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Can owning horses affect Homeowners insurance?

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  • Can owning horses affect Homeowners insurance?

    I had a bad day with insurance companies today. I'm trying to make sure that I'm adequately insured, not over insured, not under insured, and paying a fair price.

    Well... I stopped by my current insurance company today and before long he was saying that I didn't have enough of this & should get more that... I don't know if the add ons are necessary or not. (they think I should increase my liability coverage, hospital amount covered, add a siding policy and an identity recovery policy). I don't know what to do.

    I get home to a voice mail from another company I called saying they were having a hard time finding a company that would cover me. I had told her that I am considering in the future boarding a few horses, but not at this point in time. They are just my own personal horses.

    Has anybody had a hard time getting homeowners because they have horses at home? I know they're considered attractive nuisances... but I'd never thought that they wouldn't write a policy because you had a horse?
    http://www.leakycreek.com/
    http://leakycreek.wordpress.com/ Rainbows & Mourning Doves Blog
    John P. Smith II 1973-2009 Love Always
    Father, Husband, Friend, Firefighter- Cancer Sucks- Cure Melanoma

  • #2
    There's a difference between standard homeowners (sans livestock) and farm owners.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...

    Comment


    • #3
      Not only is it common to find insurers who won't write a policy for those who keep horses on the property, but some breeds of dog can have potential insurers running for cover. It's customary to have horse owners boarding their own at home to have personal liability coverage, in case the horse injures someone or gets out and damages property or causes an accident. Is it necessary? Well, you could decline it and probably be okay, but if something happens, you're hosed. And with this society being so incredibly litigious, and the PL coverage being fairly inexpensive, I always thought it worth the expense.

      And, if you do decide to board outside horses (hopefully) for profit, you'll need professional liability coverage and CCC (care, custody and control) in order to be safe.
      In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
      A life lived by example, done too soon.
      www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/

      Comment


      • #4
        Owning? Maybe.
        Boarding? You betcha.

        Comment


        • #5
          Considering the rigorous interview process that my dog had to go through for me to get homeowners (I swear it was like 30 questions about the dog, and he's a Newfoundland for gods sake.... not a pitbull or anything), I would assume that yeah, horses, definitely. Isn't it what they call an attractive nuisance? Something that children and stupid people are automatically drawn to, to hurt themselves with? LOL
          *Emilee

          Comment


          • #6
            Horses, certain dog breeds, trampolines, and swimming pools....

            Comment


            • #7
              That's strange, it doesn't effect you up here in Canada.

              Maybe they can insure you under a hobby farm form? Normally with a regular homeowners form you can board up to 3 horses with no problems. I would look at another agency, maybe they just don't want to do the work.
              Boss Mare Eventing Blog
              https://www.youtube.com/user/jealoushe

              Comment


              • #8
                Maybe....

                I think it would depend on your location. If you are anywhere near a development or area with a lot of private homes, a horse farm (the horses, specifically) could be seen as an attractive nuisance. If I was anywhere near a lot of homes (like a friend of mine who lives at the end of a cul de sac in a big neighborhood, I'd have 6' chain link or wood fencing with hot wire on top and a LOT of "No Trespassing" signs around the pasture and barn areas.

                Another question would be if you have the Equine Liability Law in your state. If so, it would protect you in certain instances but not all. If a kid dug a hole under your fence and chased your horses around with a BB gun getting run over in the process, the law would be on your side if you had adequate fencing and the signs. If you have simple 4' split-rail fencing with no real barrier to prevent them getting in and a previously documented agressive horse, you might be considered liable.

                If you have the Farm Bureau in your area, they might be a better option for insurance as they also insure farms.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Anything can affect homeowners insurance.

                  It's been my experience that home-kept horses are generally not a problem. But some companies shy away from this risk; others don't. The market is pretty big in most places so it pays to shop around. If your agent isn't doing the job for you then get a new agent.

                  If you take boarders you have just become "commercial." That is a whole, different scene. There is much less "consumer protection" in the commercial world and policies are built to cover the individual risks involved. If you adequately assess your risks then you're OK; if you miss a risk then you've likely got a gap in coverage. It pays to work with a knowledeable agent.

