Ask Your Insurer: What Is Race Horse Owners Liability Insurance?

by | 05.24.2019 | 4:54pm

Equine insurance experts answer your questions about insuring Thoroughbreds for the breeding and auction realms. Email us at [email protected] if you have a question for an insurer.

QUESTION: Is there an available type of coverage that you think people don't take enough advantage of?

BRYCE BURTON: Race Horse Owners Liability is an under-utilized and extremely important form of coverage to have in place as an owner. These liability policies are relatively inexpensive and extremely easy to put in place.

QUESTION: What is Race Horse Owners Liability coverage and why is it important?

BRYCE BURTON: Race Horse Owners Liability coverage is designed for an owner who is not directly involved, or hands-on, with the training or breeding of their horses. As a racehorse or breeding stock owner, you face unique liability exposures for injury or damages resulting from the ownership of your horses. These specific equine-related risks are normally excluded under any run-of-the-mill homeowners or umbrella insurance coverages that the owner may already have in place. Race Horse Owners Liability is put in place to specifically protect the owner in the event that there is an incident where bodily injury or property damage occurs as a result of the ownership of one these horses.

Bryce Burton

An example would be if one of your horses were to injure someone at the track while in training or cause damage to a stable where he or she is boarded. Just as a trainer has a liability policy in place for their operations, the last piece of the puzzle is the owner obtaining Race Horse Owners Liability. This ensures that there are no gaps in coverage among the connections.

The policy covers each horse that is owned, racing or breeding stock, and the coverage follows those horses from track to track or farm to farm. The policy premiums are rated based on how many horses are owned and the limits of liability that are chosen from the inception of the policy. You also have the option to place umbrella liability coverage if the maximum liability limits of $1 million per occurrence/$2 million aggregate aren't sufficient. In order to place this coverage, Underwriters will need a current schedule of owned horses along with a completed application, which your agent can assist you with.

Bryce Burton is a property and liability specialist for Muirfield Insurance. He is from Frankfort, Ky., where he grew up an avid race fan. His Thoroughbred racing fandom combined with a collegiate internship in the insurance industry, culminated in a start in the equine insurance field. Bryce has been with Muirfield Insurance since 2014, following his graduation from Transylvania University in Lexington.

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