Insurance Considerations When Opening Your Private Horse Barn To Boarders
According to the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the annual cost of owning a healthy horse is $2,500. Due to the costs, many people who own small horse farms often consider opening their stables for boarding to help offset the costs of horse ownership. If you own a small horse farm and are considering boarding other horses, it is crucial that you have the appropriate insurance.
Typical homeowner's insurance will not be enough. You will likely need farm insurance. Most homeowner's insurance policies only cover horse liability when horses are for personal use only. When you start boarding horses, your property becomes a business property. Here's what you need to know.
Understand the Equine Liability Laws in Your State
Each state has a set of specific equine liability laws, particularly for business operations. Many states require signage of the inherent risks that are involved when around horses. Most states also require liability release waivers to be signed by anyone who is riding or boarding horses at your farm.
The requirements of the liability release waiver may include specifics such as the use of helmets and safety gear. If you fail to follow the requirements, your farm insurance policy may not cover accidents and injuries. Also, depending on the requirements of your state, you may need to install fencing or upgrade your current fencing. Therefore, be sure that you have a complete understanding about your requirements as a farm insurance policy holder.
List All Equine-Related Structures and Equipment in the Policy
With a homeowner's insurance policy, structures such as sheds and the equipment stored in them are typically covered automatically. For farm insurance, structures and equipment need to be defined and scheduled into the policy in order for them to be covered.
An insurance agent should walk through your property to determine which structures and equipment, which includes tack, should be covered by your farm insurance. For example, a garage where you store your vehicles will not be covered, but a garage that stores a tractor can be.
Know Who Will Tend to the Horses
You'll need to consider whether you will provide full service boarding or if you will require your boarders to tend to their horses. If you plan on having a full service boarding facility, will you do the work yourself or will you hire workers? Keep in mind that most states have worker's compensation insurance requirements that will need to be met if you hire workers to tend to the horses in your boarding facility.
For more information, work with an insurance agent at companies like Cache Valley Insurance Inc.