Posted 25-Feb-2021 11:31:37
Category: Broadstone Equine
Risky Business – Part III - Additional Coverages
In our last installment, we discussed the importance of Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance coverage for professional horse people. A CGL insurance policy is what helps in the event you are sued by a third party for bodily injury or property damage they feel were caused by your negligence.
There are a few other types of equestrian insurance to consider, including Care, Custody and Control, as well as liability insurance for clubs and associations as well as independent horse shows and clinics, and therapeutic riding programs. Following are some basic details.
Care, Custody and Control
So you have a CGL insurance policy in place that takes care of damage to people or their property, but what about your clients’ horses? Professionals involved with handling other people’s horses, such as boarding and training and/or trailering clients’ horses to competitions and other activities, should consider Care, Custody and Control (CCC) coverage. This is the coverage that comes into play in the event a client’s horse in your care, but not owned by you (for example a boarded horses, horse in training, or client’s horse that you are trailering), is injured or killed and its owner believes you were negligent and sues you for compensation of the veterinary expenses and/or replacement cost of the horse.
* You board a few horses at your barn. After the evening feeding a stall door is accidentally not properly latched, allowing a boarder’s horse to take a tour of the barn, injuring itself and requiring veterinary care.
* You have a group of horses turned out in a pasture near the highway. A tree falls during a storm and fence damage allows several to escape, with one of the horses running into the road and being struck by a car.
* The wiring in your barn causes a barn fire. The worst happens, and it causes a barn fire. Unfortunately you are unable to get several of the boarded horses out in time and they die in the fire.
In all of these cases, subject to a determination of actual liability as to who was responsible for the injuries or deaths of the horses, and what type of negligence may have been involved, the CCC coverage is what should respond.
Dollars and Sense
CCC is relatively reasonable to purchase. You choose your limits of coverage on a per horse (maximum amount the company would pay on any one horse), and aggregate (maximum amount the company would pay in the policy year) basis. Of course, the higher limits you choose, the higher the annual premium.
For example, you could choose a $5,000 per horse limit, with a $25,000 aggregate limit for as little as a couple of hundred dollars per year. Much higher limits are available, up to several hundred thousand dollars (with correspondingly higher premiums). In addition, for those who trailer clients’ horses, such as to competitions or other activities, an additional premium may apply depending on the number and distance of the trips you take—keeping in mind that CCC coverage is not intended to cover you if you your business is commercial hauling of horses. Also, generally speaking, CCC is not available on its own. It is attached to a CGL policy.
Clubs and Associations
CGL policies are also available for equestrian clubs and associations. These policies act much like the general liability policy mentioned in the last installment, with limits starting at $500,000 per occurrence with annual aggregates of possibly two million or more.
These types of policies cover members of the club or association in case they and/or the entity is sued by a third party who is injured or their property is damaged during the association’s insured activities, which could include activities such as competitions and clinics.
Premiums for this type of policy depend on the number of club members, number of participants and spectators at public events, as well as the types of activities involved, and usually can cover for as many activity days as you need, and should be able to offer coverage for a certain number of set up and take down days.
NOTE: It is important that you disclose all event dates that the club or association is planning to hold to the insurance company before they take place. If you fail to do so, and an incident occurs, any coverage may be void.
Independent Horse Shows and Clinics
If you organize an occasional competition or clinic on your, or someone else’s property, but do not have any other commercial equestrian activities, you need to make sure you are covered for these activities. If the activity is held just once a year, you can obtain a standalone liability policy for just the days the activity will be held.
If instead you hold multiple shows or clinics each year, and/or you also have year-long activities taking place like boarding or teaching, an annual policy will likely be a better fit.
Therapeutic Riding Programs
Commercial General Liability policies are also available for various types of therapeutic programs that involve horses. Additional paperwork and certification will be required during the application process. Contact an agent so they can go through the details with you.
For a current, recent article on the impact of equine assisted therapy, check out this article from BloodHorse magazine.
Most professional equestrians work in the horse industry because they truly love the life and cannot imagine doing anything else. No one wants to ponder worst case scenarios like those described in these last three articles, but they are an unfortunate reality, as is the fact that we live in a country with an anything goes mentality when it comes to lawsuits. Some of the best ways to protect your business interests or your club or association have been described throughout this article. Those combined with some basic horse sense should hopefully lessen your risks and your worries.
**These blogs are for basic information purposes only, and do not constitute advice from Broadstone Equine Insurance Agency. Contact our office directly at 888-687-8555 or info@BroadstoneEquine.com to speak with an agent for complete and current information regarding all coverages.