Insurance is an ongoing challenge for equine businesses of all sizes. Finding insurance coverage that is affordable while covering all of your needs is no easy feat.
Schellie Blochberger from Russellville, Missouri, has 16 boarders and four lesson horses. She has been in business for the last 20 years. The CHA region 9 representative encourages instructors and barn owners to learn the insurance lingo.
“It’s hard to find companies that understand your scenario,” said Blochberger. “They tend to lump you into a small barn or a big barn category, but you want to learn the lingo so you get the coverage you need.”
She offers three pieces of advice for researching insurance options.
Be specific about the services you’re offering. Insurance agents won’t understand the specifics of your business unless you tell them. Without that additional information, you could be grouped into a category that doesn’t match your services.
“Offering lessons and hosting birthday parties are two different things” for insurance coverage, she said.
Get three quotes. One thing is for sure, insurance isn’t cheap. Shop around for quotes to price compare, but also compare what is being covered for the price. Not all plans offer the same benefits.
Learn the lingo. When you request three quotes, you’re going to fill out a lot of forms. That will help you learn and understand what you’re asking for and what you’re being offered.
“Find out a good agent who understands the business,” she said.
The tricky part about insurance is that you can lie awake at night worrying that you’ll lose everything if you don’t have enough insurance. Or you can insure your stable to the point it bankrupts you. You have to find a balance that provides enough coverage to make you comfortable, while also leaving money in the bank.
It’s always good to talk to your friends in the equine industry about the type of insurance they have, who their broker is and whether they genuinely like that person and feel the broker understands the horse business.