What is horse liability insurance?
20 May 2021
What is horse liability insurance?
It’s not uncommon to feel daunted when it comes to insurance, even understanding what’s a legal requirement and what’s recommended isn’t always obvious. When it comes to insuring you, your horse and all your equine equipment, it doesn’t always become much clearer. As we’ve got over 40 years of experience insuring horses here at British Pet Insurance, we wanted to answer all your questions and maybe even address a few you hadn’t even thought of.
What is horse insurance?
Horse or equine insurance is the general term for cover for anything to do with you and your horse. The insurance policy will ensure you’re compensated in the event you experience a financial loss to do with your horse.
This can then be broken down into several specific types of equine cover:
- Mortality, theft and straying
- This is the bear minimum that’s covered by most horse insurance policies including all policies offered by British Pet Insurance. In the event you no longer have your horse, whether it’s because of death, theft or because it strayed, either the insured or market value of the horse will be paid out.
- Vet fee cover
- Whether your horse is a financial investment, a beloved pet or both, vet fees can get incredibly expensive on an animal as large as a horse. Vet fee cover means your insurance policy will ensure treatment, medicine and surgery are covered to the limit specified in your policy.
- Permanent loss of use
- If your horse is insured for a specific activity and something happens that results in it never being able to do that activity again, your policy will cover the financial impact to a specified amount.
- Disposal after death
- Whilst it’s horrible to have to contemplate, if the worst were to happen the logistical practicalities of body disposal can be covered by horse insurance policies.
- Equine saddlery & tack cover
- Horses need a lot of additional equipment to not just keep you safe but keep them comfortable too and this equipment can get expensive. With saddlery and tack cover, anything that’s damaged or stolen can be claimed for.
- Horse float cover
- Just like saddlery and tack equipment, a float or horse trailer is essential to transport your horse safely and they can be expensive to replace when damaged or stolen. Including this in your horse insurance policy means it’s one less thing to worry about.
- Equine liability insurance
- No matter how careful you are, accidents can always happen and if someone else is involved, you could find yourself on the receiving end of a compensation claim – this is what equine cover is designed to protect you from.
What does equine liability insurance cover?
Equine liability insurance can vary between insurance provider and policies offered but the bear minimum will make sure you’re covered if someone seeks compensation to cover damage caused by your horse. The policy should cover any compensation awarded and any legal costs associated with the claim.
Whether your horse is just used for your own personal recreation or it’s a working animal, horses can always be spooked. Due to their large size, they can injure themselves, you or anything and anyone around them for which you can be deemed legally responsible for. Even the most cared for horses can escape grazing fields with a little determination so make sure your liability insurance covers:
- Damage to other vehicles like cars, vans, and even other horse boxes
- Injury to another person or animal including domestic pets and livestock
- Injury to another horse or rider
- Damage to someone else’s property both if it’s escaped its enclosure or thrown its rider
How much does horse liability insurance cost?
The cost of equine insurance will be 100% dependant on your individual circumstances and is often added as a policy extra to an existing insurance policy. Some insurers will offer it as a stand-alone policy.
If you often ride a horse you don’t own, always check with the horse owner before you go out. Any reputable riding stable will ensure the cost of the liability insurance is included in their fees and you should never be asked to sign anything saying you’re accountable for any liability.
Do I have to have equine liability insurance?
Legally, you’re not required to have liability insurance for your horse, but it is strongly recommended by any responsible horse owner. It is not just in the best interest of the horse, but the owner too. No matter how certain you are about your horse’s behaviour, they’re still an independent animal with their own minds.
You cannot guarantee a trespasser wouldn’t leave a stable door open and you cannot guarantee courtesy and consideration from members of the public and other road users when you’re out on your horse.