Following a sustained rise in trailer theft over the past year, Ecclesiastical, the insurer behind our bespoke horse trailer policies, has provided some statistics on claims made during this period. These statistics are proving useful in offering suggestions to help prevent future trailer theft.
Since new trailer towing laws were introduced in the UK in December 2021, horse trailer ownership and usage has never been more popular. Data from horse trailer claims made by SEIB clients shows that 95% of stolen horse trailers were taken from a location away from the clients’ home address. A spokesperson for Ecclesiastical said: “The rise appears to be in thefts conducted by groups who come fully prepared to cut and remove wheel clamps and hitchlocks, and most appear to be at night when there is nobody around.”
SEIB Schemes Technician Kathryn Purcell said: “We’re sharing these statistics to give our customers the best possible chance to avoid a horse trailer theft. SEIB are equestrian specialists, our customers can rely on our expertise to keep their passions and investments safe, whether that’s through the insurance protection we provide or our market insights and guidance.”
Of the horse trailers insured through SEIB and Ecclesiastical that were stolen in the past year, 20% only had a hitch lock, 63% had a hitch lock and a wheel clamp, 11% had just a wheel clamp and 6% had unknown security, suggesting that locks alone do not offer comprehensive security.
Adam Watts of Ecclesiastical said: “We hope that by releasing these figures it may help prevent trailer thefts going forwards. Keeping the trailer in a secure yard and ensuring a hitch lock and wheel clamp are in place are all ways in which thieves can be deterred.
Horse trailer security tagging or tracking devices are offered by several companies. Whilst not a deterrent in themselves, they offer an increased chance of recovery should the trailer be stolen. It is important that security tags are registered with an official database. Security tags including microdot transponder technology are available for as little as £50.00.
A spokesperson for Cesar and Datatag who offer this tagging service said: “Our system is very straightforward, you can simply purchase an online horse trailer kit, attach to your trailer as per the instructions and then register it with us. Some brands of trailer come pre-marked and registered with us as standard. When the trailer is sold, it is necessary for the new owner to register with us to update the records. Should the trailer be stolen the registered owner needs to report it to us.”
More costly tracking devices offer a greater level of protection with companies offering theft alerts and global real-time tracking from a phone or computer if a trailer is stolen. One trailer in the Ecclesiastical claims statistics had a tracking device fitted. Following its theft, the trailer was later recovered.
With thieves often targeting trailers parked in yards at night, or at quiet times of the day, yard security has been highlighted as a potential issue by the Ecclesiastical statistics. In regard to yard security for trailers, Mike Bullman of Safe Security Solutions said: “We would always firstly advise to hide trailers, ideally they should be kept in a barn. If this isn’t possible a trailer should at least be kept out of the way. As trailers are by nature easily moveable, blocking them in is effective – and making sure wheel and hitch locks are on. It is all about slowing the thieves down.
“Pre-warnings and pre-alerts are invaluable in preventing theft by scaring intruders away from yards, either through the activation of a security light or alarm. The sooner an intruder is detected the better – if the yard has a long driveway, it is always better to be alerted when the intruder is at the entrance at point a - it can be too late by the time they’ve made it into the yard, to points b or c - when the chances of damage to property or theft are increased.”
In the event of a trailer theft, it is generally agreed that taking to social media can do no harm, and possibly even help prevent the theft of other trailers in the area. A spokesperson for Ecclesiastical added: “I’ve seen a number of the claimants tell the Loss Adjuster that they have posted on social media sites in order to raise awareness of their own particular theft. This can only help to try and recover the trailer so we would encourage this.”
Kathryn Purcell added: “Insurance is there to protect you against the unforeseen. Should the worst happen you know you want to be insured with a company that deals with your claim fairly and efficiently. Here at SEIB, since 2019 we have paid 97% of horse trailer theft claims, the other 3% were horse trailers that were recovered.”
The SEIB team that will deal with your policy own horses themselves, so are adept both personally and professionally at finding appropriate cover. We have over 20 years of experience in this specialist field, and can be trusted upon to defend you should the worst happen.
Get a horse trailer insurance quote from a trusted, experienced source. Contact SEIB to speak to our equine experts. Call us on 01708 850 000, email firstname.lastname@example.org