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Small Farm Business Insurance/Trainer's Insurance

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  • Small Farm Business Insurance/Trainer's Insurance

    This is a question predominantly for farm owner's and trainer's.....

    If you operate your own small training/lesson facility (no boarding except horses in training), what type of insurance do you have?

    Previously, when I was a trainer but freelanced as an "independent contractor", I often went to the students location (often boarding barns), I had trainers insurance. Which several places required for you to be able to teach on their property.

    Obviously, if a rider comes onto my farm property to do anything equine related, they would sign liability forms, contracts for training, etc...

    But, would I need actual farm insurance? If so, what does that entail and any ideas on pricing? Would I also need trainers insurance again and/or also farm insurance?

    Obviously, you want to be protected but budgets are tight enough so unless it is absolutly necessary, I couldn't afford to have to add to the budget.


  • #2
    OMG- yes you need farm insurance! Unless you want one of your students to take it from you.

    Do you own the facility as well? If so- you'll need extra coverage.

    I have 5 policies. I board TB racehorse babies only. No riding, no boarders riding, no lessons. My clients sign a hold harmless agreement (even though 99% never step foot on the property-ever) and a boarding agreement. My coverage is as follows:

    Commercial liability
    Personal liability
    Umbrella policy btwn those two
    Commerical vehicle (for hauling to tracks, etc)
    Care, custody, control policy includes coverage of horses as well.
    I might be forgetting one?

    Then have other policies for house, buildings and personal auto.

    It adds up when annual premiums are due but I've never not have it. You never know...


    • Original Poster

      Thank you for the information. Yes, I own the farm. Would you mind elaborating on what each of your 5 policies cover?I'm sure an insuracen agent could explain it but it is always helpful to hear it explained from a layman's POV.

      To recap, in a perfect world, I would have horses in training on the property that I may or may not trailor to shows, riders coming to the farm for lessons either on a horse they have in training or a a rider trailering onto the farm with their horse. Possibly, I may at some point, purchase a lesson horse for beginner lessons. I would also be going to shows coaching students.

      Again, thanks for the input, really appreciate it.


      • #4
        The best thing for you to do is talk to an equine insurance agent and find out what all they recommend you get for your situation. I board (mostly retired horses or young horses that need to be on turnout) and host clinics at my place but I don't give lessons and if someone comes to my farm to school the cross country course, they have to provide their trainers insurance or purchase a schooling/education activity ins through USEA. I just switched to Equisport and love them so far. Lauren was great to work with and got me a great policy with Travellers that covers everything I needed horse wise and good coverage for the two houses and shop/barns on the place. This policy is almost half what Farm Bureau quoted and gives me more coverage on the boarding side. But yes.... get farm insurance!!! It's a must!!!

        ~ Jus Passed My Zipper aka Spanky, 11yo QH gelding.
        ~ Muskogee, 2yo Oldenburg Colt.


        • #5
          I have farm family insurance. It's great so far. They have tiers - so you can cover each building separately through a Tier 1-10 depending on how much coverage/$ you want on each one.

          Policies- I'd actually have to sit down and go through the policies. It's been so long since we decided on it. I am an incorporated business. I'd hate to make references as to what each policy covers and how and be mistaken. Agree with pp- best to call insurance guy and get real advice as to coverage!!


          • Original Poster

            Thanks again for the info. Will definetly take the advice. I have always been with Starnes Insurance and haven't had any problems. But, haven't really pushed for anything either. I will talk to some agents, get some quotes and compare. Keep the advice coming! :-)


            • #7
              Absolutely get farm insurance - or whatever they call the policy that would be akin to home owner's insurance. That will protect your property/buildings in the event of fire, storm/weather damage (usually not flooding but check about things like roof leaks etc - my homeowners covers leaks as long as they are new). Also some insurance providers will discount some if you store hay and shavings in a separate building from the barn where horses are stabled. Also check to see if your state has any equine statute laws - as that might help determine what liability coverage levels you would need.

              here is a link for Markel Insurance - that briefly explains what's covered under their Farm package. This might cover everything you need + your own horses. I have Markel for my horse -



              • #8
                I use Rain and Hail

                I have trainer's liability wrapped up in my commercial farm insurance. It's cheaper than buying multiple policies.
                Shoulders back, hands down, leg ON!



                • Original Poster

                  The farm has home owners insurance and all the equipment, outbuilding, etc are covered. Guess I need to learn more about their coverage in regards to adding farm insurance in terms of an equine business....


                  • #10
                    If there already is HO coverage on the property, you are looking for a commercial general liability policy (which may be sold as a farm package policy, depending on what combination of property and casulty coverage you need.) My buildings are covered separately from my horse business coverage, so I only need a straight CGL.

                    I strongly encourage you to work with an equine insurance specialist because he/she will know how to tailor your coverage. The CGL coverage should extend to training on or off premises, lesson, shows, etc.

                    Premium will depend on the coverages you need and the liability limits. Your agent can work with you on that as most of them are brokers and can submit business to several companies.
                    Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule


                    • #11
                      commercial liability insurance

                      i really appreciate it that you shared with us such a informative post.Thanks for letting us know about this and I hope to read more from you. Keep the posts coming!


                      • #12
                        Also, don't hesitate to give your agent at Starnes a call; they probably can give you a quote on what you need. One option is to get a farm package policy that would cover your dwelling, outbuildings, personal property, farm property, and personal liability. Auto coverage availability would depend on the agent.

                        Some policies offer the option of including your commercial equine liability (for boarding, riding instruction, etc.) in the same policy as that covering your property. Alternatively, you can get a property policy and a separate commercial equine liability policy.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Long Shadow Farm View Post
                          and if someone comes to my farm to school the cross country course, they have to provide their trainers insurance or purchase a schooling/education activity ins through USEA.

                          Keep in mind, you are not covered for liability by other trainers' insurance policies unless they list you as "additional insured" on their policy.


                          • #14
                            As you can see from the responses, you definitely want to have commercial liability for your farm if you are deriving any income from it. We also LLC'd the farm so as to add another layer between us and the litigious society we live with. Personally I wish there were independent advisors for a number of technical aspects of our lives: all phases of insurance, cellphone plans, cable, construction...folks who would be on YOUR side(not the person selling you something).
                            Our agent (Farm Family)strongly recommended that we NOT haul around anybody with our horse trailer. I do not know if that is a Maine thing, or nationwide. I am allowed a low level of farm employees, but I have to confine them to farm work or they are not covered. We also have schoolers come to our cross country course so I would love to hear more about everyone's experience with their insurance companies on that aspect.
                            Some phases of our coverage essentially exceed the gross we get from that phase(talk about a loss leader). I also recall that training horses is another level of insurance expense beyond just riders and lessons at your farm..so that is a distinction to pay attention to....so you need to be very careful how you describe your business activity(this is what I am talking about above wrt advisors).