What Is Horse Public Liability Insurance?

Every horse owner should take out, at the very least, a policy that will protect them if their horse damages someone else’s property or injures another person.

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Third party liability insurance (sometimes called public liability) can be included in most insurance policies. Even if you choose not to insure your horse for anything else, you should take out third party cover. So what is it?

“The simplest way to understand third party liability is to think of the third party as anyone who has been injured or whose property has been damaged (excluding people you live with and immediate family),” says Petplan Equine. “The injury or damage must result from the horse that’s insured. Your third party liability cover will come into effect if you are unfortunately found legally responsible for an accident or injury. Petplan Equine offers cover up to £5 million.”

Third party cover will protect you against the costs incurred by members of the public suffering personal injury or property damage because of your horse for example. if your horse escapes from his field and damages someone’s property, or if he breaks free from your trailer at a show and damages a car. Your third party liability insurance will cover you up to the maximum benefit toward legal costs and compensation.

If you believe that an accident or injury could result in a third party claim against you, you should not admit any responsibility, agree to pay any claim, or negotiate with any other person. Instead, contact your insurer and allow it to take charge of your claim.

“Public liability cover is a must for all horse owners,” stresses KBIS. “We’ve seen claims in excess of £2 million and would highly recommend public liability as a minimum level of cover. We offer cover options up to £3 million on our leisure and competition policies, and up to £5 million as a standalone policy.”

Personal Accident

Another option to consider is personal accident cover, which gives you specific cover as a result of an accident. Both KBIS and Petplan Equine offer a choice of fixed benefits from £10k or £20K for death and permanent total disability, and £1,000 or £2,000 for dental treatment for any person handling, riding or driving the insured horse with the policyholder’s permission. Note that people paid to ride/handle your horse are not covered.

Check You’re Not Already Covered

If you’re a member of any of the following, you may already have public liability cover, but do check the small print. Some may only cover you when competing at their events.