As a horse owner, you don’t want to think about a worst case scenario. No one does. But your horse is a large investment. You put in time and energy to its care, health, and training. It is important to think about how you can protect your horse and yourself.
Protecting You and Your Horse
What if your horse were to get injured or become ill, how do you protect yourself from losses? There are several coverages available. Which policies you need varies depending on your horse, its value, its health, and its potential.
- Equine Mortality and Theft Coverage: This type of coverage generally protects from theft or death not caused by the owner’s negligence or willful misconduct. Additional endorsements for specific risks maybe available, such as Emergency Colic Surgery Coverage to assist with the costs associated with expensive colic surgery. Equine Mortality Coverage does not generally cover death caused by the owner’s negligence or willful misconduct.
- Major Medical and Surgical Coverage: This coverage will help reimburse covered veterinary costs if your horse suffers a covered injury, sickness, disease, or accident. Routine medical procedures are generally not included in this coverage.
- Loss of Use Coverage: If your horse suffers an injury, accident, illness, or disease that makes it permanently unable to perform its insured use, this type of coverage can help reimburse you some of the horse’s insured value. The injury or cause must be a covered cause. This does not cover temporary disability.
Protecting From Your Horse’s Actions
What if your horse kicks someone as they walk by? Or the horse escapes their pasture and damages your neighbor’s property? Perhaps your horse spooks, rears up, and dents a nearby car? Are you covered in these situations? It depends on your policy. If you have specifically included the horse on your liability coverage, you may be covered. Regardless, you should check with your risk advisor to ensure you have proper liability coverage to protect you from injuries or property damage caused by your horse.
Letting A Friend Ride Your Horse
A friend asks if her daughter can ride your horse, she has some riding experience so no harm in that, right? Wrong. If you are considering letting someone else ride your horse, there are liabilities involved. It is important to take proper precautions.
- Match your horse’s dispositions and training with the age and experience level of the individual. Does this person have the experience to handle your horse? Does your horse have the training to handle this unfamiliar rider? Knowingly allowing an inexperienced rider to borrow your horse can make you liable for injury or damage.
- Find out what your liability insurance covers. Will it protect you when you lend a horse for someone else to use? Or are you only protected for your use of the horse?
- Have the individual sign a liability waiver/release. Though this does not provide complete protection, only proper liability coverage can do so, a release can be enforceable if properly written.
Do you own a horse trailer to transport your horse? If someone were to back into your trailer, dent it or damage it in some way – would you be covered? Or what if your trailer caused the loss or damage? Coverage specifically for your horse trailer can help protect you in these situations.
Is your horse a breeding stallion? There are coverages available if your horse were to experience permanent loss of its breeding ability/fertility.
Your horse resides at a boarding facility, do you need insurance for it or does the facility’s policies cover your horse? The boarding facility might have Care, Custody, and Control (CCC) Coverage. CCC generally covers loss or injury to another person’s horse that is in the facility’s care. But CCC does not protect the horse owner. Therefore you still need proper coverage to protect your horse from injury, illness, accident, and death, as well as damage or injury your horse may cause.