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HORSEBOX INSURANCE

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Ultimate Guide to Horsebox Insurance

If you are a horse fanatic, maybe you run a pony club or perhaps you’re a jockey, you will know that from time to time, you may need to move your horse to various locations. Like with any vehicle that is used on the road, you will need specialist horsebox insurance to be able to do so.

Regular insurance may provide a certain level of cover; however, this is usually only on a liability basis and is only for non-motorised trailers. For these reasons, making sure you have the correct horsebox insurance is extremely important, and we’re here to help guide you through the process.

Read our ultimate guide to horsebox insurance and you, your trailer, and not forgetting your horse, will be on the road in no time at all – our guide covers:


    Horsebox – what is it?

    In simple terms, a horsebox is recognized in the UK as being a mode of transport that would be deemed suitable for moving a horse or similar animal.

    Moving a horse to a different location can be a difficult, time-consuming, and often stressful task, especially for the horse.

    It is important the horse remains calm, can get used to their environment and is also secure. A horsebox will therefore help to keep the horse calm and safe whilst travelling to and from destinations.

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    Horse box – what types are there?

    The type of horsebox insurance cover you require will be dependent on the type of horsebox you own. Horseboxes fall into two categories.

    1. Motorised horsebox

    A motorized horsebox is like a van; however, it will have been adapted to carry large animals like horses and other livestock. This means it is often classes as a vehicle in its own right. It will come in different sizes, varying from small, to very big, and can even include a separate space for humans to sleep in.

    2. Non-Motorised box

    A non-motorized box is a smaller and more basic horse trailer. For it to be transported, it will need to be towed by a vehicle and unlike a motorised horse box, is not classed the same as a standard vehicle.


    Why do I need Horsebox Insurance?

    As a motorised horse box is considered the same as a standard vehicle, it will need to be insured if you are to comply with the law. If you are not using it for a certain period, – even if its stored in a garage, it will need to be insured unless it is registered as SORN. A motorised horsebox insurance policy will protect you, your vehicle and any third parties in the event of an accident. If you don’t comply with the law, you could receive a hefty fine and risk losing your license – not an ideal situation if you need to be able to move your horse as part of your job or hobby.

    A non – motorised horsebox is a little different as it is not considered a vehicle. A non – motorised vehicle is often recognised as a horse trailer. This means it is not a legal requirement to have your trailer insured. However, a trailer is still an extremely expensive and highly valued piece of equipment. Should it be damaged or stolen, the cost of repairing or replacing it will almost certainly burn a hole in your pocket. It is therefore a purchase you may want to keep protected and covered through the right horsebox insurance policy, should anything go wrong on your travels.


    What type of horsebox cover will I require?

    The type of horse box cover you require depends on the type of horsebox you are using to transport your animals, whether that be a motorised horse box or a horse trailer.

    Motorised horse box

    Insuring a motorised horse box is no different to insuring a standard vehicle. This means you will have the same three choices as you would have when insuring your car.

    Third Party Only – This is the most basic level of horse box insurance but is also the minimum level required to ensure you are complying with the law. It covers damage to a third-party property, liability for injury to others and liability while towing a trailer.

    Third Party Fire and Theft – This level of horsebox insurance will cover everything that third party only does, however will also cover elements such as fire damage, theft, and any damage to your vehicle through such crime related incidents.

    Comprehensive – This is the maximum level of horsebox insurance you can obtain and although it can sometimes be pricier, it will give you the greatest protection. It will cover everything a third-party fire and theft policy will but will also give added protection covering personal injuries, windscreen cover, loss or damage to vehicles, medical expenses and accidental damage. It may also cover you if your animal damages your vehicle while in transit.

    Horse Trailer

    As a horse trailer isn’t classed as a vehicle, a standard motor insurance policy should normally cover you, but it is still important to check this with your insurance provider.

    Usually, the type of cover provided will only be on a third-party liability basis – this could mean the actual value of the trailer itself is not covered. Should anything happen to the trailer, for example its stolen or vandalised, you might not be protected against any costs. It is important you consider how much your trailer is worth to ensure you obtain the correct amount of cover. The level of cover provided will vary between different insurance policies, so check with your provider before you enter into any binding agreements.

    Hire and Reward/Business Use policies

    If you are operating your horsebox for hire and reward or for business purposes, you may need additional cover such as hire and reward cover, haulage cover, and more importantly employer liability insurance (this is a legal requirement if you are employing somebody to drive any vehicle). You can find more information on these types of insurance policies on our website.


    Should I consider breakdown cover?

    It is not a legal requirement to have breakdown cover for your horsebox, but it might prove to be a useful add on to your policy if anything was to go wrong. You should consider the length of the journeys you are making – the longer the journey the more likely you are to breakdown, as well as the amount of times you are likely to need to move your horses. You should also consider whether you would have access to additional transport, should something go wrong with your vehicle or horse box trailer.

