The importance of insurance in the horse industry
By Greg Shallard – Affinity Insurance Brokers
The ominous saying of “It will never happen to me” has been uttered many a time in the horse industry. But those of us who have been involved in the horse industry long enough know, accidents unfortunately can, and do occur.
We often see risk management practices in place at shows, when training horses, teaching lessons and on trail rides, designed to minimise the risk of accidents occurring. As good as these practices may be, they will be in vain if you do not have insurance in place for when things do go wrong.
What happens if you get injured?
If you are injured, there may be a period that you are unable to work due to your injury . Once options such as sick leave have been exhausted, this can leave you in a situation where you do not have the means to pay for basic costs of living including bills, rent/mortgage, food, car loans as well as any ongoing medical expenses resulting from the injury.
Personal Accident Insurance provides weekly benefit payments for the period you are unable to work, available for up to two years after the injury has occurred. There are also additional benefits available including broken bone benefits and in the case of Permanent Disablement or Death, lump sum benefits are available.
What happens if someone else is injured or their property is damaged?
When teaching lessons & clinics, taking trail rides, training horses or running events, you have a responsibility and legal obligation to avoid causing injury to third parties and their property. If a person sustains an injury or their property is damaged, and they believe you are responsible for the loss, they can take legal action against you and seek compensation. If this occurs, you will be forced to defend the claim, even if you have not been negligent or believe you have not been negligent. The legal costs involved in defending claims like this are significant.
In the event that you are found to have been negligent, you may be ordered to pay a significant amount of money by way of compensation, as well as the injured person’s legal costs. If you are financially unable to comply with such orders, you may be made a bankrupt and your assets, including your home or farm, sold, to satisfy the judgement against you.
Public Liability Insurance covers you in the event where you are required to defend a claim made against you for personal injury or property damage and includes cover for compensation as well as the legal costs incurred to defend the claim on your behalf. Even where you have not been negligent, the policy will respond to ensure that the claim against you if defended and that your legal costs are paid for. The policy also extends to property in your Care Custody and Control, in the event where the owner believes that you are responsible for the damage to their property and wishes to recover their costs.
What happens in the event of the death or injury of my horse?
In preparing a horse for competition there are many costs involved including stud fees, training, agistment, feed, veterinary and farrier expenses to name a few. With the large investment in them, show horses can be valuable and expensive to replace. There are many risks horses face including transit, colic, injuries and other unforeseeable events.
Equine Protection Insurance provides you with the ability to insure your horse for its market value in the event of its Death, Humane Destruction, Theft or Straying – Australia wide. Affinity’s Equine Protection Insurance also includes Transit Cover and no exclusions apply in regards to infectious diseases such as Hendra and Equine Influenza.
As an extension of the Mortality cover above, we also offer Vet Fee Cover, which covers you for up to $7,500 of Vet Fees incurred during the policy period. This includes injuries and illness such as wounds, colic surgery and more.
Whilst it would be great to think it will never happen to us, if an accident occurs, you should ensure that you have the appropriate insurance in place to protect yourself and your assets so that you can keep doing what you love into the future.