                  Remember, too, if you end up "going commericial" then it could affect your vehicle coverages, also. Ensure that your agent covers this risk, too.

                  After you get your policy read it. Remember that "The Big Print Giveth & The Small Print Taketh Away." Read the grant of coverage (The Big Print) and then the exclusions and conditions (The Small Print). If you don't understand something or you think you've got a coverage issue then ask the agent.

                  It also pays to work with a knowledgable agent. Some of the "mom & pop" agencies do a good job, but some are not really "up to speed" on equine issues (commercial or private). The agent serves you and you have every right to ensure that their service is up to the task.

                  Good luck in seeking a good policy.

                  G.

                  Former Regional VP for Claims
                  Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by M.K.Smith View Post
                    I had told her that I am considering in the future boarding a few horses, but not at this point in time.
                    Boarding a 'few' horses will not pay for the risk and costs that you will undertake. And never mention thinking about it to an agent. Just like an IRS audit - do not volunteer extra information.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sure does when the barn + house is on the same insurance....

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by babecakes View Post
                        Boarding a 'few' horses will not pay for the risk and costs that you will undertake. And never mention thinking about it to an agent. Just like an IRS audit - do not volunteer extra information.
                        This is very bad advice. A lie by exclusion is still a lie. And a "lie" on a policy application equals "fraud." And "fraud" will trigger all kinds of bad things for the policy holder.

                        You have duty to be honest with the company. You ignore that duty at your peril.

                        G.
                        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                          This is very bad advice. A lie by exclusion is still a lie. And a "lie" on a policy application equals "fraud." And "fraud" will trigger all kinds of bad things for the policy holder.

                          You have duty to be honest with the company. You ignore that duty at your peril.

                          G.
                          I agree.

                          I had one company that offers the insurance through USEF decline to quote us because we had recipes for homemade wine on our website. They said they didn't insure wineries. Well that's cool because, well, we aren't a winery! But then they said they still couldn't quote us because we sold wine, um no...we make wine at home for ourselves as a hobby, we don't sell it because we ARE NOT A LICENSED WINERY. It is perfectly legal to make wine at home. But no...still no quote, because obviously they just don't like wine I dunno... If they want to start not quoting people with horses because they have a few cocktails here and there they will soon find their business dwindling
                          I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

                          Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Why not just contact a company that deals in ag type insurance?

                            Call Farm Bureau.

                            If you board horses, you'll need commercial coverage. And like others have pointed out - don't ever lie to the insurance company. If you board - obtain the appropriate insurance.

                            But for keeping livestock on your farm - no brainer. Contact Farm Bureau - it's what they do.
                            Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                            Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                            -Rudyard Kipling

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                              This is very bad advice. A lie by exclusion is still a lie. And a "lie" on a policy application equals "fraud." And "fraud" will trigger all kinds of bad things for the policy holder.

                              You have duty to be honest with the company. You ignore that duty at your peril.

                              G.
                              I think the point was that she is *thinking* of someday, MAYBE boarding horses.
                              If she has decided then yes not saying so is a lie by omission, but telling them, or not telling them your thoughts about something you might do someday, maybe? Uh that can only hurt you in the sense that they will deny you.
                              Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014

                              http://notesfromadogwalker.com/2012/...m-a-sanctuary/

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Right now it is just my personal horses, so that is all that I need coverage for. However, if I do decide to board horses in the future I'd like to 1. know what I'd be getting myself into as far as how much the policy would cost, & 2. prefer to stay with one company so I could just switch to adding care, custody, and control and whatever else changes I'd need to make.

                                Originally posted by Pandarus33 View Post
                                I think it would depend on your location. If you are anywhere near a development or area with a lot of private homes, a horse farm (the horses, specifically) could be seen as an attractive nuisance. If I was anywhere near a lot of homes (like a friend of mine who lives at the end of a cul de sac in a big neighborhood, I'd have 6' chain link or wood fencing with hot wire on top and a LOT of "No Trespassing" signs around the pasture and barn areas.