    As horseboxes are not used as often as standard vehicles, they are more likely to break down. They are usually also built on an older chassis. Without the correct breakdown cover, you could be left stranded with an upset horse and no means of getting it to a safer environment. When looking for additional break down cover, you should therefore consider a specialist company who can repair your vehicle as well as look after your horse and return it home, if necessary.

    If you are confident that you will be able to maintain your horsebox to a standard where it is unlikely to break down, and you have other means of transporting your horses if such an event was to occur, break down cover might not be an essential for you. But bear in mind, if you breakdown, your insurance premium is likely to increase.


    How can I cut the costs of horsebox insurance?

    Everybody is likely to want to stick to their budget when it comes to horsebox insurance. Owning a horse as well as a trailer is an expensive hobby, so combining this with a pricey horsebox insurance policy could well break your bank balance. It is therefore important you take the right steps to keep the cost of your insurance as low as possible.

    Here are a few simple steps you could take to save money on your policy:

    Keep your horsebox in a safe place

    Insurance providers will base your premium on the risk factor associated with your horsebox. If you are parking it in an unsecure place, the higher the risk of it being damaged or stolen. You should therefore take the appropriate measures to keep your horsebox safe to keep your premium as low as possible.

    You can do so by parking it in a safe place, perhaps on a secured driveway or even a garage, as this will ensure it is protected from thieves and damage from other vehicles. If you regularly attend horse shows or similar events, park it in an area that isn’t secluded, as again, this will mean it is unlikely to be targeted by criminals.

    Keep your horse box secure

    Keeping your horsebox secure is another important factor that could reduce your premium. Even second-hand horseboxes can be sold for a good price, so if you make it easy for thieves to access your horsebox they will more than likely target it.
    You can keep your horsebox secure by installing CCTV or alarm systems. This will decrease the risk associated with your horsebox and many insurance providers will favour this, providing you with a lower premium. If this is not affordable, you could also install an immobiliser which may also reduce the cost of your insurance.

    Limit the mileage you travel in your horsebox

    The less mileage your horsebox covers, the least likely it is to be involved in an accident. Try to stick to a low amount of mileage to keep insurance costs down.
    Some policies even offer a limited mileage clause, which will allow you to agree with your provider on a certain mileage limit. If you stick to this limit your insurance provider will reduce your premium.

    Spread the cost of your horse box insurance

    Paying for horsebox insurance in one go can mean overall it is cheaper, however not everyone can afford to pay it up front. By choosing to pay monthly, you can spread the costs of the payment which may make it easier to manage.

    Shop around to find the best horsebox insurance deal

    Don’t be tempted to choose the first horse box insurance policy you see. By shopping around, you could find cheaper deals that are more suited to your needs. Head over to our online comparison tool here and we can find the best deals available.

    Don’t go for the cheapest option

    Although it may be seem appropriate to look for the cheapest deal you can find, if you do not get the correct cover, the cost of replacing or repairing your horsebox could far outweigh the cost of a higher premium.


    Are there any license requirements for horseboxes and trailers?

    Driving a horsebox or trailer is not as straight forward as it may seem.

    To comply with the law all drivers most hold appropriate professional driving qualifications. If they don’t, you run the risk of invalidating your horsebox insurance policy.

    Dependant on the weight of the vehicle, drivers may need an HGV Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC). You can find more information on this via the government website here (https://www.gov.uk/become-lorry-bus-driver)

    If you are likely to use your horsebox to transport a horse or other goods for hire and reward or business purposes, you may also need an operator’s licence (https://www.gov.uk/being-a-goods-vehicle-operator) This may also be the case if you are transporting your horse for purposes other than a hobby. It is therefore important you investigate such factors to ensure you have the correct licensing in place and to ensure any insurance policies remain valid.

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    Are there any exclusions?

    Like all insurance policies, there may be certain limitations or exclusions you should consider before choosing the right policy for you. Here are a few points you should consider before making any decisions.

    • It is important to recognise that horsebox insurance will not protect your animals in the event of an accident, it is designed only to protect you, your vehicle and any third parties. It is extremely important you consider a separate horse insurance policy to protect your horse. You can find more information on horse insurance here and our online comparison tool can help you find the best deals tailored to your needs.

    • Another point to consider is a trailer, its load should never exceed the weight of the towing vehicle. Horses can be heavy animals, so you must assess the weight before taking out any policies. If the weight does exceed the towing vehicle, your horsebox insurance policy may be invalidated, and you may not be able to make a claim in the event of an accident.

    • If you require the ability to take your horsebox or trailer abroad, you should check whether your horsebox insurance covers this. Speak to your insurance provider who will be able to help you.

    • Drivers under the age of 25 may not be automatically covered on a policy as they may be seen to be inexperienced and therefore pose a higher risk. You should check with your insurance provider any age restrictions, and if necessary you may need to pay an additional premium to get any younger drivers protected.

    Now you have all the information you need, why not head over to our online comparison tool to find the correct horsebox insurance policy for you.