Summers just got a lot busier, with an increased liability exposure

You love horses. You love children. You already teach some lessons to children and you’re thinking that it would be great to run a day camp on your farm. You’ve got lots of space, trails and a huge pond for swimming.

You’re going to hire some high school and university students to help. And you’ve got great ideas for arts and crafts. Sounds like as much fun for you as it does for the kids.

But in your planning, have you thought about the level of risk for liability and the insurance to cover that risk?

You want to make sure that you:

  • Have the coverage you need
  • Buy a Commercial General Liability policy
  • Follow the government/insurance standards for coaching

Ontario Equestrian Facility Insurance

When you start to use your property for a business, you now need an Ontario Equestrian Facility Insurance plan. You want to protect your property, your horses and your income.

Some key elements you’ll need include:

  • Liability cover of up to $1 million, and exceptionally $10 million when you opt to use high-limit umbrella insurance. This protects you from claims and lawsuits for bodily injury, loss of life or property damage allegedly caused by you, your employees or animals in your care or under your supervision.
  • Care, custody and control insurance for boarded horses. This covers illness, injury or death caused unintentionally for horses not owned by you. It also covers mortality and medical care costs. Of course, we can also provide Horse Insurance for horses that you own yourself.
  • Commercial Property Insurance for your buildings, outbuildings, barns, stables and other structures. We can also make sure it covers the buildings’ contents including equipment, tack, feed stores and other materials.
  • Professional liability coverage for individual trainers and consultants against allegations of professional incompetence, mistakes and erroneous advice.
  • Loss of income coverage in the event that your operation is disrupted due to insured perils.
  • Additional special risks Equine Facility Insurance for one-off or special events, including those held off-site.
  • Commercial and farm vehicle insurance.

Commercial General Liability

When you’re dealing with minors without parent supervision the entire day (or longer if you have an overnight camp), it puts you in the high-risk category in the eyes of your insurer. We advise you to make sure that have continuous supervision with a high counselor to camper ratio. You’ll also want Commercial General Liability.

This 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.

*NOTE: You must have a qualified lifeguard on duty for any swimming activities if you have a pond or a pool that you’re using.

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 think it’s great that you’re sharing your love of horses with others. By teaching your campers respect and care for horses, you’re giving them a great opportunity.

Our brokers at Henry Equestrian Insurance Brokers Ltd. will make sure that we protect you and your camp so that you can keep doing what you love. Pick up the phone and call 905-727-1144 today or click on Get a Free Quote.