Law to increase towing costs

| 09/11/2011

(CNS): Drivers who are towing trailers or other industrial equipment with wheels will have to insure them in order to comply with the new amendments government is proposing to make to the law that deals with motor vehicle third party insurance. The bill to amend the motor vehicle insurance (third party risks) law (2007 revision) is primarily designed to accommodate electric cars on the public roads but it also covers other vehicles which will now need to be insured.  By changing the definition of “motor vehicle” in the law to just "vehicle" the law will require almost anything with wheels that will be towed on the roads, as well as driven, to have insurance cover.

The law states that “vehicle” now means almost any wheeled or tracked vehicle capable of being driven or towed on a road, and includes an electrically powered vehicle, agricultural vehicle, earthmoving vehicle, motor cycle, scooter, wheeled trailer and autowheel. The law does indicate that it does not include a “hand cart, barrow or baby carriage,” and they will not need to be covered by insurance.

The law is due to be debated in the Legislative Assembly next week and the independent member for North Side has already raised a number of concerns about the legislation as he says it will increase costs for small businesses and farmers because of the need to insure industrial and agricultural equipment for the roads if they are to be towed.

“This is yet another increase to the cost of business which will slow down the economy,” Miller said as he pointed out that owners will now need to not only buy separate third party insurance for their trailers but also any of the wheeled or tracked vehicles that are not usually used on the roads.

See bill here

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Comments (46)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It is Pretty dumb for you someone to insure a trailer. 

    Question! Does a trailer drive on its own? or can you drive a trailer with a motor vehicle?

    I would think that if you have a trailer and you have a vehicle to tow that trailer you vehicle insurance will cover the trailer as well.  This is crazy to know that you have to insure your trailer, because some person had a stupid idea of latching a trailer on a vehicle with rubber straps, and to know it broke away and killed a person. Yes my condolence goes out to the grieving family of the person that died in the accident.  
    But come on why does everyone else have to suffer for one person that should have known better to do something like attached a trailer with rubber don’t they know rubber easily pop on like nice piece of thick chain to secure their trailer, yes chain can pop too but it has to take a lot of force to do so.
    I think it is un-called for to insure a trailer.  I totally agree that a trailer should be maintained thoroughly checked but come on insurance for a trailer lol lol
    Whoever came up with that idea please re-think again insurance of trailers.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Mac used to sell insurance many years ago. Maybe he is planning a post-election career.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I use roller blades as a means of exercise. Do I have to fork out 600 bucks annually to use them too. I can park my boat trailer and just use the lift at the Marinas for my annual haulout, but I need to use my roller blades for exercise.

    Good lord. "What will they think of next"

    We give insurance companies so much money for nothing and now thay have to break the final straw.

    • Soapbox Sally says:

      I expect you will only need to pay if you plan on towing your boat trailer behind you as you roller blade….

      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks for the clarification. My Boat Trailer goes up for sale immediately.

  4. Soapbox Sally says:

    In my experience with insurance companies, they are very good at wording things so they can avoid payment (they are after all businesses).  Will having the trailers insured, cover for accidents caused by poorly fitted or badly assembled connections as per the one that caused that tragic accident? Or will insurance companies be able to include clauses like "will cover for accidents only where the connectors are appropriate and correct assembled" or something like that? – in which case there really will be no coverage for accidents like the one that just happened.  Cynical?  Maybe a little.

  5. Anonymous says:

    What I want to see is the law allowing for speed cameras! Install them on every 3rd or 4th light post on the main bypass routes.


    I cannot believe the speed at which these holigans on bikes and modified noisy cars tear up and down the various bypass roads on the Island. Plus you never see police stopping them or giving chase, maybe their cars arent fast enough or perhaps they are using the wrong octane donuts….

  6. Anonymous says:

    I have never heard such crap! The police need to get off their idle backsides and worry about the unroad worthy vehicles and trailers that fly around on the roads today.

    Insurance is VOID for ANY modified vehicle, trailer or whatever. Think not? read the policy.

    Get your ducks in a row RCIP, do your job and stop the widespread disregard of the traffic laws.

    It pisses me off off when I see police cars pass vehicles with blacked out windows, lowered suspension and any colored light they decide and do nothing!

    If the Police done their job right there would be NO unroadworthy vehicles. FULL STOP!!!!!!

    We need a tow compound, if you don't abide by the traffic laws, then lose your vehicle.

    ISSUE TICKETS!!!!!!!!

    While on the subject. STOP the backhanders that are going on for inspections on vehicles. Do random checks on vehicles that leave these places.


