Q: An acquaintance from the yard where I keep my horse has asked if I would take her horse along with mine to this summer’s shows. Although both animals have good temperaments and get on well, they have not travelled together before.
I will not be asking for payment to transport the horse, although the owner has offered me some diesel money.
Will my horsebox insurance cover me to take someone else’s horse to shows? And, if the animals don’t get on during a journey, or there is an accident in which my friend’s horse is injured, would I be held responsibile?
Whose insurance would cover my friend’s tack if it were stolen from my lorry?
SL, Haywards Heath
A: When you’re considering transporting other people’s horses, the type of horsebox insurance cover needed depends on whether you will be earning money from the transportation. If you’re charging a specific fee per trip, you’re acting as a kind of equine taxi, and therefore need commercial hire and reward cover. But if you’re simply doing a favour for a friend, for which they may give you a small amount of cash towards fuel costs, this does not constitute hire and reward, so your own vehicle insurance will be adequate.
You need to check your friend’s horse insurance to ensure it covers injury and accidental death while in your lorry. Standard horse insurance should provide this level of cover.
If she does not have cover and you still decide to go ahead with offering lifts, you should take out a separate insurance policy called care, custody and control. It will cover your legal liability for injury or accidental death of any horse not belonging to you.
Equine insurance company THB British Equestrian offers three levels of care, custody and control cover. For those transporting a small number of ordinary competition animals, the basic policy should be adequate. It provides £10,000 maximum claim per animal, £50,000 maximum claim per occurrence and a maximum of £125,000 worth of claims in one year.
If you are a livery yard owner and have public liability insurance, custody and control can be added to this.
For less formal arrangements between friends, you could consider drawing up a waiver, which both parties should agree to and sign. It should state that your friend will not sue you if any problems arise with her horse while travelling with you. Although this may not stand up in a court of law, it would act as a declaration of trust between you both and make your position clear.
With regard to theft of someone else’s tack from your lorry, this is not your responsibility. The owner should ensure they have adequate insurance cover, so they can claim if anything happens to it. You may be wise to point this out to them in advance.
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