Trailer Insurance UK

Find the best insurance cover for your caravan, horse box or trailer.

Do I need specific trailer insurance?

No. You’re not legally required to get trailer insurance. However, you might want to think about what it would mean to you financially if your trailer was damaged or stolen, or if you caused an accident while towing your trailer.

Car insurance generally includes third-party cover for trailers while you are towing the trailer with your insured car.

Without trailer insurance, you might be responsible for third-party damage or injuries caused by an unattached trailer. If property is damaged or someone is injured, you might be responsible for hundreds of thousands, or even millions of pounds in legal fees.

It’s important to check your car insurance policy to see if your trailer is covered. If it is, also check the level of cover for theft, or damage caused by floods, storms or vandalism.

What are my trailer insurance options?

Depending on what kind of trailer you have, you might be able to get it insured under a different type of cover.

General trailer insurance

Standalone general trailer cover, as well as box and camper trailer cover, is a useful way of ensuring that your trailer is insured for third-party property damage or legal liability when not covered by car insurance or another cover type.

It is suitable for a wide range of trailers, because the cost of a policy is largely based on the value of the trailer. This means it can cover everything from cheap box trailers to stationary caravan residences, and the policy premiums will vary accordingly.

The contents cover that these policies include may extend to a variety of different items being carried on the trailer, making it an adaptable policy type.

Limitations you need to be aware of:

  • These policies can combine different cover types, such as separate cover for the trailer and the contents. Each of these may be subject to different conditions and exclusions.
  • Some types of trailers, such as caravans, may be excluded from the cover.

Car insurance with trailer cover

You can get car insurance policies that also cover trailers. Sometimes, this will be automatically included in your car insurance, while at other times you may find it as an optional extra.

If this cover is right for you, then this might be one of the most cost-effective options. However, there is a range of cover limitations and some downsides to attaching your trailer cover to a car insurance policy.

Limitations you need to be aware of:

  • Trailer cover may be limited to a set value and with a range of policy conditions.
  • Trailers will generally only be covered while they are attached to the insured car and might not be fully insured against theft or other damage.
  • Your trailer cover will generally be subject to the conditions of your car insurance. Claims might involve paying the car insurance excess, losing your car insurance no-claims bonus and seeing an increase in your car insurance premiums.
  • It may not be suitable for more expensive trailers or if you regularly carry valuable items.

Boat insurance with trailer cover

If you’re looking to insure a boat trailer, one of the first places to look is your boat insurance policy documents.

Boat insurance will often include cover specifically for boat trailers, and, if you have a boat trailer, you are likely to need boat insurance anyway. As such, this can be a cost-effective way of getting cover.

However, depending on your needs, you might also want to take out an additional policy to fill the gaps in your boat insurance or to get a higher level of cover.

One of the main conditions to be aware of is that boat insurance will often not cover trailers while they are being towed.

On the plus side, this means boat insurance with effective trailer cover and car insurance with effective trailer cover may deliver a high level of protection between them.

Limitations you need to be aware of:

  • The cover for boat trailers can be limited and can vary between policies.
  • Boat trailer insurance, when purchased with boat insurance policies, might only cover the trailer while it’s parked or during loading and unloading. You are not necessarily covered while on the road.
  • Depending on the situation, your boat trailer might be more effectively covered by a standalone trailer insurance policy.

Caravan trailer insurance

Standalone trailer insurance generally insures almost anything that’s towed, including caravans and camper trailers. This is because it has specific cover for the trailer itself and for its contents.

The same policy can also cover stationary caravan residences, as well as touring caravans and others.

Limitations you need to be aware of:

  • Strict limits and exclusions may apply to trailer contents cover. For example, you might only be covered up to £750 in total. If you need a higher level of cover, then policy extensions may be available.
  • Contents cover exclusions apply and mean a specific policy might not work for you. For example, cover will often exclude motorcycles, jet skis and other valuable items.

Jet ski trailer insurance

If you need cover specifically for a jet ski trailer, or similar types of watercraft trailers, for example, for kayaks or canoes, you may be able to find it through personal watercraft (PWC) insurance.

This can cover the watercraft themselves, as well as the trailer. The watercraft cover you find in boat insurance can also apply to personal watercraft.

Although the policy and the cover might generally be the same, it naturally tends to cost less to insure PWC than a larger boat.

Limitations you need to be aware of:

  • Depending on the policy, cover may be limited. For example, a policy might explicitly not cover the damage a jet ski sustains while being towed or during loading and unloading.

Motorcycle trailer insurance

Motorcycle insurance trailer cover will often refer specifically to two-axle trailers being towed by motorbikes, rather than actual insurance for a trailer that carries motorcycles or quad bikes.

As such, when you see trailer cover in a motorcycle insurance policy, it’s important to check what kind of cover you’re actually getting.

