Leasing question - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 03-17-2016, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: NY
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Leasing question

I'm not new to horses, but I've never leased out a horse before. (Sorry, didn't know exactly where to post this)
I am currently extremely busy, and therefore I don't have a lot of time to ride my horse.
I think she'd definitely benefit from being ridden a lot more often, and having someone who can give her all the time I can't give her anymore.

I just have a few questions on what is required of me insurance wise and whatnot. I don't want to lease out a horse without doing it right. I know I'll definitely need contracts and stuff written up, but I've read so many different things about how all the insurance stuff works. I've read from "You don't need to insure your horse, the person leasing it from you will insure it." to, "You need to have your horse insured!"
My horse is by no means some beautiful show horse thats worth a whole ton of money, but I want to be sure if she is hurt in this other persons care, I am not responsible for extremely high vet bills.

tldr: Do I need insurance on my horse, or does the person leasing from me need the insurance? Or can it work either way?
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post #2 of 11 Old 03-17-2016, 12:17 PM
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When I leased Odie off the property, the leasee had to carry insurance. If he was on our property, I wrote it in the contract that any injury directly caused by their negligence or while with them was their responsibility.

"Just because I don't do things your way, doesn't mean I don't have a clue"
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post #3 of 11 Old 03-17-2016, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: NY
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Thank you for the quick response.
I would like the lease to be on my property, and I would have something like that written into the contract.
Now will a contract also cover something along the lines of if the person gets hurt? (such as thrown off the horse, kicked, etc) or could they still sue me around the contract?
I know this is different than insuring the horse because in this case the person would be injured, not the horse.
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post #4 of 11 Old 03-17-2016, 12:47 PM
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People can sue you no matter what they sign. The "inherent risk" laws vary from state to state so you should look up what they are in NY. In my state (Oregon) they're well written to acknowledge that horse riding is a risky activity and by participating in it you take that risk upon yourself. This will still not cover my liability if I do something stupid that gets someone else hurt, such as misrepresenting a horse as safe to a beginner when I know it has a history of dangerous behavior.

If you have homeowner's or renter's insurance you probably have some amount of liability protection through them. You may consider also getting an umbrella insurance policy with higher liability protection.

As for the horse, there's no requirement to have major medical, whether you're leasing the horse out or not. Few people are willing to sign a contract agreeing to all possible vet bills while they're leasing though (a big part of why people lease is to avoid large unexpected expenses like colic surgery!) If you don't have it written out in advance who is responsible for medical costs, it will be yours to cover either with your own insurance policy or your own cash.

It's entirely acceptable to require the leasee to take out a medical insurance policy on the horse, with you listed as the beneficiary. Do your research ahead of time and state specific coverages required in the lease contract, as well as who pays any deductibles in the event of an illness or injury.

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post #5 of 11 Old 03-17-2016, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: NY
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Unfortunately NY doesn't have those laws, they're one of like four states that don't, of course.
They just tell you if you are renting out a horse you MUST offer the rider a helmet no matter age, or experience (they are required by law to use one if under 14), and the knowledge that a horse can be a dangerous animal. And as long as you offer the helmet, the rest of the risk is on them. They tell you to sign a contract that a helmet was offered to them, so if they receive a head injury that falls into their fault.

The property my horses are on is a camp, so I am fairly certain the property owner has it insured in case of any accidents (the lease would be done with his permission, so I'm sure his insurance would cover it even though they're my horses).

I would only have the person responsible for vet bills if the reason they are seeing the vet is at their own fault. I'd like to have the person take out their own insurance on the horse (if they want) where they would pay the copays in case of an injury caused by them. If they choose not to take out insurance on the horse, I'd hold them responsible for the full vet bill in the case of injury. I'm pretty sure that's an option, but I'm not 100% sure.
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post #6 of 11 Old 03-18-2016, 11:49 AM
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I lease a horse in the state of MO and we have the inherent risk law also. Every lease is different as I understand per the contract. This was my first lease too. I own a horse but my reason for leasing was for a break from the expenses as I have had several horses with medical expenses due to issues they had when I bought them. (long story and have learned a lot!)

Having said that, I am also responsible and always take care of anything that's my responsibility such as if I break something, I fix it regardless of obligation as I was raised that way. Not to mention I am careful and cautious anyway. So, when my leasor included vet/farrier bills in the event I caused harm to the horse, that was no issue. We do have insurance where I board, but I'm not sure that covers me or her in the event of an incident. My assumption is that it would only protect the barn from liability.

Our discussion for lease was that the horse was to stay on the property but can leave with permission. Initially, I was not permitted to take him off property. Since my lease and seeing how great care I take of the horse, I do have permission provided I give notice to take the horse off property for trail rides etc. I do know some provide permission for the horse to be boarded off property so again that all comes down to what you work out with the leasee and contract accordingly.

IMO your decision on vet/farrier bills in terms of responsibility is very reasonable as well as leaving it up to them in terms of insurance. In regard to your liability, I would contact an insurance agent to see exactly what your liability may be if you're concerned about any unforseen incidents in your state.
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post #7 of 11 Old 03-22-2016, 01:12 AM
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I would think it depends on the laws in your state regarding livestock. It also varies from lease to lease.

One of my mares is leased out off property for show season. I have insurance on her (that covers death as well). Leasee covers all routine vet care regardless of cost. If an emergency or non-routine visit should arrise, the leaser pays up to $300 per individual vet visit (so if ongoing care is needed, they still pay up to $300 each time the vet needs to come out if it is related to said non-routine incident). I pay anything above that.
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post #8 of 11 Old 03-22-2016, 06:28 AM
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: North Carolina, USA
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In general, how much do insurance policies cost per month?

And when you have the lessee purchase insurance do you charge an additional monthly lease fee on top of that?
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post #9 of 11 Old 03-22-2016, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by LincolnNC View Post
In general, how much do insurance policies cost per month?

And when you have the lessee purchase insurance do you charge an additional monthly lease fee on top of that?
Insurance will vary based on location and type of insurance. Here in the midwest its about $180 yearly for mortality insurance and covers a colic incident. Medical can vary greatly. I heard of a fellow boarder who paid like $400 for medical but I never could find out who it was through. It was a lifesaver for her when her horse suffered a suspensory injury.

As far as the lease goes...it will really depend on your needs and what your leasee is able/willing to do. Sometimes it can be helpful to look on some local equine classifieds to see what others are leasing contracts and terms for.
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post #10 of 11 Old 03-22-2016, 10:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
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THere may be some policies which have only medical but none that I know of.

When a life insurance policy is involved the insurance company has final say as to if the horse can be euthanized due to a career ending injury or illness. For example, if a horse shatters a leg & is PTS before getting permission the company can refuse payment. Or if the horse becomes only pasture sound they can also refuse to pay because technically it doesn't 'need' to be PTS.
The value of the horse also comes into play.

Read the fine print.
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