Providing seasonal or year-round Guide & Outfitter services requires you to have a higher level of horse insurance to protect your business because you have a reasonably high liability exposure. Not many insurance companies could provide the level of protection you need to cover your business if something were to happen. Guides & Outfitter operations deliver a variety of services to their clients on private and public lands.
Those services include:
1. Guided day-long and overnight rides on horses or mules for purposes of a scenic tour, or for fishing or hunting in remote areas.
2. Provision of horses or mules and guide services to escort and deliver guests of another company from one point to another; as from a staging area to a remote ranch or camp.
3. Pack Horse or Pack Animal Services whereby operators carry supplies and gear into remote areas to a delivery point, and pack out refuse and other items on a contract basis. Guides & Outfitters may provide riding animals, pack animals and tack, camping gear, fishing equipment, some related clothing, and food for guests while traveling. Perhaps the greatest concern for Guides & Outfitters is the potential for an accident to happen that causes injury to a guest rider or bystander. You are concerned for your financial protection and your responsibilities toward those you serve.
Advertising and promotion at trade shows and travel fairs, in magazines and newspapers, through local flyers and on the internet is an exposure of moderate concern that is usually insured under a GL Policy. Having employees require worker compensation insurance under a separate policy of that type. Worker Compensation insurance is not part of a GL Policy. Some Operators may have host or other liquor liability exposure for providing wine or beer to their guests during social times. While host liquor is insured under the GL policy, Liquor Liability is not and requires additional coverage. Note: Ark Agency does not insure unguided animal rides.
You worry that you may be sued or otherwise have a claim made against you for bodily injury or property damage by a customer, guest or someone else who comes in contact with you or the property that is part of your commercial horse operation. If sued, you will need to hire a lawyer to defend you and you wonder how you would go about doing this. If found negligent or responsible, you would likely have to pay for either a court-ordered or agreed-upon settlement to the injured party. Fortunately, much concern can be relieved when you buy a Commercial General Liability Policy [GL] to insure Guide & Outfitter activities. Commercial General Liability Insurance protects you from financial loss should a guest, visitor, or a trespasser become injured [Bodily Injury] or their property is damaged [Property Damage] in relation to your operations, and they make a claim or file a lawsuit against you for damages.
These operations usually provide supervised and free-time, rugged out-of-doors wilderness activities for guests for longer than an hour or two, and often overnight. Guests may include children that may be difficult to supervise at all times. Locations may be remote. These factors combine to rank such operations in a High-Risk category for incident or injury to happen. Horse activities are reasonably safe compared to many other activities people participate in. Yet, horse-human activities do carry inherent risks. Accidents do happen when people at different stages of capability attempt to touch, handle, train, ride, drive and control large animals that are unpredictable even when well trained. And some horse-human accidents are serious. Even with the best of intentions and management practices anyone can have a claim made against them and be sued.
The General Liability Policy includes specified maximum limits or amounts of liability insurance for:
Medical Expense: Pays for low-cost medical expense with no questions asked about your liability or responsibility in the matter.
Legal Defense Costs: Today court costs and hiring of a lawyer can quickly mount to $50,000 or more, an expense you do not want to come out of your pocket if you are sued and have to hire a lawyer. If sued in relation to this activity, the policy provides legal defense whether the case has merit or not.
Settlement or Claim Costs: For bodily injury and property damages for which you are responsible and held negligent and liable.
When providing Guide & Outfitter services, you can encounter an array of claim incidents. Take a look at the most common claims listed below.
1. A guest becomes injured while riding a horse or mule either from falling off or jumping off and bad weather can contribute to the cause.
2. Non-owned supplies are damaged or lost while being transported.
3. A bystander is injured on the trail when being passed by a pack train.
4. Animals can get loose and cause damage to property.
When your business involves horses and people, you should have an insurance policy that will protect your business. For your convenience, our team at Ark Agency will provide you with a horse insurance quote for different levels of coverage to ensure you are picking the ideal one. Our team also conveniently includes animal life insurance for all types of animals including dogs, cattle, and more.
*General information is provided on this insurance topic. Acting on our coverage recommendations does not guarantee coverage if you have a loss or claim.