Q: I am hoping to run a rural B&B and would like to let guests bring their horses. I imagine most owners will look after their own horses, but I can offer full- or part-livery and will provide a secure yard for horsebox parking. I will take out public liability insurance to cover guests, but what extra insurance will I — or the guests — need for the horses and equipment? Would I need planning permission or change of use?
RB, Sussex

ANGIE BAILEY, equine account manager at the Ryan Insurance Group in Suffolk, says your plan is a wonderful idea.

“You should take out public liability cover, in just the same way you would for a normal livery yard,” she explained. “This will cover members of the public and their property.
“Horseboxes would not be your responsibility. The onus would be on the owner to provide cover, as they would on their own car, when it was on your property. This would also apply to their tack.”

Angie recommended an optional insurance policy of care, custody and control (CCC) cover.

“This would cover a guest’s horse if it were injured, or if it damaged third party property while in your care,” she added.

David Ashby of Amlin Plus Sports Horse Insurers says a useful part of a CCC policy is that, in addition to providing cover against a horse being killed or injured through the insured’s negligence while it is in their care, the policy will also meet the costs of the insured’s defence, if they were the subject of a claim for negligently injuring a horse in their care.

Planning expert Linda Wright of Charles Britton Equestrian Construction says formal planning permission may be needed for change of use, assuming the property is currently non-commercial.

“Different authorities have different criteria, so call your local planning authority (LPA) and have a chat with the officer for your area,” Linda advised. “A change of use application costs £365 and projects involving tourism are usually favourably viewed. However, you will have to provide predictions on traffic movement, and the route from the highway for horseboxes will have to meet certain criteria.

“Another matter to consider is business rates — renting out in this way may affect the rates payable at the property,” Linda concluded.

Information

• Amlin Plus Tel: 020 7423 0920 www.amlinplus.co.uk

• Charles Britton Tel: 08700 722321 www.charlesbritton.com

• Ryan Insurance Group Tel: 0844 573 9422 www.ryan-group.co.uk

This Q&A was first published in Horse & Hound (9 October 2008)