Equine Liability

Don't fall at the first hurdle on your customer's cover


Brendan Ryan       Brendan Ryan, Development Underwriter



Brendan Ryan, BA, CIP is Development Underwriter at Patrona Underwriting Limited with responsibility for the Equine portfolio along with other portfolios within the Commercial Business unit at Patrona.

The Irish Equine industry is thriving. It is world-renowned for the quality and excellence of the progeny produced along with the high calibre of industry professionals who produce, train and compete within it. The correct insurance cover is crucial to safeguard it. The industry is wide ranging from Associations, Clubs, Professional Trainers (Racehorse and Sporthorse), Thoroughbred and Non-Thoroughbred Studs and Breeding Yards to the basic Private Yards where horses are held for simple pleasure to highlight a few.

Over recent years a concerning trend has been identified by Patrona Underwriting. This is the increasing lack of clarity for consumers and brokers in regard to trades and activities included under the covers of Equine Liability policies and that stated in policy schedules. When we consider the vast array of risk possibilities within any of the industry businesses, Consumers, Brokers and Insurers alike must consider:

  • Are we all fully aware of the exact risk posed in each individual entity, business or yard?

  • Was the risk clearly shown and stated on the proposal form or renewal declaration?

  • Did the consumer get the opportunity to disclose the risk in full?

  • Is the schedule of cover reflecting the risk in full?

  • Does the policy schedule and wording suitably cater for the risk to correctly provide appropriate covers?


Duty of disclosure: The duty of disclosure and allowance for a consumer to make a disclosure is vital to the contract of insurance. The requirement around this falls to all parties involved.

Insurer: The Insurer must give the consumer the opportunity to disclose all relevant information. The Insurer will base any offer of terms on this information, so they must be assured they have been provided with full information on all risk and activities. 

Broker/Agent: The broker/agent provides fair and impartial information and advice to the consumer.

Consumer: The consumer must provide full information on all known potential risk and activities to the Insurer.


Business Descriptions – Outline of the potential issues 


Trades and Activities:

The questions posed earlier are the key for all parties (Insurer, Broker and Consumer) to make sure risks are correctly declared, understood and covered. At Patrona Underwriting we see risks presented to us on a regular basis where the business, trade or activities are not stated in full and through our expertise we seek out and identify the full extent of these trades. 

To outline a few common examples where lack of clarity around in business descriptions include: 



Trade/Activity usual

understaning and definition

Other possible activities with theses trades


Agricultural Farmer

Any Equine stock held must be disclosed.

Common understanding of “Farmer” would not

include any Equine risk

Stud Farm

Horses are bred and Stallions are stood for breeding purposes

(a) Hold Private horses for private hacking,

(b) Carry out horse breaking

Riding School

An establishment that provides horse riding lessons with necessary horses and equipment to third parties for a fee

(a) Have Cross Country Courses with specific uses

(b) Hire of Facilities, (c) Open shows,

(d) Livery and Private horses,

(e) Trekking and Trail Riding


The message from Patrona Underwriting Limited is simple:

The policy schedule and document, read together must reflect and support the risk in full. This prevents disagreements at a later date and possible declinature or reduction in the settlement value of a claim due to non-disclosure.