Trailer accidents happen, but they are the stuff of nightmares for horse owners. Each year, trailer accidents injure and take the lives of horses and their owners and transporters. These accidents result from driver error, distracted driving, road conditions, load imbalance, and sometimes trailer defects. Horses are precious cargo, and purchasing a safe, reliable trailer can be a smart way to mitigate risks on the road - though that trailer is no small investment.
There are currently about two million horse owners in the United States, and if you are one of them, you know the pride and joy that horse ownership can bring. If you transport your horse to riding events, races or shows, you likely own a horse trailer. A new horse trailer can cost well over $50,000, not to mention the cost of all the equipment you may keep inside it. It's a good idea to protect your investment with a horse trailer insurance policy that covers your risks.
Tips for Dealing with Horse Trailer Theft
- Always lock your trailer hitch
- Paint your trailer with distinctive marks that make it easy to identify
- Keep your trailer registration number, VIN number and photos of your trailer with you
- Be sure to have an insurance policy to protect against theft and vandalism
- If your trailer is stolen, file a police report, request a copy and call your insurance company right away
Do I Need Horse Trailer Insurance?
Many people think that because their trailer is covered under their auto or truck insurance policy, they do not need any additional insurance coverage. However, when it comes to horse trailers, the coverage on your auto policy is most likely not enough. Some policies will provide liability insurance only if you add a basic trailer endorsement, or rider. Your coverage can be extremely limited and may not protect the contents of your trailer.
Even used horse trailers can be expensive, and many people who own trailers spend a lot of money on upgrades such as new tires, foam-cushioned flooring and air-ride suspension kits. Combine these expenses with the cost and value of the horses and equipment you will be hauling, and you have an extremely valuable commodity. A specialized horse trailer insurance policy can protect your assets.
What Does Horse Trailer Insurance Cover?
Horse trailer insurance is a special endorsement that covers physical damage to your trailer and its contents. This damage may be due to a traffic collision, fire, theft, vandalism or “acts of God,” which are unpreventable catastrophic events. While coverage may vary by provider, the following are some things you can expect to find in a horse trailer policy:
- Roadside assistance services: This coverage will be important if you should break down while travelling with your horse trailer, as you will need specialized towing services.
- Compensation for damage to your trailer or theft: Some companies will allow you to choose between replacement value and actual cash value coverage, though replacement value coverage may be limited to newer models only.
- Coverage for added expenses resulting from a covered loss: You may be able to receive compensation for lodging, boarding for your horses and trailer rental while yours is being repaired, as well as veterinary services if your horse is injured during or because of a covered incident.
- Equipment coverage: This coverage is usually optional and can cover you for loss or damage to your tack, equipment and trailer upgrades.
Is Horse Trailer Insurance Expensive?
On average, people spend about $350 a year for these policies. However, this figure should be used only as a rough estimate. The cost of a horse trailer insurance policy can vary greatly depending on several items, including:
- The value, make and model of your trailer
- The value and number of horses you will be transporting
- The value of your tack and other equipment if you are including coverage for them
- Your driving record and insurance claim history
- The purpose for which you intend to use your trailer
- Where you live and where you will be driving
- Where and how you store your trailer when not in use
- The amount of your deductible
- The insurance company you choose
How Can I Find the Best Deal on Horse Trailer Insurance?
Most people simply add an insurance endorsement for their horse trailer to their current auto or truck insurance policy. However, this is not necessarily the most cost-effective way to get coverage. Other insurance companies may provide more comprehensive horse trailer coverage at better rates. Shopping for quotes is important if you want to be sure you have the best coverage and rates for you.