Does My Homeowner Policy Cover My Equine Risk?

“I thought I was covered!” Big lawsuits– and lots of suffering! Sure, if a casual visitor gets injured at your home, then your homeowners’ insurance will probably protect you. But if you have any equine operations, you need a farm/ranch policy. Also note that most homeowner’s policies will not cover your equine exposure off premises regardless of if you own 1 or 50 horses.

Do I Need A Farm Policy?

A farm insurance policy combines the standard coverage offered by a personal homeowner’s policy with commercial property and liability coverage. The benefit of a farm policy is that it can be customized to your needs even If you own 1 acre or 5000.   Ask yourself the following questions; are there more than two or three acres that need coverage, is your property located within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant? Are there additional structures other than a pool house and a garage? Do you have a stable, equipment building or hay barn? What kind of animals are on the property and to whom do they belong? How many horses are there? Are you accepting money or trading services for friends to keep horses on the property? Even if just a few neighbors are boarding horses at your facility that creates a business exposure. If you have more than one or two personal horses, a homeowner’s policy usually is not adequate. Who is working on the property? Is there only an inside domestic or are there people taking care of the horses, other livestock, land and building maintenance? In some states if you need a commercial farm policy a workers' compensation policy may be required if there are more than two agricultural workers.

What is difference between Replacement Cost and Actual Cash Value?

Note about replacement cost and actual cash value:

  • Replacement cost is what you would pay to rebuild or repair your home, based on current construction costs. Replacement cost is different from market value and doesn't include the value of your land. Ask your company if you aren't sure how much it would cost to rebuild your house.

  • Actual cash value is what you would pay to rebuild or replace your property minus depreciation. Depreciation is a decrease in value due to wear and tear or age. If your home is destroyed and you only have actual cash value coverage, you may not be able to completely rebuild.


What are factors that affect my home premium?

Companies use a process called underwriting to decide whether to sell you a policy and what rate to charge you. Each company must file its underwriting guidelines with TDI and send us updates if the guidelines change. Companies use various factors to determine premiums. These include:

  • Your home's age and condition. Companies may refuse to insure homes in poor condition, but they may not deny coverage solely because of a home's age or value. However, most companies will charge you more if you are insuring an older house.

  • Your home's replacement cost. If you have a replacement cost policy, your policy will pay to rebuild your home if it's destroyed. Your premiums will increase in relation to the amount of your replacement cost.

  • Construction materials used in your home. Homes built primarily of brick are less expensive to insure than frame homes.

  • Where you live. Premiums will likely be higher in areas with a higher crime or high storm activity.

  • Availability of local fire protection. Premiums are usually lower for homes in areas with access to good fire protection.

  • Your claims history. Companies use your claims history to determine what to charge you for your coverage. Your claims history includes both the type and the number of claims filed.

  • Your credit score. Companies may consider your credit score when deciding whether to sell you a policy and what to charge you. However, a company can't