General trailer insurance policies will often exclude cover for motorcycles and other vehicles that are being carried, so effective cover might be a bit tricky to find. You might want to contact insurers and specifically enquire about cover for a motorcycle trailer or get separate policies for the trailer itself and for the motorcycles.

Dirt bikes and quad bikes that are only used for recreational purposes, may be insurable by limited-use motorcycle insurance policies that can also cover them while being carried on a trailer.

Limitations you need to be aware of:

  • Not all motorcycle insurance policies will cover bikes while they’re being carried on a trailer.
  • Not all trailer insurance policies will cover motorcycles that are being carried on a trailer.

Horse box trailer insurance

There are a few different ways to insure a horse box. You can get horse boxes insured under equine insurance policies, which can be a cost-effective way of getting horse insurance, as well as cover for the trailer, although cover may be limited.

For more comprehensive cover, such as if you have a more valuable horse box, use it for professional purposes or want more cover for damage or injuries it might cause, you may want to take out a separate trailer policy to insure your horse box directly.

Limitations you need to be aware of:

  • It may be more cost-effective to find cover for your horse box under an equine insurance policy, but this might not deliver adequate cover.
  • The types of policies available can vary widely, and it’s important to know what you’re covered for, as well as the limits of your policy.

Insuring a business trailer

Much like in the case of car insurance, trailer insurance does not include business use as standard. This is also the case if you receive payment from a friend or family member for the use of your trailer.

If you use a trailer for business purposes, or rent out your trailer for a fee, you will need to take out cover that includes commercial vehicles.

Car insurance for business use

If you own commercial trailers, such as a plant trailer to carry a mini excavator to job sites, or any other business equipment, then business-use car insurance might effectively cover your car, the trailer and the equipment carried.

Business-use car insurance covers vehicles that you use for both personal and business purposes. This insurance might be an effective all-in-one type of vehicle insurance for builders and other tradespeople.

The trailer cover available with these policy types is typically more comprehensive than what you can get with normal car insurance, and it can include a range of related liability and business equipment cover.

If you drive the same vehicle for everyday and for business purposes and are looking to get cover for a trailer that’s used similarly, this may be one of the more cost-effective and comprehensive cover types available.

A wide range of equipment and business goods carried on the trailer can also be covered.

Limitations you need to be aware of:

  • Cover may vary between insurers and policies, and it’s important to go over your policy documents thoroughly to make sure you have the right level of protection and no significant gaps in cover.
  • This policy might not cover non-business items carried on the trailer.

Heavy truck trailer insurance

Truck trailers, specifically for multi-ton loads, whether as part of a rigid truck or as a detachable trailer for prime movers, can be insured against damage, along with cover for the truck itself and the goods being carried.

A similar level of cover is generally available for all truck and trailer types, including rigid trucks, road trains, articulated trailers, dolly trailers and more.

These policies can also cover heavy equipment trailers, such as concrete pumping trailers, for example.

You can find liability cover, business insurance features, cover for goods being carried, and vehicle and trailer damage cover through the same specialised insurers, and you can often tailor policies to your needs.

Limitations you need to be aware of:

  • These policies may be particularly complex and can include a range of specific conditions and limitations for the different cover types included. People typically purchase these policies through insurance brokers and other authorised representatives who can help you find the right cover.

Business insurance

You can often tailor business insurance policies to specific needs, and include cover for a standard trailer that’s business property, or a more specialised item like a food trailer, relatively easily.

The cover available can include a wide variety of protection for business profits, trailer contents, vehicles, the trailer itself and more.

When running a business, you are legally required to obtain certain types of cover. It’s important to make sure your policy includes these, as well as optional cover, such as additional damage, business interruptions and any other required element.

Limitations you need to be aware of:

  • Cover can vary between different companies, as well as be affected by the trade or profession of the person taking out the policy. Make sure you check what is and isn’t covered, to avoid damage to your source of income.

What does trailer insurance cover?

Much like car insurance, there are different levels of general trailer cover:

  • Third-party trailer insurance. This is the minimum cover level required by law. It covers you for damage to other people and their property caused by the trailer.
  • Third-party, fire and theft trailer insurance. This policy gives you the above cover plus insurance against fire and theft.
  • Comprehensive trailer insurance. This policy gives you third-party property damage and liability insurance, as well as cover against damage or loss caused by a variety of incidents.

