Make Sure You Have The Proper Insurance As A Horse Owner

If you know horses, you probably don’t think that that your personal liability risk is that high. However, large animals can be unpredictable, and not everyone that visits your property will have experience with horses. It’s best to protect yourself and purchase an Ontario Horse Owner Liability Policy from a specialist like Henry Equestrian Insurance Brokers Ltd.

What you’ll discover in this report:

  • The difference between personal and commercial horse ownership
  • Common claims that people make against horse owners
  • How you can plan ahead
  • The coverage offered by a Commercial General Liability Policy
  • Other types of insurance you should consider

What’s The Difference Between Personal And Commercial Horse Ownership?

Carefully assess your horse activities to make sure that you get the right insurance for your needs. If you use your horse commercially, and that includes letting an instructor board horses with you in exchange for personal lessons, you need to worry about commercial exposure. If you receive any money or compensation for someone to use your horse, or you claim income and expenses on your taxes related to your horse, then it’s considered a commercial profit-making venture.

If there isn’t any commercial activity around the ownership of your horse, you’ll want to take a look at the insurance policies you currently own. Some Homeowners and Farmowners Insurance policies don’t cover horses, or limit the number they do cover. Generally, your insurer has exclusions if you take your horses off your property. If you often take your horses off your property or you have a large number of them, you’ll need a Horse Owner Liability Policy.

What Are The Most Common Claim Incidents?

  • A friend or family member rides your horse, falls off and suffers an injury.
  • While off your property at a show, or even just a trail ride, your horse gets away and causes an accident on the road or kicks and injures a third party.
  • Your horse is being serviced by a farrier or veterinarian and injures them.
  • While boarding your horse, the horse injures the staff or causes property damage.
  • Your horse gets loose and runs into traffic causing an accident or damage to a neighbour’s property.
  • Someone trespasses onto your property to pet the horses and the horse becomes spooked and causes bodily injury to the trespasser.

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?

  • Horse Mortality and Major Medical: If you’re leasing the horse, you’re considered it’s temporary owner. In this case you want to make sure that you protect yourself from liability should the horse die or become injured or sick during your lease period.
  • Property Coverage Endorsement: We can add this endorsement to your General Liability Policy if you’re a stable property renter to insure your tack, equipment and machinery for loss or damage.

At Henry Equestrian Insurance Brokers Ltd., we share your love of horses. That’s why we want to make sure that we protect you and your horses. Contact us today to learn more or click on Get a Free Quote for an obligation-free quote.