  7. Anonymous says:

    Re: 19:46

    Which insurance company provided the policy for you, for your truck? Keen to know, T.I.A

  8. Anonymous says:

    I insure my truck to tow a trailer.  That way, I don't have to insure each of the three trailers I own.  I can only tow one at a time anyway.  I can also tow anyone else's trailer, because that is the way I insured my vehicle.

  9. Whodatis says:

    "The law does indicate that it does not include a “hand cart, barrow or baby carriage,” and they will not need to be covered by insurance."

    Okay … but what about bicycles?


  10. so Anonymous says:

    Painfully funny to watch how Grand Cayman "fixes" its problems by changing its laws.  Is it just me or does it seem the tiny little things that are a bother to someone in current leadership get done ASAP and the important stuff never does?  As usual now every good competent driver must now chip in to pay for the damage done by all the "special curcumstance" people driving around on Cayman (who are obviously "intitled" to it.)  Can't wait to see whats next.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Oh Dear!  What about my skateboard?

  12. Just Commentin' says:

    My question is: why the hell did they change the law to this extent in order to accommodate electric vehicles?


    Hey, dummies in charge of making laws: that whirring humming battery-powered thingy that makes the electric car go is called an electric motor; thus the electric car can fall under the definition of "motor vehicle" provided the definition in the law is not limited to internal combustion engines. Hmmm…? While on the suibject, why do they call gasoilne and diesel powered vehicles "motor vehicles"? Are they not powered by an engine? Shouldn't they be called "engine vehicles"? It is electric cars that are "motor vehicles", right? It's all dumb.


    Engine, motor…whatever. I see no rationale for the proposed change encompassing anything more than electric "motor vehicles". Oh… yes…silly me! We are dealing with the Cayman Islands Government, a consummate and experienced expert at making things more complicated than they have to be and more expensive and inconvenient for the people of these islands. It seems to have gotten worse under Big Mac's watch.


    And another question: will insurance companies even insure all the newly-defined "trailers"?


    Ok, so what is the definition of "baby carriage"? Does this include those baby trailers I see being towed behind bikes? Or will they be considered a "wheeled trailer" and have to be insured to be road-legal? Will thay have to be inspected? (Sorry, Ma'am, your baby bike tram fails because it doesn't have proper brake lights or turn indicators.) And that brings us to the definition of "baby"…  Oh, lawd! Dis couh geh complicated!


    I smell stupidity at work, folks.

  13. Anonymous says:

    This is a good thing, well done Govt.

    Ok, drivers have to pay for the insurance, but that's just tough. Otherwise, you can get some fool attaching a trailer to their truck with bungy cord or failing to secure a load, killing many people when things go wrong, & being too poor to pay compensation. This way, there is insurance cover in place so the bereaved families can at least get some compensation for their losses.

    If someone was injured or killed by a trailer, everyone would blame Government for there not being various requirements in place. Stop moaning about every last thing, people.

  14. Anonymous says:

    This is a crock!! This now being enshrined in law is the result of lobbying by the insurance companies looking for more ways to SQUEEZE pennies out of the Cayman residents.


    Who really benefits from this being in law, tell me truly… 

    • Anonymous says:

      You would if a trailer damaged your car somehow…

    • Anonymous says:

      Anyone who gets hit by a trailer?  Quite topical, I would have thought.

    • Anonymous says:

      The injured third parties when your leaf springs fail and your wheel falls off, etc.

    • Anonymous says:


      recently there is a case in court where a trailer "broke away" and caused the death of a man.

      I am sure that his family would benifit from the trailer being insured, and had it been inspected to allow it to recieve insurance and licensing maybe just maybe it would have been discovered that it was being used incorrectly.

      • Anonymous says:

        and whether the trailer was insured or not do you think that would have made a difference on preventing an accident?


        what are we trying to do, make the road safer or see how much compensation we can get from accidents?

    • Adam Smith says:

      Who benefits from this law?  Perhaps

      1) People who are involved in accidents involving negligently driven trailers.

      2) Other vehicle users who are effectively subsidising the costs of the accidents caused by trailer drivers.

      • Anonymous says:

        And if you do not purchase the required insurance and still cause an accident?


        Having insurance or NOT having insurance will not stop the accidents, neither will it "AUTOMATICALLY" improve the condition of the vehicle or trailer being towed.


        More accidents and more payouts by insurance companies mean higher premiums for us all anyway, so what's the sense in making this law?

