Do you need insurance for a horse trailer?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Do you need insurance for a horse trailer? We will explain why it is beneficial to get insurance for your horse trailer, what your options are and how to keep a horse trailer safe. 

Do you need insurance for a horse trailer?

Legally, you do not need independent insurance for a horse trailer. However, we highly recommend it and believe it is a wise move to ensure your horse trailer. As with any trailer, all-risk protection is not automatically included in the basic liability insurance of your auto, so it may not be enough to cover a horse trailer damage, for example.  

A horse trailer insurance contract concerns the unpaid transport of equines used for the personal needs of the insured:

  • leisure use (walking, etc.);
  • use of equestrian activities (competition, etc.).

In the same way as for a standard vehicle, the formalities related to the establishment of insurance for the trailer relate to known information such as: the real value of the trailer, the type of risks insured and the existence or not of ‘another form of insurance. 

In contrast, purchasing dedicated insurance offers much more security against unexpected events or damage caused by third parties.

What are the risks associated with a horse trailer?

First, the content. Often, effects in the trailer are not covered by primary vehicle liability insurance. For coverage to be complete, you must have comprehensive insurance, and see the options offered. 

In the event of a breakdown, assistance for the trailer must be subject to optional guarantees, not included in the basic formulas. This is a second reason to take out a suitable policy or a separate assistance contract for the horse trailer.

Finally, we should not neglect the natural elements, such as storms and natural disasters, as well as theft or fire. These risks will be fully covered by a specific policy.

What do the horse trailer insurance contracts cover?

There are several guarantees when taking horse trailer insurance:

  • civil liability (damage caused to third parties) in circulation or out of circulation;
  • fire ;
  • climatic events (hail, storm, etc.);
  • natural disasters ;
  • flight ;
  • attacks/acts of terrorism;
  • damage all accidents: this is the damage suffered by the horse trailer when it results from events defined in the contract, such as vandalism or impact with a fixed or mobile body;
  • juridic protection.
  • assistance in the event of a breakdown;
  • ancillary costs linked to the occurrence of a covered loss, such as repatriation costs, towing costs;
  • financial losses in the event of the death or loss of employment of the insured (payment of pension costs for the equine animal within defined limits).

Please note: it is understood that a claim will only be guaranteed with regard to the non-occurrence of a case of exclusion provided for in the contract (drunk driving, rental paid to a third party, etc.). It is therefore important to read the general and specific conditions of your insurance policy.

The average cost of horse trailer insurance

The prices for horse trailer insurance will vary depending on the year of manufacture, the size and the weight of the trailer. The older and smaller it is, the less insurance it will cost you year-round. The formula you choose, from third to all risks, will also significantly change the annual rate.

You will find third-party insurance packages for less than $ 150 per year for horse trailers valued at less than $6,000, which is very advantageous.

Note that for the 4-horse trailers, the value of which often exceeds $ 25,000, the cost of third-party insurance for your horse trailer remains affordable: around $ 450 per year.

But some insurance companies specializing in equestrian transport offer affordable prices for all, from $ 150 to $ 450 a year for all horse trailers!

How to find the best insurance for your horse trailer

It is not illegal to tow a horse trailer without independent insurance, but you must notify your auto insurance that you are towing a trailer! Horse trailers can be very expensive and are used to transport live animals. 

Horse trailers must be insured to help protect the large investments made. Learn how to secure a horse trailer with these steps. 

  1. Gather information about your horse trailer, such as the make, model, year, and VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). This information is necessary to receive an insurance quote.
  1. You must know how many horses the trailer was made to haul, the type of hitch on the trailer, the length and width, and the purchase price. Knowing the answers to these questions can be helpful to the insurance company if you are looking for a quote. You will also have to decide if this trailer will be used for your commercial use, such as hauling other horses for profit. It sure will be different if commercial use or personal use.
  1. Look around you for insurance companies that offer coverage for horse trailers. Start with your auto insurance company. If they offer horse trailer insurance, they can offer a discount to you if you have existing policies with them.
  1. Decide on the type and amount of coverage (for example, comprehensive or crash) that you would like to have on your horse trailer. Each state is different in its requirements and limits. The insurance company lets you know the minimum amount for each policy.
  1. Buy the horse trailer insurance policy that meets your needs. Keep proof of insurance on the vehicle used to transport the trailer at all times. Keep a copy of the insurance inside the trailer, if possible.

Can you include the horse trailer in your car insurance?

Yes, you can include your horse trailer in your car insurance. Well, these non-motorized vehicles are covered, almost in all cases, by the car policy that the vehicle that is dragging it has in force as long as they meet certain requirements, which may vary from one insurer to another.

In general, the scope of coverage of the voluntary civil liability of car insurance also extends to trailers and caravans. To do this, the license plate must match that of the towing vehicle and at the time of the accident, it must be attached to the car.

What damages are not covered by your car insurance?

Although there are coverages such as civil liability that do cover, in most cases, the horse trailer, there are others that do not. Each insurer collects in its conditions what claims it leaves outside the scope of coverage. 

The breakage of the trailer windows, the theft of it or the damage suffered by any of its elements are some of the exclusions that can be considered, despite the fact that the towing vehicle policy includes these guarantees. Another situation in which the insurance is not usually responsible is the damages that the trailer causes to the vehicle to which it is attached.

Insuring the car and the horse trailer

When towing with a horse trailer, no matter how far or as little you are going to travel, it is important to have insurance that covers the damages that you may cause. To make sure what your insurance covers and what doesn’t when you tow a trailer, it is best to take a good look at the coverage before signing the contract. 

A car trailer insurance includes, of course, civil liability and therefore damage to third parties, but other types of coverage can also be included depending on the use you make of your trailer and your needs. 

The bottom line

As explained, you do not need independent insurance for a horse trailer. The policy of the car that tows these vehicles usually includes coverage to mitigate the consequences of horse trailer damage or accidents. However, it is advisable to notify the insurance company that this type of vehicle is going to be hooked up to your car, and certain requirements that the insurers state in the conditions of the policy must be met.

In any case, it is usually required that the trailer be hitched to the insured car (and not to another car). 

The coverage that protects the trailer in these cases is usually limited to civil liability to cover damages caused to third parties. Unless the policy explicitly includes it, the car insurance that protects the trailer does not cover its own damages, nor the theft in the trailers. What’s more, the trailer may cause damage to the vehicle that your policy covers and the car insurance won’t take over, as this situation is understood as one of its exclusions.

For this reason, we recommend you get independent insurance for your horse trailer, just to be on the safe side! Please let us know if you have any tips, comments or questions about the content. 

FAQ on Do you need insurance for a horse trailer?

Do I need to tell my insurance if I tow a trailer?

Whether you will have to tell your insurance that you are towing a trailer, will depend on its weight. When its permissible gross vehicle weight (GVW) exceeds 1650 lbs, the trailer or caravan must be insured independently of the vehicle towing it. Otherwise, it will be covered by the third party liability insurance of the towing vehicle at no additional cost. 

What trailers have to be insured?

Trailers or semi-trailers that have a maximum authorized mass must be provided with mandatory civil liability insurance. According to current law, trailers and semi-trailers that exceed 1650 lbs maximum authorized mass of weight must be insured.

How to insure a trailer?

Trailers of less than 1650 lbs or light trailers do not need to have their own insurance but can be covered by car insurance, whose civil liability coverage may be sufficient to cover damages to third parties.

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