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How Much Public Liability Insurance Cover Does Your Riding School Business Need?

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If you run a riding school, you must have Public Liability Insurance (PLI) by law, although the amount of cover you take out is up to you.  But how much cover do you need?  Read on for some advice on how to decide on the level of cover you need for your riding school business.

What does Public Liability Insurance (PLI) cover?

PLI protects you and your business from any claim for damages by any third party who has used or visited your riding school business.  This includes claims arising from allegations of your negligence and for compensation claims following damage to property or personal accident.

PLI covers any third party visiting your premises including:

  • suppliers
  • clients
  • vets
  • farriers
  • physiotherapists
  • dentists
  • other visitors, for example spectators at competitions

Note that you must take out separate Employers Liability Insurance to cover claims that may be made by any staff employed by you.

How much PLI do you need?

The level of PLI cover offered by insurance providers usually varies from $1m up to $10m.  In order to arrive at the right level of cover for your riding school business, you'll need to consider the worst case scenario in the event of a successful claim being made against you.  For example, if you only teach children, use very quiet ponies, and all your lessons take place in an indoor riding school, you may feel that the likelihood of an accident is relatively low.  In this case, you might feel that a cover level of $1m is adequate.

However, if you own a large riding school where adult students take part in potentially hazardous activities such as showjumping and cross country riding, the likelihood of serious injury being sustained during a lesson is quite high, so your cover level should be much higher in order to reflect that.

Other considerations are accidents that might happen outside of lessons.  Think about the ramifications of a horse getting loose from a stable and running onto your car park where it collides with a visitor's brand new car.  Imagine the same scenario except in this instance the horse collides with a visitor's baby in a pushchair.  Claims for incidents such as these could run into millions. 

Always err on the side of pessimism and 'worst case scenarios' when deciding what level of cover you need.

In conclusion

If you run a riding school, you must have PLI by law.  Have a chat with your insurance broker for more information and advice on the level of cover that would be most applicable for your individual circumstances.