        • Adam Smith says:

          You obviously have no understanding of the behavioural impact on insurance economics.  I will not even start to explain why your post is utter gibberish.  But it is.

    • Truly says:

      The insurance companies, the many Cayman drivers who don't have indurance, the many fool fool drivers who should not be driving but can in Cayman and hopefully the next victim of the next "special circumstance" incident.

      Who pays?  Everyone else.

      Except for the premeir of course.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Stupid ! Once again… another law put into place without considering how it's going to work.  

    He's another education for our government. You can not insure a trailer, boat or otherwise, without indicating what vehicle will be towing it. Hence it is not trailer insurance, it's an extension of your vehicle insurance and the trailer is not covered if towed by another vehicle.  So lets say you own a boat but you don't have a vehicle to tow it because you pay someone else to tow it.   You can not insure your trailer nor can you take it to have it licensed ! Did you ever wonder why so many boat trailers don't have tags ?   That's why !!!!

  16. James says:

    see now that will only work if the police STOP the offending drivers, right now they DON'T stop you if:

    you have bald tyres
    no licence plate
    not wearing seat belt
    brake lights not working
    if you drive a truck like an idoit
    taxi's pulling out on you
    driver who over take in the middle lane on west bay road
    not using your turn signals
    using the wrong lane on roundabouts
    pulling out onto main roads backwards
    stopping on a roundabout to pick up or drop off bobo

    The list goes on, i'm sure people can add to the list, so what I'm saying is have as many laws as you like, if you don't enforce them then don't waste our time and money bringing them in.


    • Anonymous says:

      …or my personal favorite: the guy going to work on a backhoe on Esterley Tibbetts Hwy going 15mph with no lights or plates and a quarter mile of traffic backed up behind it…during rush hour.

    • Anonymous says:

      Kids standing up in the car instead of buckled in. Texting while driving. The two offences often occurring simultaneously.

      • Anonymous says:

        HA! I can compete with that! Have you seen the girl on the moped texting and driving!!??!?!?!!!! I have seen her on 2 different occassions. She almost rear-ended a car the first time I saw her.

        Just curious if anyone else has seen her. 

        Thumbs up if you have seen her too.

  17. The Truth is Out There says:

    Agreed.  Let's hope the police start enforcing the laws and ticketing motorcycles and scooters for illegal passing on both sides of the road.  They need to follow the same rules as cars.

  18. Bushwacker says:

    You have to give kudos to the Insurance Lobbyists, they certainly got what they wanted from this clueless Administration all at the expense of the general public. A cursory reading of this Article and the attached Bill does not exclude bicycles (bicycles are “driven” similar to that of a motorcycle after all) from this proposed Statue. Consequently, does that mean that all cyclists are now required to have Third Party Insurance underfoot before they traverse the streets of the Cayman Islands? If this interpretation is correct, so much for all the hard work of the various Cycling Clubs to create International Cycling Meets in The Cayman Islands as a viable segment of the Sport Tourism initiative bantered about.


    It is obviously clear from all the lop-sided, short sighted and poorly planned agreements and or initiatives introduced by this Government since taking office; they are hell-bent on destroying the island. Insofar as they are by all their actions creating Big Government, which in turn creates more bureaucratic red tape that is necessary to pay for this Big Government initiative they have obviously embarked upon.


    Investors’ typically seek the opposite Mr. Premier. Therefore I humbly urge you to go and earnestly employ sound rationale that will seriously consider possible repercussions, be they immediate, within 5 years, 10 years, and 15 years and beyond. Once done, create a legitimate plan, stick to it and you will see investors come to these shores. Sophisticated Investor’s take calculated risks, which is based on trends, your style of governance is liken to a ping pong game; one never really knows where the ball will go next and when! Certainly not conducive in any way whatsoever for productivity and forecasting.


    In closing; I respectfully suggest that you solemnly open your eyes and conscience, then you will realize that it is time for you to retire.  

