Q13) Is Liability Insurance Important?
An often-overlooked category of equine-related insurance is liability
insurance. Today's society is litigation-happy - lawsuits are commonly seen as
the answer to any situation involving damage or injury, no matter how slight,
and no matter what the cause. There is an epidemic of frivolous lawsuits, in
which someone brings suit for the purpose of acquiring an out-of-court
settlement for a much lesser amount of money. The equine industry is not immune
to such lawsuits - some type of liability insurance is a "must" for
any professional in the horse business.
All commercial horse operations, whether concerned with boarding, breeding,
or riding, need liability insurance coverage to protect the assets of those
operations. Most horse farms make use of a standard, farm owners and ranchers
policy that offers broad coverage. This policy can be customized to include the
farm home and its contents, farm structures and buildings, portable structure
and buildings, motorized farm vehicles, farm personal property, loss of income,
and farm and personal liability exposures.
A Farm and Ranch Owner's policy will not cover horses belonging to others
while those horses are on the property, but there is additional insurance (Care,
Custody, and Control) available to cover these animals.
The value of the facility itself, and of the horses, will determine the
amount of insurance needed. Some large operations, such as racetracks, will also
need a commercial umbrella policy.
Racehorse trainers generally arrange liability insurance for the horses in
their charge, whether at the racetrack or at a training stable. The premiums are
paid by the horses' owners.
Racehorse and show horse owners often carry their own liability protection,
and there are special policies designed to protect people who own horses but are
not involved in the commercial business of training, racing, or breeding.