Oftentimes, horse owners who don’t own trailers will allow a friend or will pay someone to trailer to a show, trail ride, or another activity off the farm. Whether it’s a friend, family member, or professional horse transporter, few equestrians stop to consider who would be responsible if an accident were to occur while trailering resulting in the horse’s injury or death. When an accident occurs, it is rare that the driver’s insurance policy will adequately cover your loss or indemnify you if your horse is injured or killed, causes harm to another person, or causes harm to property due to the accident. Auto insurance typically does not cover a horse trailer without an additional rider to the policy and also typically excludes coverage for anything inside the trailer, including the horse(s).
If your horse in inadequately insured, your only option in the event of your horse’s death or injury due to a trailering accident is to sue the party who is responsible for the damages. If your horse is valuable, you may want to look into insuring him or her for major medical/mortality insurance, as well as risk of loss to ensure their damages are adequately covered. However, according to equine law, if the horse was negligently or improperly loaded and results in damage to a person or property, the horse owner may be found liable. If this were to happen, a horse owner’s liability policy would provide adequate protection in the event of a lawsuit.
The best way to avoid costly litigation and enjoy the benefits of someone else trailering your horse is to ensure that you, as the owner, have adequately insured both yourself and the horse.