You’ve got insurance for your tow vehicle, so your horse trailer is covered, right?
Having the right horse trailer insurance is important not only when a crisis strikes, but also for your peace of mind while traveling with your four-legged best friend.
Yet many people drive for years with inadequate coverage, only discovering the holes in their insurance plan when it’s too late.
Of course, every situation is different depending on your trailer, horse, and travel needs. That’s why it’s so important to communicate with your insurance agent so you know you have the right coverage for your circumstances.
Here are some key questions to ask your agent regarding horse trailer insurance:
1. Do I have comprehensive/collision coverage?
This is one of the biggest misconceptions we see among horse trailer owners: they know their towing vehicle insurance extends to their trailer, but don’t realize that the insurance only covers liability—not damage or theft.
In other words, they’re covered for costs involving damage to someone else’s property or injuries caused by their trailer. But they’re not covered for the cost of damage to their trailer and trailer contents in an accident, storm, or other crisis.
To protect your trailer, you’ll want to ask your insurance agent about comprehensive and collision coverage.
Most vehicle insurance companies will simply add an endorsement to your existing policy, which extends comprehensive and collision coverage to your trailer. This is typically a minor expense per year.
If your insurer requires a separate policy for the trailer—rather than merely adding a trailer endorsement—then you should consider shopping around.
Here in Virginia, we typically recommend that trailer owners consider pricing horse trailer insurance options with their local Farm Bureau agent (no affiliation to Blue Ridge Trailers). Farm Bureau offers several different coverages for trailer and trailer content protection. Adding a standalone policy can be very expensive, so shopping might very well pay off.
2. Are the contents of my trailer covered?
You don’t just want to protect your trailer, but also your property inside it.
Ask your insurance agent whether your trailer contents would be covered in cases of damage or theft. Note that your homeowner’s policy might cover trailer contents rather than your vehicle policy in the case of accident or theft, so make sure to ask your agent about this as well.
Be aware that “trailer contents” refers to equipment and gear, not your horse itself. You may want to consider a policy to cover your horse(s). The major national companies offering equine insurance are Taylor, Harris Insurance Services, EMO, Marshall and Sterling, and Markel. There may also be coverage available in your area from a more local company.
3. What will happen if I have a breakdown with my horse in the trailer?
Here’s something I learned the hard way. Some insurance companies (and roadside assistance companies like AAA) will tow your vehicle if you have a breakdown, but won’t extend roadside service to your trailer.
I can tell you that it’s incredibly stressful to have a horse in a trailer on the side of the highway, under the sun, and no way to get it moved to a safe place. Ask your insurance agent and/or roadside assistance company whether your trailer and horse(s) will be covered for breakdown services, and if not, you might consider looking into another policy with a company that offers national roadside equine services.
4. Is my trailer covered when it’s parked?
It’s easy to forget that trailer problems don’t just happen on the road. Ask your insurance agent how you’re covered in the case of storm damage, fire, and theft when your trailer is parked. If you store your trailer on someone else’s property or farm, you’ll also want to know how that impacts your coverage.
Insurance is complicated, yes? Who knew? Now the necessary homework is up to you!
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