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Trailering Liability Waiver

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  • Trailering Liability Waiver

    I occasionally trailer another horse at my barn since we both go to the same horse shows. While I consider myself friends with the horse's owner, she is also the type to overreact should something ever happen to her horse. I'm thinking that I should get a liability waiver signed by her before I trailer her horse again. Does anyone have a sample they can send me? Thanks.

  • #2
    I can't imagine that a waiver would actually do anything. If you trailer her horse, you are responsible for it, and your auto insurance would cover any accidents or losses (so you probably should check your policy to make sure it's sufficient...if the horse is very valuable you might need to really increase your coverage). I know that my equine insurance does not cover my horse if she is being trailered (I need to check to see if is is only when trailered commercially or privately, or doesn't matter). It relies on the auto policy to cover the costs if it was a trailer related accident (v. pasture accident).

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    • #3
      Man, you might want to rethink trailering for this particular friend.

      A conversation about her expectations might be more effective than any agreement you could write or enforce. The direct conversation about "you know I'm careful but sh!t sometimes happens to even the best of us" might be less awkward than, "hey, will you sign this a$$-covering document?"

      If she says she can't accept risk, *or her actions give you that vibe regardless of the words said* cut her loose from the trailering offer. This doesn't have to be mean. Just "Look, I don't think I can guarantee the kind of safety you want. It will ruin our friendship if I promise something I can't deliver. I think you should hire a pro for trailering. They can do the job you want."
      The armchair saddler
      Politically Pro-Cat

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      • #4
        Originally posted by mvp View Post
        Man, you might want to rethink trailering for this particular friend.

        A conversation about her expectations might be more effective than any agreement you could write or enforce. The direct conversation about "you know I'm careful but sh!t sometimes happens to even the best of us" might be less awkward than, "hey, will you sign this a$$-covering document?"

        If she says she can't accept risk, *or her actions give you that vibe regardless of the words said* cut her loose from the trailering offer. This doesn't have to be mean. Just "Look, I don't think I can guarantee the kind of safety you want. It will ruin our friendship if I promise something I can't deliver. I think you should hire a pro for trailering. They can do the job you want."
        +1

        G.
        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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        • #5
          Went through this with someone at my farm. Spoke to my insurance agent about a waiver, and he said

          "Vehicle insurance does not cover the contents of the trailer, therefore does not cover the horse. The only way the horse would be covered would be if the horse itself were insured.

          When trailering someone else's animal and an accident occurs and the horse is hurt or killed, it becomes a hair-splitting pissing match over whom was at fault. This can occur between parties and between the horse insurance company and the auto company.

          It is against my strongest recommendation that you trailer anyone's horse but your own. In a sue-happy society, something bad can and will happen. A waiver is nothing but a piece of paper that has many variables when it comes to fault. You can purchase additional insurance for the trailer, but that STILL does not cover the horses, including your own."

          I spent much time with the agent discussing this. Finally told the person at the barn that she cannot put her horse on my trailer when it is hooked up to my truck. I said she could borrow the trailer and pull it with HER truck, but she has to sign a damage waiver incase her HORSE messed it up (nevermind that the beast didnt fit on the trailer, but she continued to argue with me that the 16.3 hand horse was 16 hands and fit with the butt bar up his ass and poll hitting the roof).

          needless to say, she stopped asking and tries to hitch rides with others now.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by LittleblackMorgan View Post
            "Vehicle insurance does not cover the contents of the trailer, therefore does not cover the horse. The only way the horse would be covered would be if the horse itself were insured.
            This ^^

            Most people think that thier auto insurance will pick up everything if they are in and accident. It will NOT. Even your own horses are covered by the auto policy so why would your insurance cover someone else's horse.

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            • #7
              I have to retract my statement above about auto/equine insurance and coverage. For some unknown reason I was sure I read that my equine coverage would not cover the horse while being transported (maybe by commercial carrier?) but I cannot find it in my policy. Maybe it was my auto insurance that excluded the horse?

