Have fun at your event because you know you’re protected

If you hold an event in Ontario that lasts 1 day or 15 days by sponsoring, holding or managing a horse show, competition or event, you’re at risk of liability. Even if your event is to raise funds for charity, it’s important to get insurance to protect yourself and the others in your organization.

When you hold an event with participants and spectators there is the risk of bodily injury and property damage. You are also at risk of being sued if you’re found negligent.

What you’ll discover in this report:

  • The types of shows or events requiring this type of insurance
  • Common claims that people make against horse shows and events
  • How you can plan ahead
  • The coverage offered by a Commercial General Liability Policy
  • Other types of insurance you should consider

What are common horse shows or events where I would need this insurance?

There are events with a few dozen people and there are events with hundreds. Some are put on by a local horse club while some are run by national organization. Here is a short list of some common events that would require Horse Show – Event Liability:

  • 4-H Events
  • Breed Shows
  • Dressage
  • Horse Trials Schooling
  • Open Schooling Show Series
  • Trillium Shows
  • Open House Events

What are the most common claim incidents?

At any event with the general public there are always potential risks. When you add large animals to the mix, that risk increases. Here are some common liability claims:

  • While on the grounds of the show, a spectator trips and gets hurt.
  • While watching the event, a flying object hits a spectator and causes an injury, or the stands give way causing spectators to fall.
  • While warming up a horse, a non-member participant gets hurt.
  • A handler loses control of the horse and it’s hit by a passing car on a roadway.
  • People contract food poisoning from food at the event.

How can I plan ahead?

We know that you care about the horses and the people that come to your farm. There are steps to take to make sure that an accident never happens in the first place.

1. Enforce barn rules.
Look around and develop rules for your environment for both horses and people. Also write procedures. Then train every staff member to make sure they understand your rules and procedures.

2. Plan for emergencies.
Emergencies happen, but the better prepared you are, the better chance you have of providing the proper care to all the horses. If you’re prepared you can minimize the severity of any accident.

3. Develop semi-annual inspections of your property.
By inspecting your premises for potential hazards, you can take care of them before an incident occurs.

4. Prepare a written waiver and review Ontario’s Occupiers’ Liability Act.
Anyone who participates in any horse activities on your premises needs to complete and sign the waiver. Make sure that you keep the signed forms on file and safely stored. The Occupiers’ Liability Act states that the stable owner/operator owes a duty of care to the people who enter their premises. This assures that any property they bring on your premises with them is also reasonably safe. You are free to restrict, modify or exclude this duty of care through your written waiver.

5. Follow Ontario’s Horse Riding Safety Act.
This legislation states that it’s mandatory that anyone under the age of 18 years of age must wear a helmet that meets ASTM, BSI or European Safety Standards and hard-soled footwear with a heel of no less than 1.5 cm.

6. Purchase an Equine Liability Insurance Policy.
Protect you and your business with an insurance company that knows horses and your business. You want to make sure that any legal feels are covered, claim costs and settlements to ensure that in the case of an accident, your business doesn’t suffer a financial loss.

What’s included in the Commercial General Liability Policy?

The policy gives you maximum limits or amounts of liability insurance for:

  • Medical expenses:  You can be sure a claimant’s low cost medical expenses are covered without a lot of questions about liability or responsibility.
  • Legal defense costs: You can save your business the financial burden of court costs if you’re sued, whether the case has merit or not.
  • Claims or settlement costs: Without this policy you could be held responsible for bodily injury and property damage claims.

Are there other coverages I should consider?

  • Personal Accident Policy: To protect your volunteers they should be insured under a Personal Accident Policy.
  • Equine Directors & Officers Liability: With any organization, you need to protect the risk of liability exposure for the people that make the decisions as they can’t be held liable in a lawsuit.

There’s so much to plan when you’re responsible for an event involving horses. Make sure you have one less thing to worry about by purchasing Horse Show – Event Liability.

Contact Henry Equestrian Insurance Brokers Ltd., today so that we can make sure that you and your team are protected. Click on the Free Quote request button and we’ll get started on your quote right away.