With comprehensive trailer insurance, you can get cover against a wide range of different events, similar to the type of cover you get with comprehensive car insurance. This can include legal liability and third-party property damage, as well as insurance for damage the trailer sustains as the result of the following:

  • Fire or explosion
  • Flood
  • Storms, lightning or hail
  • Theft and damage caused by attempted theft
  • Vandalism and other malicious damage
  • Accidents, collisions and other damage types

If an insured event occurs, you might be able to claim the following benefits:

  • Replacement and damage cover. You could get a brand new replacement trailer, have the old trailer repaired, or be reimbursed for the cost of repairs or a new trailer as appropriate.
  • Towing costs. This covers the cost of towing a trailer from the site of an incident to a repairer, from a repairer to you or to elsewhere as needed, depending on the policy.
  • Storage costs. This is cover for necessary storage costs following an insured event.
  • Clean-up costs. This covers the cost of removing debris from the road and cleaning up following an insured event.

It’s worth remembering that more comprehensive cover will come with a higher premium, so consider your options carefully.

Additional options to consider

Depending on your needs, you might look to add one of the following options to your policy:

  • Additional contents cover. The contents cover included with trailer insurance policies will usually specify a limit, such as £1,000. If the contents of your trailer is worth more than this, you may want to consider additional cover to raise the sum insured. Note that exclusions apply and not all types of contents can be covered.
  • Business items. This may be automatically included if you get trailer insurance through a business insurance policy, but you can select this as an additional option with more general trailer cover. Without it, you might not be covered for any business items, such as trade tools or merchandise.

Exclusions to look out for

It’s important to be aware of the exclusions for both the trailer itself and the contents of a trailer. For example, a specific general trailer insurance policy might not be suitable for insuring a quad bike trailer, because it specifically excludes cover for motorised vehicles under the contents section.

Some exclusions you need to be aware of:

  • Contents exclusions. You are often unable to get cover for jet skis, motorbikes or bicycles under a general trailer insurance policy. Other specific exclusions may include electronics, business items, jewellery, cash, trade tools and goods, collections and other valuables.
  • Driving under the influence. There is generally no cover while a trailer is being towed by someone who is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or otherwise operating a vehicle illegally.
  • Unsafe operations. If the trailer itself, or the vehicle towing it, is not being operated in a safe manner and in line with the manufacturer’s specifications, such as if it’s overloaded or if items weren’t secured accordingly, then you may not be able to claim for damages.
  • Failure to take precautions. You are generally required to take all appropriate precautions to avoid claims and minimise damage. This can include properly maintaining your equipment, moving the trailer off the road following an incident and any other necessary actions.
  • Deterioration, wear and tear, and depreciation. You are not covered for damage that results from deterioration such as depreciation, rust or regular wear and tear.
  • Trailer type exclusions. Some policies will only cover certain types of trailers. For example, a policy might specify that it only covers two-axle trailers up to a certain mass.
  • No cover while being used for business purposes or profit. Unless you have specifically looked for a business-use trailer insurance policy, your trailer might not be covered for damage that occurs while being used for business purposes, including carrying food for profit or being rented out.
  • Unapproved repairs. You will generally need to get approval for repairs before undertaking them, and you cannot claim the cost of repairs that your insurer has not approved, except for emergency repairs as specified under your policy. You generally cannot claim for damages resulting from faulty repairs unless it was an insurer’s approved repairer.

What will affect the cost?

The cost of your policy is generally determined by the risk level and the sum insured.

  • The value of your trailer. More expensive trailers naturally cost more to insure.
  • The value of other insured items. The full sum insured under the policy, including all items and cover types, can affect the cost of your policy.
  • Age and driving history. Younger and less experienced drivers are generally more likely to have higher premiums.
  • Frequency of use. A trailer that’s used more often is more at risk and may have higher premiums.
  • Other risks. This can be affected by the types of roads you drive on, your location, and other risk levels.
  • Your cover type, options and excess. More comprehensive cover with additional options is naturally more expensive. Your excess can also make a significant difference, with a higher excess leading to lower premiums.

Excesses that you will need to pay

You will typically need to pay all applicable excesses when making a claim, and these can vary widely depending on the type of policy you have. They may include the following:

  • Standard excess. This is the standard excess payable under your policy. You are often able to choose your own from several options.
  • Young or inexperienced driver/operator excess. Drivers under 25, or over 25 but still inexperienced, will often face an additional excess.
  • Distance excess. Generally more common with business-type trailer insurance policies, an additional excess may be payable when using your trailer more than a certain radius from home.
  • Special excess. A special excess may be payable for certain types of claims or in certain situations. Sometimes an insurer might apply an additional special excess to an individual who is a high risk.

Bottom line

While trailer insurance is not mandatory, it is highly recommended, as trailers can be expensive to replace. Cover for different types of trailers is often included in standard car insurance, the details of which can be found in your policy documents. Make sure you know what is covered before you set off.

Similarly, if you are borrowing a trailer from a friend or family member, their insurance might cover you, as long as no money changes hands. Again, it’s best to check this in advance.

If you require extra cover for your trailer, specialist cover does exist and can be bought online. Be sure to shop around and compare deals to find the best one for you.

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