public liability for horse riders

Public Liability Insurance for Horses

In this Harry Hall blog we look at public liability insurance for horses, whether it's a legal requirement and why it's important to make sure the correct cover is in place when you're riding in the public domain.

2-minute read

“I never win competitions.”

“I would love to win the lottery.”

“I won’t have an accident, I’m a good rider.”

Statistically speaking the chances of these statements occurring are low but this does not mean they’re impossible. If you enter a competition, you’re increasing your chances of winning, same goes for buying a lottery ticket and every time you lead or ride a horse, you increase the chances of an accident occurring.

Now, we don’t want to lower the tone, but it’s well known that horse riding is a risky sport. We’re taught this from a young age - horses are living, breathing beings who can have moments. As we grow and improve as horse riders, we learn to deal with these moments but not all are within our control.

“It will never happen to me…”

Uncontrollable moments happen. FACT. Your horse might be “bomb-proof” when hacking, might not have bucked, spooked sideways into the road or kicked out at another horse but this doesn’t mean it will never happen. So, is public liability insurance a legal requirement for horse riders?

Cars need to be insured on the roads, but horses don’t. Currently, there is no legal requirement for horses and horse riders to have public liability insurance, however it’s not a good idea to ride without it. If a horse in your care and control causes damage to someone else’s property you could be liable for the damage caused.

Liability claims have increased in the UK over the last five years and without this valuable cover, your assets would be at risk should you be found legally liable for an incident involving your horse.

Examples of claims made under an equine public liability policy:

  • A horse damaging a vehicle
  • An individual sustaining an injury caused by the horse
  • A horse injuring another horse or rider
  • A horse causing an accident after escaping the boundaries of the property
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How does public liability for horse riders work?

As a horse rider, should an incident occur that results in injury to a member of the public, or causes damage to their property, the public liability insurance covers you against subsequent claims made against you. Ensuring you have public liability insurance in place, means you are protected against the cost of compensation to be paid out as well the legal expenses that could be incurred through the claims process.

You don’t have to own a horse to have public liability insurance - if you ride your friend’s horse or loan, it is recommended that you have public liability insurance so you are covered in the event of an incident taking place whilst you are riding the horse. If you’re loaning a horse or pony, we always recommend having a written loan agreement in place covering all activities you will be doing.

Why we include public liability cover with One Club Gold

Horse & Hound recently reported that “Owners must ensure they have the right public liability, even for horses not in their care, or face “losing everything”

That's a stark warning and it may sound dramatic. However, the cost of liability claims for horse riders and owners grows every year. We decided to protect our Gold members with £10million public liability cover because for the price of just a cup of coffee per month it's simply not worth the risk!

When you join The Harry Hall One Club as a Gold Member you will be covered subject to the terms of the policy should your horse escape from its field or spooks while out hacking.

For more information on public liability insurance for horses: