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Insuring your horse at someone else's farm

Insuring Your Horse at Someone Else’s Farm

March 7, 2023

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Here’s How You Know Who’s Responsible for Insuring Your Horse Boarded at Another Farm

The cost of owning a horse can be rather tremendous, depending on where you live in Ohio, the type of horse that you own, its age and health care, and the level of care it requires. You can offset some of that care and the cost of land to keep your horse on by boarding your animal at a stable or equestrian center, or just at someone else’s farm who has the capacity to take on another animal.

However, there is the question of insurance. See, because horses are expensive assets, it’s important to have insurance on them. But when a horse is being insured at someone else’s property, the matter of who insures the animal comes into play. Is it the owner of the animal, or the owner of the farm?

Because not everyone who has their own horse (or multiple horses) owns a farm, this is a common dilemma. Aside from all other caretaking considerations to do with the animals, insurance is something that should be figured out. Adequate insurance can protect your investment, especially for expensive, healthy animals that are used for breeding, showing, or other commercial activities.

In this blog post, Hitchings Insurance will go over the importance of insuring your horses, who is responsible for insuring them, and more.

Why should I insure my horse(s)?

You should insure your horse for the same reason why you would insure any other asset that you own. The typical cost of purchasing a horse can be just a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands – and even more. A well-bred, well-trained horse with a show record is an invaluable asset that is worth quite a lot.

Here are some reasons why you should consider insuring your horse:

  • Insuring your horse protects you from financial losses. As mentioned, a horse is an expensive asset, and horse ownership is no cakewalk. If your animal becomes sick or dies unexpectedly, you might suffer significant financial loss. Having insurance mitigates this risk by covering things like veterinary expenses and mortality.
  • Grants access to medical care. Medical care is expensive for horses, and the cost of treatment can sometimes result in owners opting for euthanasia over medical care. Many horses in need of care still have a lot of life in them. Insurance can cover certain medical expenses.
  • Protects against natural disasters. Most horse insurance policies include protection against natural disasters that would otherwise devastate a farmer’s livelihood, including incidents such as wildfires, hurricanes, floods, and tornados. Horse owners can insure their animals to protect their finances against such horrific losses.
  • Peace of mind. More than anything, insurance is peace of mind. It ensures your livelihood – your animals – are protected in the event of a disaster, so your business can continue.

Who is responsible for insuring a horse if it is stored at someone else’s farm?

In the event a farmer stores their equipment or even crops at someone else’s farm, odds are that they may still insure that property under their own insurance policy. The same goes for a horse. If your horse is boarded at someone else’s farm, you as the horse owner are responsible for insuring that animal adequately.

What exactly your horse insurance policy entails and includes is generally up to you. There are no prerequisites unless your agreement with the farm you are boarding through contained a clause requiring a certain level of insurance. Usually, horse insurance policies vary widely depending on the specific policy and the specific insurer. Most insurance policies will include mortality insurance, which offers compensation in the event the horse or horse(s) pass because of an accident, natural causes, or illness.

As the policyholder and owner of your horse, always ensure that you review the wording of your policy to ensure that it details adequate coverage for your horse, no matter where that horse is boarded. Certain policies may include limitations or exclusions for coverage in specific circumstances, such as if the horse is ever injured while being ridden or injured in a certain activity.  

What insurance should the owner of the farm where my horse is boarded have?

The barn owner may acquire a policy called non-owned livestock liability. It’s an added coverage that can be included with their existing farm insurance policy. It ensures that if the barn owner is legally obligated to pay for any damages, then their insurer will cover the costs. For example, if the barn owner incidentally caused injury or death to the horses in their care, they may be held liable for the costs. With non-owned livestock liability, they would be covered. This coverage is especially important, especially given the fact that the farm owner may board not just one or two, but likely numerous other animals that do not belong to them. In this case, acquiring this endorsement is necessary to protect their business and their legal liability if something should happen.

Both having livestock coverage or horse insurance for your animals and having the owner of the barns carry non-owned livestock liability coverage is critical for curating an insurance program dedicated to sufficiently insuring your animals. Both the horse owner and boarder do need their own insurance to some degree, especially when it comes to horse operations where the animals being dealt with are extremely expensive.

For further questions regarding horse insurance or other forms of farm insurance, give the team at Hitchings Insurance a call. We’d be happy to discuss any matters of concern or answer any questions! You can also fill out the form linked to the image below to get started!