                                Another question would be if you have the Equine Liability Law in your state. If so, it would protect you in certain instances but not all. If a kid dug a hole under your fence and chased your horses around with a BB gun getting run over in the process, the law would be on your side if you had adequate fencing and the signs. If you have simple 4' split-rail fencing with no real barrier to prevent them getting in and a previously documented agressive horse, you might be considered liable.

                                If you have the Farm Bureau in your area, they might be a better option for insurance as they also insure farms.
                                Maryland is one of the few states NOT protected with the Equine Liabilities Law.

                                I've looked up Farm Bureau online & it looks like in MD they have an arrangement with a discount for Nationwide. On the national farm bureau site the insurance companies listed didn't handle Maryland.
                                http://www.leakycreek.com/
                                http://leakycreek.wordpress.com/ Rainbows & Mourning Doves Blog
                                John P. Smith II 1973-2009 Love Always
                                Father, Husband, Friend, Firefighter- Cancer Sucks- Cure Melanoma

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Huh?

                                  That's the first I've heard that Farm Bureau doesn't offer ag and homeowners insurance in Maryland. The state is chocked full of farms.

                                  Contact your local agent directly and ask about homeowners/farm insurance - don't go into the boarding aspect since you're not planning on doing that for now -they don't offer commercial coverage for boarding operations anyway (that I know of)

                                  Just ask about homeowners insurance and mention that you keep horses on your land for your personal use. But really - call and speak with an agent directly to find out what they offer.

                                  You can search by county on the following link - look - they even have an equine membership available.

                                  http://www.mdfarmbureau.com/
                                  Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                                  Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                                  -Rudyard Kipling

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Okay... just got off the phone with the lady who has been looking into new quotes for me. Apparently, all of the companies that she deals with (still waiting to hear back from one company) have no problems with 2 horses.... however, I have more than 2. Makes me wonder if my current company is aware that I have more than 2... I've always had more than 2 since we were insured, but honestly I don't know that they've ever asked how many. I know they ask the "dog breed question."

                                    The lady that I talked to is going to look into a farm policy with Donegal and will get back to me.
                                    http://www.leakycreek.com/
                                    http://leakycreek.wordpress.com/ Rainbows & Mourning Doves Blog
                                    John P. Smith II 1973-2009 Love Always
                                    Father, Husband, Friend, Firefighter- Cancer Sucks- Cure Melanoma

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      I did find a list from 2007 of approved farm insurance companies for the state of MD
                                      http://www.mdinsurance.state.md.us/s...t-12-03-07.pdf

                                      Brethren Mutual Insurance Company
                                      Allied Property & Casualty Insurance Company
                                      Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance Company
                                      Farmers’ Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Dug Hill
                                      Indemnity Insurance Company of North America
                                      Great American Insurance Company
                                      The Travelers Indemnity Company
                                      Donegal Mutual Insurance Company
                                      Cumberland Mutual Fire Insurance Company
                                      Markel Insurance Company
                                      Farmers and Mechanics Mutual Insurance Association
                                      American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida
                                      Goodville Mutual Casualty Company
                                      Everett Cash Mutual Insurance Company
                                      Windsor Mount Joy Mutual Insurance Company
                                      Lititz Mutual Insurance Company
                                      Harleysville Mutual Insurance Company
                                      United Farm Family Insurance Company
                                      Frederick Mutual Insurance Company
                                      Selective Insurance Company of America

                                      If I have to go the farm insurance route... anybody know anything about any of them?
                                      http://www.leakycreek.com/
                                      http://leakycreek.wordpress.com/ Rainbows & Mourning Doves Blog
                                      John P. Smith II 1973-2009 Love Always
                                      Father, Husband, Friend, Firefighter- Cancer Sucks- Cure Melanoma

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Interesting.

                                        I have insurance with Allstate. My apartment is a barndominium so they are well aware that there are 4 HORSE STALLS underneath my living space, but I never thought to mention and they certainly didn't ask if I had any horses. Just never even thought about it. I think I told them I had a couple of mutts. I should mention the damn fireants - they are a bigger liability than anything, although certainly not an attractive nuisance! Should I let them know I have about 2million fireants :-)

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