Sharing your love of horses increases liability exposure

You first started taking riding lessons as a child and you’ve loved horses ever since. Now you own your own farm where you could have more than just one horse. You’re ready to give back and share your love of horses.

You look into certifications and other riding instructors costs in Ontario. But have you thought about what would happen if a student gets hurt on a horse during a lesson? You had them sign your waiver, but did you know that you can still be sued?

You want to make sure that you:

  • Have the coverage you need
  • Follow the government/insurance standards for coaching

Insurance for riding instruction in Ontario

Before you offer your first lesson, make sure that you have the right insurance. Your current Henry Equestrian Plan for your horses doesn’t cover commercial use. And you’re not teaching lessons for free, so there’s some additional coverage that you need.

First you want to make sure that you have:

  • Commercial General Liability: Protects you against medical expenses, legal defense costs and claims or settlement costs. You don’t need certification to obtain this coverage, but explain what qualifications and experience you do have.
  • Professional Liability Insurance: Protects you against claims from students blaming you for their under-performance in a competitive event and other claims related to your competence and expertise.
  • Horse Mortality Insurance and Major Surgery Insurance: Protects the training horses you own – you need them to teach.
  • Personal coverage for injury and loss of income: Protects you in case you’re injured and can’t work for an extended period of time.
  • Business Insurance: Make sure that your commercial venture is covered. This can include coverage for your property, truck and trailer, equipment and umbrella insurance.

At Henry Equestrian Insurance Brokers Ltd., we have comprehensive coverage through our Ontario Horse Riding Instructor Insurance program. We’ll shop around to get you the most competitive rates for your policy.

Equine facility operation standards

Depending on the commercial venture that you’re starting, if it involves horses, there are minimum safety standards for activities including coaching, trail rides, equine assisted learning and pony rides.

For coaching, the Ontario Equestrian Federation offers certification for 4 different levels:

  • Instructor of Beginner
  • Competition Coach
  • Competition Specialist
  • Competition Specialist Coach.

But this isn’t required by law or for your insurance.

You also need to be aware of Bill 12 – Ontario’s Horse Riding Safety Act. This act was instituted to increase the safety of all equestrian riders, especially those under the age of 18. The legislation states that anyone under the age of 18 must:

  • Wear a helmet that meets ASTM, BSI or European Safety Standards
  • Wear hard-soled footwear with a heel of no less than 1.5 cm and/or safety stirrups (breakaway or hooded)
  • Use tack properly fitted on the horse

We have the experience and the knowledge after being in the Equestrian Insurance business for decades. We’ll make sure you don’t get taken for a ride.

Call 905-727-1144 today or click on the Free Insurance Quote button. We’ll get started on building your insurance program so you can build your business.