In yesterday’s post, we talked about the Private Horseowner’s Liability policy and discussed the ways it might cover a horse owner for liability claims that are not covered by a basic farm and ranch policy. Does that mean that holders of PHO policies do not need a farm and ranch policy? Not necessarily.
A basic farm and ranch policy can be compared to an extended “homeowner’s policy” for farm or ranch owners. Although many insurance companies allow clients to customize their farm and ranch policies to cover additional perils, the basic farm and ranch policy typically covers the following instances:
- Loss of your home or certain types of damage to your home;
- Loss of your barn or outbuildings or certain types of damage to your barn or outbuildings;
- Accidental death of your horses caused by lightning, fire, predator attack, accidental shooting, or drowning;
- Liability claims brought by third parties who are on your property with your permission and the incident did not happen in connection with your equine business operations; and
- Medical bills for third parties who are on your property with your permission are are injured from an occurence that did not arise from your equine business operation.
The basic farm and ranch policy does not typically cover the following instances:
- Incidents that do not occur on your property;
- Liability claims for medical bills or damages brought by family members or employees;
- Horses that die or have to put down due to injury or sickness;
- Accidents caused by horses that do not belong to you; and
- Accidents that arise from your equine business operations.
For people who own a farm or ranch, a basic farm and ranch policy is usually a good idea. This type of policy should be considered in lieu of the basic homeowner’s policy due to the additional coverages available.
But there are many ways in which a farm owner can be held personally liable even when covered by a basic farm and ranch policy. Therefore, it is advisable to ask your insurance agent exactly what is covered so that additional insurance can be purchased, if necessary.
The most important thing to remember is that if you are sued, you want to be covered by insurance. No matter how frivolous or unmeritorious the claim, you will still have to hire an attorney to defend you. Legal fees are costly, and usually not recoverable by defendants in law suits.