In a sue-happy society, protecting yourself and your business should be at the forefront of any farriers’ minds. Though there may be a tendency to think liability insurance is not necessary in your shoeing business, you may want to think again.
Mark Paine, owner and instructor of the Sierra Horseshoeing School in Bishop, Calif., recommends liability insurance depending on the monetary value of the horses you’re shoeing.
“If the average horse you work on is worth more than $20,000, you should carry liability insurance. If you are shoeing mostly backyard horses, then maybe it’s not necessary,” he says.
Paine encourages his students to evaluate their personal situation. “If they know most of their owners personally and have a personal relationship and the value of the horses they work on are under $20,000, I don’t think it makes much sense to carry liability insurance.
“But if you don’t know your customers or you are working on horses owned by a group or syndicate of associates rather than an individual person, things tend to be handled in a more litigious way,” Paine says.
Pat Mullins, director of association programs at Markel Insurance in Glen Allen, Va., disagrees, noting that one of the unfortunate criteria for insurance that many farriers look at is the value of the horses they’re working on. “Many farriers think if they only work on horses valued at $1,000, for example, they can pay that out of their pocket. The fallacy with that is what…