Having insurance for your horsebox is a legal requirement under the Road Traffic Act, but it is also important to ensure you have the correct cover in place dependent on what you use your vehicle for. If you are operating as a business (e.g. a horse transporter) or using the lorry in connection with your trade (e.g. a professional showjumper taking horses to shows to compete for their owners) then you must inform your insurers of this so that ‘business use’ can be included on your policy.
But what if you just want to take a friend’s horse to a show in the same horsebox so that you can share the trip and diesel costs? As long as the only financial contribution made by your friend is towards fuel costs, then this is acceptable. You cannot charge any extra though, as effectively you will then be operating on a commercial basis.
If you transport anyone else’s horses for profit then you would require ‘hire and reward’ cover; this effectively allows you to operate as a horse transporter, covering you for road risks (separate policies can be taken out to cover your custodial and public liability whilst you are in charge of the horses being transported). Hire and reward cover is more expensive, but there are a number of ways to reduce your horsebox premium with a variety of discounts on offer from most insurers e.g. restricted driving for only 1 or 2 named drivers, restricted annual mileage, option to build up no claims bonus.
If you want to hire your horsebox out for someone else to drive then this is classed as ‘self-drive hire’ so be sure that you are aware of the differences based on who you want to be able to drive your vehicle.
Speak to your insurer to make sure you are appropriately covered and can show the correct proof of insurance in the event you are stopped by officials .