By: Cristin Bertolino
Equine Liability has been built up to be this big, dreaded, daunting task, and in reality, it’s not. We’re here to break it down and help you through, so you can get back in the tack with one less worry on your mind. Here’s a brief over view of products offered and which ones might be a good fit for you.
Equine Personal Liability (EPL)
This is designed for the horse owner. Say you’re taking your Steady Eddie to a nearby schooling show. Eddie unloads perfectly, stands perfectly, and as you’re tacking up, a spectator’s dog gets loose, its leash flapping, and Eddie bolts, perfectly. Eddie proceeds to get tangled in the bridle hanging from his neck, kicks out and damages a Lexus parked nearby. He then runs through the neighbors freshly planted cornfield before he can be wrangled by the neighbor, who then has his foot, stepped on by Eddie. Luckily you have Equine Personal Liability. This policy steps in, reimburses the owner of the Lexus for any damage, the neighbor for any crops lost, and any medical bill resulting from Eddie’s perfectly placed stomp. Like car insurance, this policy follows your horse everywhere he or she may venture, whether home or afar. This is also one of the most affordable equine insurance policies out there. Have Horses? Get EPL.
Commercial General Liability (CGL)
This policy is for the equine professional. Not sure if you’re a professional? Any time money changes hands is considered a commercial endeavor. I repeat. Money = Commercial. Commercial = Business, and CGL coverage is an equine business owners best friend. This policy protects you whether you’re freelancing once a week, training a barn full of clients, or clinicing around the nation. It can be tailored to fit your exact needs, and it essentially boils down to numbers and exposure. What do your annual receipts look like, and what does your spread of business look like? It may seem daunting at first, but we literally have a conversation about what your daily business operations entail, and put together an application with those figures. It’s easy peasy, and essential to any well-‐run business.
To finalize this coverage, underwriting will request a copy of your release and/or boarding contract to have on file. Since we’re insurance agents, and not lawyers, we can not advise on how this release should be structured, however, underwriting does require that it include the following:
Equine Professional Liability
This is a coverage can be added to your underlying CGL policy. We strongly recommend it if you’re involved in sales, judging, or coaching at shows. Any time your professional opinion is being called into play where results and money are involved, we add this bad boy to your CGL to protect you should things go South
Care, Custody & Control (CCC)
If you are caring for a horse that is owned by someone else, this coverage is crucial. Whether you’re trailering a student’s horse to shows on the weekends, or operating a large-‐scale boarding barn, this additional coverage steps in when a horse in your care dies whether related directly, or indirectly to the intermediate or permanent care you were providing. This coverage includes trailer accidents, barn fires, loose horses running down 50mph roads, or even a late night bout of colic. When a horrible scenario turns into the worst-‐case scenario, Care, Custody and Control steps. In short, this coverage is designed to save you from an even bigger lawsuit. CCC helps both barn owners and horse owners sleep easier at night.
Do you have a horse on your premises? Then you’re eligible. Have many horses on your premises? Well, perhaps we can bundle your liability exposure with your property coverage, and save you money. It’s as easy as that. It should be noted that unless you have specifically addressed your equine exposure with your current homeowner’s agent, horses and resulting liability and property damages may not covered by your homeowner’s policy. This is a big deal! We invite you to connect with the agents who share your passion. We’ll put together a packaged policy covering your liability and property, and hopefully save you money in the process!
Points to remember!
Insurance is a regulated product. Any time you see a large disparity between quotes with different carriers, we recommend you ask your agent to review the finer points of the coverage. In general, this is a product that doesn’t necessarily show a lot of variation. If you come across a significant variation, the carrier may be making up for it through a higher deductible, applying a co-‐pay, or cutting corners on coverage. You have the right to ask! Ask us! We are the few people who get excited about this stuff, and our job is to advocate for you, answer your questions, and heck, if we don’t know the answer, we’ll do our best to find out.
Cristin Bertolino is an agent with HorseWorks Insurance Specialists. When she’s not connecting with her fellow equestrians regarding insurance, her husband can usually find her in the kitchen, tack store, and/or Dressage arena.