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Trailering Waiver?

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  • Trailering Waiver?

    Do you use a waiver when trailering other people's horses?

    I think that I would like to use one as I will be hauling someone else's horse a significant distance. Is there an example out there somewhere on the internet or does anyone have one that they could post here?

    Or, do you have ideas of what should go in one?
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  • #2
    You start that and you are entering a territory of interstate commerce...log books, fuel logs, road use taxes etc...just dont charge them until after the horse is safe and sound in the stall...otherwise you are just being a good Samaritan and shipping the horse as a favor. Any attorneys out there care to chime in? (there exists a uniform livestock bill of lading that the "real" shippers use that declare the horse worth $200 any amount above that requires additional insurance)
    The thing about smart people, is they look like crazy people, to dumb people.

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    • #3
      Be aware you're now considered a "commercial" driver by most (all?) states. Be prepared to meet DOT requirements, possibly carry extra safety equipment, possibly get a commercial endorsement to your driver's licence, etc. You may need to carry a physical card to go with your commercial license endorsement. You might even need a DOT number displayed on your truck.

      You also need to make sure your vehicle insurance covers commercial hauling. In a worst case scenario there's an accident, horse gets loose, totals someone else's car, and your personal auto policy is reluctant to pay. A local friend recently had a trailer latch fail on a Featherlite she borrowed to haul someone else's horse. I don't know all the details but I know the door opened in transit, horse went out, vehicle was wrecked, and horse died. If your policy doesn't cover the situation and the other person's horse, the other person may sue YOU personally putting your home and assets at risk. I don't mean to panic anyone ... but please talk this over with your insurance agent & explain what you're doing.

      The other question is would you have coverage if the horse got injured or died in transit? Even if it's not your fault, if the owner *thinks* it's your fault, he/she can sue. Legal fees can be huge, and even if you win in court, you lose all that money. Even with a waiver, he/she can file a lawsuit.
      Veterinarians for Equine Welfare

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        A couple of clarifications:

        I'm in Canada, so I don't know if the laws about commercial shipping are different here? I know a lot of people without commercial licenses who recoup expenses when trailering other's horses. Whether or not they do this completely legally, I don't really know.

        I am taking my own horse with hers, and will be going whether or not she comes. We're both traveling to a show in a different province. The other owner will only be covering her share of the expenses. Does this make a difference?

        The reason I thought I should get a waiver is so that she couldn't sue me, just in case something were to happen. If I ask her to sign a waiver does that make it a commercial enterprise, or is it just the fact that I am splitting gas?

        Anyone know about the Canadian laws?

        Thanks!

        (I do plan to phone the insurance company to find out).
        Last edited by klmck63; Apr. 5, 2010, 09:58 PM. Reason: More information.
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        • #5
          Talk to your insurance agent to get the facts. The requirement for a commerical license does not necessarily apply, as I found out. I have individuals sign a waiver for trailering their horses. The waiver is to protect me from being sued and so they understand that there are risks. I expect gas to be paid if my truck and trailer are used; if I'm going that way I'll take another horse for free (especially if its a kid's horse) as it's part of the team spirit at the barn. Never know when you'll need someone to walk your horse through colic while you are out of town.
          pace, path, balance, impulsion and ??

          Don't panic! Ralph Leroy Hill

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by GrayCatFarm View Post
            Talk to your insurance agent to get the facts. The requirement for a commerical license does not necessarily apply, as I found out. I have individuals sign a waiver for trailering their horses. The waiver is to protect me from being sued and so they understand that there are risks. I expect gas to be paid if my truck and trailer are used; if I'm going that way I'll take another horse for free (especially if its a kid's horse) as it's part of the team spirit at the barn. Never know when you'll need someone to walk your horse through colic while you are out of town.
            Yes, thanks, I definitely will give them a call.

            For a local trip, I'd agree with you, but I can't really afford to do it for free, unfortunately. It's a 16 hour drive, through mountains plus the fees for taking a truck and trailer on a ferry. That's a lot of gas with a full trailer and splitting gas and fees makes it more affordable for me to go to the show, and it's only a fraction of what you would pay for a commercial shipper (they don't like to come to an island to pick people up!).

            Could you provide any ideas for what to include on a waiver?
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            • #7
              Check with your insurance company. I'm covered for hauling someone else's horse but offhand, I can't remember if the coverage goes with the trailer or the truck. I also can't remember if I pay extra for it. If I do, it's a nominal amount.

              I could go dig out the policy, but it's almost time to watch the Christian Siriano special on Bravo.

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              • #8
                Just keep in mind that just because someone signed a waiver doesn't mean that they can't sue you. It makes it harder for them to win, sure, but they can still sue.

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                • #9
                  I've just had a similiar discussion with 2 ins agents representing a number of horse ins companies. According to them, the vast majority of auto ins companies will not cover horses in the trailer. Read the fine print and/or get a letter in writing if your auto ins company says it does.
                  As far as horse insurance, if you are a private horse owner, not commerical, not an instructor etc, just a private horse owner, there is NO ins I can buy that will cover a friend's horse in my trailer. And my horse will only be covered if the horse has a mortality, major medical ins.
                  There use to be a care, custody, and control stand alone policy you could buy that would cover these situations. Not anymore. Even if no money is exchanged and the other horse owner is in the truck with me, unless the other horse is covered with its own mortality and medical ins, that horse is not insurable.
                  Waivers mean nothing in court and even friends sue.
                  I liked the old days better when we lived our lives and enjoyed our horses and each other's friendships without thinking about grubby attorneys.
                  The ins agents recommedations - never allow another horse that does not have its own mortality and med ins into your trailer.

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