  19. Anonymous says:

    What about the Traffic Regulations…when will this be available to the public?  We will see then how much it will really cost to operate a vehicle in the Cayman Islands.  If they do increase the fees they should reduce the duty on diesel and gasoline as suggested by the Independent  Member.  I hope that Cayman Brac fees will be increased also to that of Little Cayman.  Don't understand why they are have to pay less than the other islands.  What is being done about the almost 15k cars that there licence is not up to date?  There must be about $8m in back duty fees that are outstanding and there seems to be no effort is being made to collect them. I know of friends that haven't had their vehicle licence or inspected for years and they operate the vehicles daily.  I bet half of them don't even have insurance. Also, there is $25 – $40 for inspection fees that is not collected annually for each vehicle for the years not license.   I don't understand why I can't license my vehicle for 9 months unless I come into their office 2 times (3 & 6 month licence) or 3 times (3 – 3 month licence). I guess they enjoy seeing my face. 🙂  Why does someone has to pay $25.00 to inspect a vehicle to license for one year but to license the same vehicle for 3 years he has to pay $75.00 for the inspection?  It is just one inspection being carried out..  Here is an idea that will reduce the quantity of customers that have to visit Licensing Offices annually.  Instead of having a customer come in 4 times per year let them come in once per year.  Do away with the 3 month, 6 month license and only license for one year.  In that way, the department can reduce their workload about 40% – 50% annually and still collect the same amount of revenue.  The downside of this is their will be  individuals that can't afford to pay the full annual fee at one go.  To approach this, I would let them know a year in advance so that they will know that listen, you have to save $120.00 this year (if the fees stay the same) because in January 2013 you have to pay the $160.00 amount up front.  They could even do away with the inspection fee and just charge on flat fee of $185.00 (160.00+25.00) to licence the car so that it would be just one transaction. This could be a win win situation, in the long run the customers save because, they would not have to take time off of work to licence the car up to 3 times, save on gasoline and normal wear and tear of the vehicle to drive to the office and the department would reduce their work load tremendously and the extra staff could be transferred to other areas of Government.  Just my thoughts.

  20. Soapbox Sally says:

    Phew…I don't need to insure my baby-carriage when towing it behind the car.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Here we go again, making things overcomplicated.

    Can we not just insure the main vehicle, as in the one with the tow hitch, to tow 'vehicle / equipment', instead of insuring eachand every  'vehicle/equipment' to be towed??

    • Anon says:

      That sounds easy, but you are then avoiding the annual inspection for the trailer. You already need the test certificate, ( and an insurance certificate) to licence the trailer so Im not sure what the new law is all about Even fairly new trailers have broken leaves in the springs and damaged barings because they are dipped into salt water when launching the boat.

  22. noname says:

    Instead of insuring each trailer separate, couldnt it just be in the main vehicle – as in the one with the tow hitch that pays an extra premium which allows them to tow.

  23. stinger says:

     Does this mean I now have to license and insure my riding lawnmower??? Before you laugh…riding mowers are considered “vehicles” so they incur the 27% duty rate. Just wondering!

    What is also mindboggling is that there has to be something written in the law to specifically not include a “hand cart, barrow or baby carriage.” I would like to see the police start enforcing that gray area if it wasn’t specifically indicated. Poor guy I see backing sand in a wheel barrow at Christmas time down to Dog City would be SOL.

    I may be crazy but at times like these I think our government is smoking something stronger than Marlboro’s.

    • Taxidermist says:

      You need licence your lawmower and take your driving test on it. The automatic ones are the easiest to drive.

      I agree that something like Marlboros are not being smoked. More likely it is grass!

  24. Anonymous says:

    We can enact all the laws we want; without enforcement, they are meaningless.  There are people driving around in cars that are not certified for the road, without insurance, without drivers licenses, and with coupons that are well over a year in arrears…with impunity.  

  25. Knot S Smart says:

    I agree with trailers and towed vehicles having to be insured!

    And I am certainly relieved that this law does not require me to have insurance on my two wheelbarrows!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Didnt the requirement for trailers to be insured and inspected change some years ago and various companies complied with this at great expense?

    • Erik Depthsounder says:

      Yes they did change the Law but doing so is pointless if it is not enforced (and it is not).

      90% of trailers  on the road are not legal or even roadworthy….the law is a joke, as is it's implementation….the roads are full of untaxed and unroadworthy vehicles whose owners are all intentionally breaking the law

      The lost revenue and lack of fines from prosecutions must amount to a great deal of income, the loss of duty from car parts and new car imports also adds to this (if people are forced to sell or repair their wrecks)…I'm surprised that nobody in Government has noticed this….but then again they are probably driving an untaxed vehicle as well! 

      Come on Alden, create a few jobs for Caymanian Vehicle Excise Inspectors …who knows we might even generate enough money to fix some of the dreadful roads.


    • Anonymous says:

      I think they just have to be registered and inspected. The insurance aspect is the new bit and that means yet more money for the insurance companies.

      I suppose there's no chance this influx of new income will bring down premiums for other vehicles?

      No, I didn't think so.