Following a rise in trailer theft over the past year, Ecclesiastical, the insurer behind SEIB Insurance Brokers’ horse trailer policies, has shared statistics on claims made during this period, with the hope that they will prove useful in helping prevent future thefts.

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.

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.

“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,” said a spokesperson for Ecclesiastical.

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 from £50.

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 them Ecclesiastical claims statistics had a tracking device fitted. Following its theft, the trailer was later recovered.

Yard security

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.

“We would always firstly advise to hide trailers, ideally they should be kept in a barn,” said Mike Bullman of Safe Security Solutions. “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.”

Sharing on social media

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.

“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,” a spokesperson for Ecclesiastical said. “This can only help to try and recover the trailer so we would encourage this.”

Kathryn Purcell, SEIB Schemes Technician Kathryn, 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.”

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