Public Liability Insurance for Horses
As a horse owner, you will know how unpredictable they can be. There is nothing worse than the feeling you get when your horse causes an accident, whether the damage is to property or a person. That’s why it is recommended that you have third party insurance to cover you for these circumstances.
Often referred to as Public Liability Insurance or Third-Party Liability. It is not a legal requirement to take out such policies although it is strongly recommended as it is not very expensive. Should something happen you could save thousands of pounds in the event of a claim. In the grand scheme of things, it is generally worth its weight in gold, giving you peace of mind.
Some household policies may already cover you for any accidents whilst riding your horse, please read your policies carefully to understand exactly what you are covered for.
What does it cover?
Having cover for legal liability is one of the most important areas to have insured. As the policy owner, you will be covered for liability to any third party, or any damage to a third party’s property. For example, if your horse was to break free from your yard or field and go on to cause a road or traffic accident and damage vehicles or cause someone an injury.
Normally these policies will cover you for anyone else riding or handling your horse, as long as they are doing so with your permission. This does not apply to business use, for example if the horse is being used for lessons at a riding school. Check with your insurer to clarify exactly what you are covered for.
Some affiliated bodies will include legal liability cover with their membership. If you are a member of any such bodies, make sure you check exactly what you are covered for. Such as exactly when, where and what it covers you for as some memberships will only cover you for when you are actually riding your horse or when you are at one of their competitions or events.
In the event of an accident
If an accident should occur, do not admit to any responsibility or negotiate any kind of settlement outside of your insurance. Claims for liability can be very complex and so your insurance will only be valid if you were legally responsible for your horse at the time of the incident and the incident was a direct result of your negligence. This is something that only trained professionals can decide and you should not take matters into your own hands.
Do not waste time after an accident and notify your insurance company straight away. Forward any details and documentation to them and they will deal with all of your claims on your behalf – this is what you are paying them to do!
If your liability to the third party is under dispute for whatever reason, it may be settled on ‘economic grounds’ due to the fees that would be incurred should it have to go to court.