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Trailer Tent Insurance FAQ's - do I legally have to insure

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Am I legally obliged to have insurance in the UK for a trailer or caravan?

Answer: We are often asked, particularly by owners of older less valuable caravans and trailer tents if they have to buy insurance. There is a legal requirement for your vehicle and any trailer to have a minimum level of third party insurance to drive on the public road, this can only be provided by motor insurance but do not assume that your motor insurance policy covers this you must check. See below for the legal technicalities.

If cover is provided for towing on your car insurance, as it usually is, then you need to realise that this is only in force when the trailer is attached to the insured towing vehicle. It does not provide any cover for damage to the trailer, for theft of the trailer or for third party liability should your trailer cause any damage to someone else's property or person when detached. We once had a caravan roll down a drive and do serious damage to a neighbours garage. The caravan insurance policy paid for the repairs to the caravan and to the neighbours garage.

There is no legal requirement to have additional insurance provided you motor insurance policy provides cover for towing but most people think it is well worthwhile for the peace of mind it provides.

Trailer Towing Minimum Legal Requirements for insurance: The Road Traffic Act 1988 sets out the legal minimum requirement: Section 143(1)(a) "a person must not use a motor vehicle on a road unless there is in force in relation to the use of the vehicle by that person such a policy of insurance or such a security in respect of third party risks as complies with the requirements of this Part of this Act..."

Check your motor insurance policy to make sure that it provides you with cover for towing. Most motor policies do provide 3rd Party only cover when towing but it is your responsibility to ensure that this is the case. If it is not clear from your policy then don't go out on the road with your trailer or caravan until you have checked your insurance company. In effect you would be driving uninsured.

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