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Equine Liability Insurance
The equine industry has a large economic footprint in our society. It ranges from the backyard enthusiast to the large boarding/riding academy or breeding operation. With horse activity comes added liability exposure because horses are used for various activities and draw a crowd. In addition, horse enthusiasts come at all levels of expertise.
Whether you are giving riding lessons at a riding academy, operating a boarding facility, providing therapeutic riding or hippotherapy, showing horses or a member of an equine club, you need to be sure you have the proper liability protection. Many Homeowner Insurance policies will not provide this coverage because a horse is often classified as a “farm animal.”
Equine Insurance Coverage
Why Ruhl Insurance?
Ruhl Insurance brings together industry expertise and insurance market availability to provide the protection needed for all disciplines of the equine world.
To speak with a Ruhl Insurance agent about equine coverage options, call 717-665-2283.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I purchase a policy for a 1-day event?
Liability Policies for Equine Events are available. They will include a coverage start date and end date, stating specifically the event timeframe for which insurance is being provided. You may need to include premises information, number of guests, etc. during the application process.
Why do I need Equine Professional Liability?
Equine Professional Liability provides liability for equine professionals engaged in activities where their advisement could lead to property loss or bodily injury. A riding instructor asking a student to do a maneuver that they are not advanced enough to do, which causes the student to incur an injury when they fall off their horse, could be sued for damages. Equine Professional Liability would provide both legal defense for the instructor and liability payments to the injured student if the instructor is indeed found to be negligent.
What is the difference between Equine Personal Liability and Equine Professional Liability?
Equine Personal Liability is a coverage that can be beneficial for insureds who do not have a farm, but may board their horse at a stable. Personal liability within a homeowners policy will typically not extend to horse-related incidents as would farm liability. The insured who boards their horse at a stable could still be responsible for damages caused by their horse at a show. If their horse kicked a child at an event, they may not have liability coverage if they have not purchased Equine Personal Liability.
Equine Professional Liability, is written for people who are offering expertise, advice, or instruction within horse-related business activities. A loss that occurs due to incorrect instruction or inadequate advisement can be covered through an Equine Professional Liability policy.
I have a boarding facility, do I need Care, Custody, and Control Insurance?
It is usually a good idea to have some kind of Care, Custody, and Control Insurance in place if you are operating a boarding facility, especially if you have high-value horses on your premises. Most Care, Custody, and Control policies are written as a Per Horse Limit with an Aggregate. The Aggregate limit is the most the policy will pay for losses in a policy term. Some Farmowners Insurance policies offer Equine Care, Custody, and Control Coverage. This can sometimes be a more cost-effective way to obtain coverage than a stand-alone policy.
My Equine Club has a Liability policy, do we need an event policy for our annual clinic/meeting?
It depends how your current Liability policy is written. Some specialty market insurance carriers will write a policy which covers clinics and events. If it is an educational clinic or annual meeting, you will be more likely to be able to receive coverage on your General Liability policy than if you are hosting a sanctioned show, for example.
Am I liable if my horse gets on the road when I am not present if I am boarding her at a stable?
Yes. Because you own the horse, you could be brought into a lawsuit if your animal causes property damage or bodily injury due to it entering the roadway. You may ultimately be found not negligent and therefore not liable, but you will still have the cost of defending yourself in court.
Depending on your financial situation, and the insurance/financial situation of the boarding stable owner, a lawyer for the injured party may come after you in order to obtain payment for their client. If the stable owner carries inadequate insurance limits, or their assets are heavily leveraged, you may be the party most capable of paying a lawsuit. It is a good idea to have an Equine Personal Liability policy if you are boarding a horse for this reason. This policy would pay your defense costs, even if you are found to be not at fault.
I do therapeutic equine massage, how do I obtain coverage?
Equine Therapeutic Massage is a difficult coverage to find placement for, but coverage is out there. At Ruhl Insurance, we have places to refer you if you are looking for a policy to cover your professional liability risks associated with Therapeutic Massage.
My Farmowners insurance will not cover my riding lessons, how can I obtain coverage?
You may be able to go through a specialty market and obtain a standalone liability policy for your riding lessons. Some Farmowners insurance carriers will not write a Farmowners policy for an insured who is engaged in giving riding lessons (even if another stand-alone policy is written) because they feel that even if another policy is in place they have no way of excluding the risk, which opens a possibility of a lawsuit and sharing a loss with the other insurance company.