Equine-assisted therapy insurance is a relatively recent addition to the insurance industry. Once there was a rise in therapeutic disabled horse riding in the 1970s, a new type of liability insurance need emerged. Around 1998, additional types of equine assisted therapies, such as growth and development, and equine assisted learning, developed as important services. Today, we have identificed six different types of equine assisted therapies. Some involve riding a horse, and some involve obsersation of horses in problem solving scenarios. Some involve ground work of a horse that may or may not be hands-on for the client. One type is the provision of horses and horse handling services to assist a professional psychotherapist in serving the needs of their clients. Many equine liability insurers do not understand the equine assisted therpy exposures and are wary of insuring them due to this lack of expertise. At Ark International Group, we have provided comprehensive general liability policies in all 50 states for over 40 years. We have long-term experience at insuring equine assisted therapy services, and we remain available to insure these unique activities.
Although horseback riding and ground work is generally well-supervised and safe for these activities, the insurance industry considers it a moderate to moderately high-risk activity. That’s because there is the inherent risk of bodily injury to individuals who are not adequately familiar with horses, often lack good balance either on the ground or while riding, and are not familiar with what to expect while riding, working with or around a horse. While rare, accidents can happen, and given the size and strength of horses, these accidents can sometimes be severe. At Ark International Group, we underwrite liability policies intended to insure your exposure to this potential liability for equine assisted therapeutic services.
Specifically, your policy will include specified coverage limits in three areas: medical expenses, legal defense costs, and claim settlement costs. In most equine-assisted services cases, incidents that result in claims happen for one of two reasons. Either the handler loses control of the animal, injuring either the client or someone else in the vicinity, or the client aggravates the existing injury the therapy was intended to treat.
When you use your horse for therapy-related purposes, you can be responsible for the safety of the clients being treated and served . As a professional horse handler, you know how to handle your horse and how to communicate with clients about interacting with the animal. But it’s still necessary to protect yourself by carrying the appropriate insurance coverage. Our agents are here if you would like to discuss equine-assisted therapy insurance further. We are happy to provide more details about premiums, coverage maximums, and more.
Disclaimer: This article constitutes general information only, and may not apply to each and every situation.