Do you have the right horse livestock insurance? In October 2013, a man driving a passenger truck towing five horses was involved in a horrific accident. While driving along a northern Kentucky freeway, he began to veer off the left side of the road. When he realized his error, he over-corrected to get back onto the roadway. The truck and trailer jack-knifed, struck a guardrail, and overturned. The driver died at the scene, as did three of the horses.
Accidents involving horse trailers are all too common, whether it’s a single-vehicle crash, like the incident in Kentucky, or one involving more than one automobile. While there are no reliable statistics, Kentucky Equine Research states that “Everyone [involved in the horse industry] has heard of at least one frightening story about horse trailer accidents or overturns.”
Fortunately, there is a way to protect yourself, your horses, and equipment: horse and livestock trailer insurance.
This specialized coverage is designed for the specific risks associated with owning and using a horse or livestock trailer.
What Does It Cover?
Horse trailer insurance covers a variety of perils, such as:
Liability and Comprehensive Coverage – This insurance will help to pay for the damages and injuries caused by a car and trailer accident. It will also help to pay your legal fees if the injured party takes you to court. Keep in mind that towing a horse trailer can be very dangerous. Something as simple as not hooking the trailer to the vehicle properly can lead to a break away in which the trailer unfastens and causes damages.
Damages – This can include vandalism, theft, and other incidents. An empty horse trailer is as valuable to a thief as a full one. They may see the covered trailer as a means to conduct future illegal activities.
Equipment – You may store equipment for your horses with them inside the trailer. Often, this equipment is very costly, and therefore very tempting to thieves who notice that the trailer has been left unoccupied in a public space.
Insurance companies know that owning a horse trailer can be very expensive and offer high limits of protection—sometimes as much as $50,000 or more.
In order to protect your horses or other livestock, you will need to consider purchasing a separate equine policy.
How Much Does It Cost?
The cost of horse trailer insurance varies widely because many factors need to be taken into account. The insurance company will want to know the original purchase price, dimensions, and purpose for owning the trailer. It will also matter which state you live in and where you plan to travel with the trailer. Based on online forum discussions, the cost will vary between $200 and $400 per year.
Is My Horse Trailer Covered under My Auto Insurance?
You might assume that, since the horse trailer is attached to your vehicle while driving, it will automatically be covered by your auto insurance when you get into an accident. Unfortunately, this is not the case. A typical auto insurance policy will only cover the damage to your truck and the car that you collide with, not the horse trailer or its contents. It will not provide you with any payments for injuries caused to the horses inside the trailer, any damages to the trailer, or the loss of equipment.
The only way that an auto policy can protect your trailer is by purchasing a rider or endorsement. However, this will only be liability insurance and the coverage amount will be limited.
Before heading out on the road, be sure to ensure that your trailer is ready for the big trip. Check the following:
- Make sure that the brakes, tires, and other components of the trailer are in proper working order.
- Know the maximum towing weight capacity of your trailer before loading it with animals and/or equipment.
- Bring along a spare trailer tire and tools.
- Check to see if the trailer is properly attached to the vehicle.
Speak to An Expert
Contact your local independent insurance agent today. He will have the knowledge and experience with horse trailer insurance necessary to recommend the right coverage for you. They can also provide you with a more accurate quote for your specific coverage needs.
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