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Thread: Leasing horses

  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    7

    Leasing horses

    I want to lease my horse to a young rider at my barn. I am afraid of the liability though. Can I get this young rider to sign something to protect me? I really need the help with the boarding costs, but if she gets hurt I don't want her and her family going after my house. I asked around at my barn and no one knows the answer to this. HELP!!!

  2. #2
    You're smart to be thinking about your legal exposure -- it's real. If anyone riding your horse were to get injured, they could sue you. Even if this person's behavior with your horse exposes others and they get hurt due to your horse, you could be liable. You need to contact an equine attorney in your state and have them prepare a lease agreement that also addresses waiving liability and indemnifies you. Don't mess around asking around your barn or anywhere else, nor asking just any attorney. You need to contact a competent equine attorney familiar with horse law and the statutes of your state. Nothing else will protect you as well.

    Finally, you also need to be carrying adequate liability insurance. In fact, you should already have it -- EVERY horse owner should. The insurance carried by your barn protects them, not any of the boarders. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by HorseGuy View Post
    You're smart to be thinking about your legal exposure -- it's real. If anyone riding your horse were to get injured, they could sue you. Even if this person's behavior with your horse exposes others and they get hurt due to your horse, you could be liable. You need to contact an equine attorney in your state and have them prepare a lease agreement that also addresses waiving liability and indemnifies you. Don't mess around asking around your barn or anywhere else, nor asking just any attorney. You need to contact a competent equine attorney familiar with horse law and the statutes of your state. Nothing else will protect you as well.

    Finally, you also need to be carrying adequate liability insurance. In fact, you should already have it -- EVERY horse owner should. The insurance carried by your barn protects them, not any of the boarders. Good luck!
    I agree with this answer; you won't know how bad it can get until it is too late to do anything about it, so act pre-emptively on this one. You really don't want to lose your shirt, your house, and any and all funds you may have saved, on a judgment against you. Consult an equine attorney sooner rather than later!

  4. #4
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    99

    Is liability insurance expensive?

    How much does it cost to get liability insurance? Does the price go up if you need to make a claim?

  5. #5

    Not really expensive compared to owning a horse

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
    How much does it cost to get liability insurance? Does the price go up if you need to make a claim?
    Normally, you're only looking at several hundred dollars for $500,000 or more worth of liability insurance.
    That's usually about $200 - $400 per year depending on your limits and any other scheduled coverage.
    If you can't afford that for the year, you likely also can't afford to own the horse and cover his annual expenses.

    As for premium increases due to making a claim, that'll depend on the reason for the claim.
    If it's due to negligence on your part, you may receive an increase the following year.
    If it's truly just an accident and you were not to blame, the rate often doesn't change the following year just because of making a claim.
    <p>
    But think of it, even if you did make a mistake that caused the problem and your rate does go up, at least the insurance company covers you and you don't expose your savings, investments, and home to a lawsuit.
    Without insurance, those assets are definitely at risk.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
    How much does it cost to get liability insurance? Does the price go up if you need to make a claim?
    Quote Originally Posted by HorseGuy View Post
    Normally, you're only looking at several hundred dollars for $500,000 or more worth of liability insurance.
    That's usually about $200 - $400 per year depending on your limits and any other scheduled coverage.
    If you can't afford that for the year, you likely also can't afford to own the horse and cover his annual expenses.

    As for premium increases due to making a claim, that'll depend on the reason for the claim.
    If it's due to negligence on your part, you may receive an increase the following year.
    If it's truly just an accident and you were not to blame, the rate often doesn't change the following year just because of making a claim.
    <p>
    But think of it, even if you did make a mistake that caused the problem and your rate does go up, at least the insurance company covers you and you don't expose your savings, investments, and home to a lawsuit.
    Without insurance, those assets are definitely at risk.
    Insurance claims usually trigger a review of the initial policy. The company wants to know WHY the claim occurred and what could have been done to prevent it. Oftentimes, the review will uncover risks that weren't contemplated on the initial policy, and the update may increase your premium. The big things that insurance companies look at when evaluating a client after claims are the FREQUENCY and the SEVERITY of the claims. Both are bad news, and as we know, equine lawsuits tend to have LARGE settlements, so it's best to take every measure possible to prevent claims in the first place.

    I always require my clients to use boarding contracts, releases, hold harmless agreements, and to post signage alerting others of the equestrian nature of the premises. I recommend they work with a qualified equine attorney to secure these agreements, for their protection. I require my clients to have decent fencing to prevent animal escapes, and I am available as a resource to recommend loss control measures for clients to avoid incidents at horse events. I won't work with a client who doesn't care enough to prevent losses, and quite honestly, anyone with that attitude really shouldn't own horses anyway!
    -Lisa, Equine Insurance Specialist

  7. #7

    equine insurance agents

    I myself have seen loss issues prevented by a good insurance agent's review. That annual review with "boots on the ground" approach is the hallmark of a good agent, which is antithetical to the notion of an agent staying in the office staring at the screen all day. If you run into one of those, run the other way. Before you suffer the loss, that is.

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