weight restriction on your policy and, if you have an old lorry, that it will be covered.
    • A rigid straight-bar (a device that attaches the towing vehicle to the trailer) is safe and legal for short emergency distances and means your horses can remain on the box if you break down. But not every rescue service will pick you up if you have one, so check this out.
    • Ensure your policy guarantees help, regardless of the cost of the recovery and the number of times you break down. An average recovery can cost anything from £750 to over £2,000.

    This article formed part of an insurance special in Horse & Hound (24 July 2008)

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