General Liability Horse Insurance - Who Needs It? Why and When?

Monday, September 21, 2020
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I run a training and boarding business from my barn, and also give lessons to non-boarders. What type of coverage is general liability horse insurance and do I need to be fully protected?

As part of your insurance risk management plan you do need general liability horse insurance. Sometimes referred to as general liability, it is protection that covers you and/or your business, in the event you are negligent and cause personal injury, bodily injury or property damage to others. 

Consider the following:

• Why do I need this?
Others can make claims or sue you, whether or not their claims are valid! General liability coverage offers payment of defense costs when potentially covered allegations are made.

• Are horses considered property?
In most states, horses ARE considered property, and since you board horses you don't own, you should have care, custody and control coverage. Make sure you have sufficient liability limits to cover the value of the horses you board. (These are often on a per horse basis.)

• Do boarders have to have their own insurance?
Ideally, boarders would have their own horses covered for any urgent need for care (major medical, surgical, and mortality). Boarders should have their own insurance that covers their tack.

• Is my boarding contract adequate?
You should be able to answer “YES” to all of these. Is your contract...

• Clear and unambiguous?

• Reviewed together so that each party understands their responsibilities and questions and clarification can occur?

• Signed immediately upon arrival of a new boarder? Renewed every year? 

There are several types of insurance that may come into play in this scenario - and many more questions you should be asking and considering, such as: property details related to limits, leases, additional insureds, outside trainers, and shows/events at your facility.