              I'm SO SORRY for putting out such misleading information. I just re-read my equine policy twice and there seems to be no such exclusion...I can't figure out for the life of me why I thought that there was. (Luckily we've hardly trailered since I bought her a few months ago!) Maybe there was something in the temporary rider or somehow connected with the seller's insurance? Or maybe the boarding barn had us sign a transportation waiver? I will re-read my policy again.

              Definitely find out about your horse's insurance and the one you transport, and maybe talk to your insurance agent to consider an umbrella policy or some other product to provide additional coverage for you if you think you're underinsured to transport other horses.

              Comment


              • #8
                Gotta agree w/ everyone else here. We are a sue-happy country and because of that there is no way I'm trailering anyone else's horse in my trailer w/ my truck... and no one is using my trailer w/ their vehicle - nope no way. People have asked and I've always said NO. The only exception would be an emergency situation and there was absolutely no other option but that's it - even then I'd be extremely cautious because you never know what can happen.
                "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England

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                • #9
                  LittleblackMorgan tells it like it is. We discovered this little liability cesspool when we redid our farm insurance this spring. The agent with Farm Family was pretty adamant...you just don't have the coverage to haul somebody's elses' horses.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well I'm not sue happy. And even better, I don't have enough money to sue anyone. Horse is not insured, so I there's no one on my end with enough money and interest to sue.

                    But really, I think you can see the suing types coming unless we are talking about insurance companies who do that for them.
                    The armchair saddler
                    Politically Pro-Cat

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      First of all, you don't need money to sue. Lawyers can and do take a chance on getting a percentage.

                      And no, you can't see the suing types coming. In the right circumstances, anyone may sue. All you can do is protect yourself to the best of your ability.

                      If you do, against all advice, trailer a friend's horse, DO NOT TAKE ANY MONEY, not even for gas! Taking money, in most cases, will negate any insurance you may have.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Another angle is you accepting any kind of payments for hauling another person's animals. This will put you into "Commercial" hauling, which needs their own kind of insurance coverage.

                        Folks helping friends by hauling for gas money, or a flat rate per head, can fall into this commercial catagory, which will negate their insurance in accidents. You also need commercial driver's liscensing when you drive for money.

                        Much the best to avoid all problems of danger of being sued, accidents involving horses owned by others, their animals DAMAGING your equipment, by just saying "No" to any hauling requests. Tell them your insurance will not cover hauling any for anyone else.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If you do, against all advice, trailer a friend's horse, DO NOT TAKE ANY MONEY, not even for gas! Taking money, in most cases, will negate any insurance you may have.
                          False.

                          I asked about this too. I was under this impression, even if I did not ask for gas money, would I be ok? Agent said HELL NO.

                          Even if it were ok, then you open up the door to free loaders.

                          The person I spoke of went on and on about how her DH bought a VERY expensive sports car, installed a pool at their house, went on vacay and then looked at me and said they had no money to pay a hauler and could they hitch a ride with me?? (for nothing).

                          People can do with their money what they wish. I worked very hard to buy an old trailer, get it restored and redone to be both safe, functional AND pretty. Just because I don't spend my $ on the afore mentioned does not mean I am rich or owe anyone a ride.

                          It's a suck situation, but if you want to play, you have to pay. I no longer have partners for shows or events, but I don't rip my hair out worrying about someone else's horse on my trailer. When I have an event, I take my husband with me and the 3 of us get to hang out.

                          Been where you are. You'll get through it. If you want to take the risk, have at it! But I'm a home owner with too many assets that I cannot risk losing over one person whose horse may or may not accidentially get hurt on my trailer. Best of luck to ya!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            As far as taking money is concerned, first look at your policy. What does it say? Sometimes "sharing expenses" is permitted but sometimes it's not.

                            Ditto for becoming "commercial." What do your state rules say?

                            Any "sharing of expenses," however, is going to be looked at carefully. If it's a true, pro-rata sharing then there may not be any problem at all. If the "sharing" is a dodge to get money to the hauler then there might be big problems.

                            G.
                            Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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