Q&A: Insuring the Equine Lifestyle

For many, owning a horse is the realization of a lifelong passion, but it can also increase your risk of financial loss or lawsuits. Whether you board your horse on your own property or at a professional facility, an attentive approach to insurance can help make sure you’re well protected.

Following are important questions to discuss with your independent insurance advisor:

  1. Do you have clear proof of coverage on your policies? 
    Many owners assume their horses have coverage under their homeowners policies, but limitations or exclusions are common. That is not something you want to learn only after you have had to file a claim.

  2. How does the way you purchased your horse affect your coverage? 
    If the horse was purchased under an entity’s name, such as an LLC or LLP, your homeowners or personal liability policies most likely do not extend coverage to the entity. Therefore, any damages or injuries caused by your horse will be excluded as well.

  3. Are other horses boarded on your personal property? 
    Some insurance providers consider horses kept on your personal property as paying boarders to be an incidental business, which means coverage may be limited or excluded.

  4. Do you need workers’ compensation insurance? 
    State employment laws often require you to carry workers’ compensation insurance if you employ full- or part-time help around your barn. Your homeowners policy may exclude coverage if a worker is injured on your property.

  5. Do you or anyone in your family ride, show or compete off your property? 
    If so, some or all of those activities may not be fully covered by a basic insurance policy. 


Available Insurance Solutions

The added risks related to horse ownership cannot be adequately addressed on one policy, so consider insurance carriers that can provide a suite of policies with the features needed to address your unique lifestyle and needs. 

Some of the key points to look for when weighing traditional policies and supplemental insurance include:

  • Equine liability: You should have worldwide liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage caused by your owned or leased horses, to keep you protected no matter where you ride, show or transport your horse.
  • Equine mortality and medical coverage: You may want to insure your horses by adding mortality insurance or major medical coverage, to reimburse you for veterinary expenses in the event of injury or illness.
  • Homeowners: If you keep horses on your property, your homeowners policy should provide broad coverage for private barns, fencing, outbuildings and equipment.
  • Automobile: If your personal vehicle or horse trailer breaks down, you will want a policy that gives you access to roadside assistance and towing for vehicles and trailers.
  • Travel and accident: As you travel the country (or the world), you will need coverage in the event of trip interruption, cancellation, illness, injury or medical evacuation service.

  • Collectibles: You can protect virtually anything—from sporting art of your treasured animals to trophy collections—with private collections insurance.

  • Farm and ranch: If your passion is more commercial in nature, there are designated coverages for business-related risks.