Protection for horse and rider

The guides provide general information. Product details of CosmosDirekt can be found on the respective product pages.

Horses are beautiful and powerful animals. But with this power, they can do great damage – albeit without evil will.

As a horse owner you are liable to one hundred percent if your pet causes damage. Every horse owner should take out horse owner liability.

In the guide you will learn everything about the subject of horse liability insurance. A voluntary insurance that not only protects horse owners against financial risks.

Table of Contents

  • Why should you take out a horse liability insurance?

  • What services should be covered by the horse-labor obligation?

  • Who is covered by the horse liability insurance?

  • What does a liability insurance for horses cost?

  • How can I cancel the pet owner liability for my horse?

  • Compare and change are worthwhile

You should know these terms

liability If an own mistake leads to a damage with a third, one must stand for it and replace the damage. Owners of animals are also liable for these if they cause damage to a third party.
compensation If you cause damage to someone else, you are obliged to make amends. Either by paying the repair or by making a sum of money to obtain equivalent replacement.
insurance premium Payment of the policyholder to the insurer.
Liability insurance Provides policyholders with protection against third-party claims for damages arising from statutory liability provisions.

Good that Manuela S. had a horse liability insurance. Because this night the horse fool will not forget so fast. As an avid dressage rider, she dreamed of owning a horse for a long time. With Morgenstern, a brown Hanoverian mare, she fulfilled this wish. The horse was considered eager to learn and had a friendly nature. But one evening the misfortune happened. The crime scene: a small horse farm in the Münsterland, where Manuela S. had housed the mare. Morgenstern burst out of the box. Why, could not be clarified later. At the time, however, there were two girls in Stallgasse. The mare brought her down, both girls were seriously injured. The high treatment and therapy costs as well as the compensation for pain totaled around 125,000 euros. But Manuela S. did not have to pay damages in person, as the liability for the horse was borne by the costs.

Why should you take out a horse liability insurance?

For horse owners, a horse liability insurance is not required by law , but all experts strongly advise to complete a horse liability. Because as a horse owner, you are liable for all damage caused by the horse. The reason for this is the so-called strict liability . It is regulated in the Civil Code and applies to holders of so-called luxury animals. The liability is regulated in § 833 BGB:

“If an animal kills a person or injures a person’s body or health or damages a thing, the person holding the animal is obliged to compensate the injured person for the resulting harm.”

This means: In horses, the owner must assume the strict liability for his animal. The size and weight of the animals speak for it. In the case of strict liability, the nature of the horses is also taken into account. They are the classic escape animals : they frighten themselves or may threaten a danger, horses run away. If they can not do that, defend themselves by kicking or biting. Even horses that are considered to be particularly peaceful and well-balanced show this behavior in extreme situations.

The strict liability does not apply to small animals such as cats, hamsters or budgerigars . If these pets cause damage, the private liability insurance covers the costs. It is different in dogs . Here is a personal liability insurance recommended. More information in our guide dog liability .

Liability insurance for horses not required by law – but useful

A horse-drawn liability insurance should definitely be taken out because of the strict liability and because the owner has to pay in full for all the damages caused to his horse. The liability for the horse is not required by law .

But the liability insurance for the horse prevents the horse owner financially ruined as a result of claims for damages in the millions. Because he is not only liable with his present, but also with his future assets – up to the point at which the damage is replaced. The annual insurance premium hardly weighs against such existential risks. Because damage happens faster than the horse owner believes. Even a bang may be enough for the meek Ross to go through a ride.

Which benefits should the horse liability insurance cover?

As a rule , the liability insurance covers personal, property and property damage caused to third parties by the horse.

  • Personal injury – the injury of a person due to an accident. These include, for example, healing and care costs after bites, falls or other injuries, but also loss of earnings, damages or a lifelong pension
  • Property damage relates to items that are damaged or destroyed by the horse. The liability for the horse replaces the cost of the repair or pays out the time value of the damaged object
  • Financial losses are costs or losses, for example, incurred when the injured party is prevented from pursuing his or her profession due to an accident

In particular, to cover potentially very high personal injury, you should not fall below a coverage of 5 million euros . The coverage is the upper limit up to which the insurance covers the costs incurred. CosmosDirekt even offers a sum insured of 10 million euros in the comfort tariff so that you are completely protected.

rented property

Manuela S. was not only responsible for the damage suffered by the two injured girls. Since Morgenstern had damaged not only the gate, but also the feeding trough and the potions when breaking out of his box, she was also responsible here. Their liability insurance took over the costs but only because Mietsachschäden had been included in the policy previously. If you place your stallion or mare in a rented box, you should insure damage to the rent of the horse. Even if you own a horse that is often housed in foreign horse boxes or that you often transport in rented horse trailers, an inclusion is recommended. Insured are then also damages, which arise at rented riding utensils like saddles, bridles or reins.

crop damage

Land damage is damage caused by the horse on agricultural or horticultural land . The classic: Your horse breaks out of his paddock at night and devastates the nearby potato field of a farmer. Also bite marks on deciduous and coniferous trees, hoof traces on freshly sown fields and comparable damage fall under it. Anyone who travels with his horse a lot in the field or leaves his horses unattended in a paddock or pasture for a longer period of time, should have separate cover for damage to the grounds.

Unwanted deck damage

If a stallion or a mare running in tournaments is unintentionally covered by a stallion, this can have considerable financial consequences for her owner. She is not available for the planned breeding or can not start on the planned tournaments. As in the case of an accident, costs are incurred, most probably for the medical treatment of the mare, possibly also for the rearing of the offspring. This then takes over the liability insurance, which you have completed for your horse. Furthermore threatened loss of earnings and income losses, for which the holder of the stallion can also be held liable. Owners of an uncastrated stallion should have unintentional cover damage damaged. Thus, financial risks can be avoided if the stallion breaks out of his box and then cover a mare.

Insurance of foals

There is no own owner liability for young horses. However, foals can be covered by the maternity insurance. For even a young horse – despite smaller size and weight – already cause considerable damage, it should break out of his box or paddock. Depending on the provider, a free co-insurance is possible for a period of 6 to 12 months. After that the young animal needs own own liability insurance. Above all, horse breeders should include in the mares from the outset extended coverage, as they have to provide regular offspring.

Worldwide insurance cover

Anyone traveling around the world with their mare, for example to participate in competitions and tournaments, should pay attention to the worldwide coverage of horse liability insurance. As a rule, insurance cover is granted abroad for up to one year.

Passive legal protection

Before a reported loss is regulated, the review of the legality of the claims is one of the most important benefits of any horse liability insurance. This means that only justified claims for damages are actually settled. Unjustified claims , on the other hand, are repulsed by the horse- bondage – should it become necessary, even in court. All costs incurred in the legal dispute, for example, for lawyers or appraisers, but also the incurred court and travel costs, then takes over the horse liability.

  • Sum insured at least 5 million euros, flat rate for personal injury and property damage
  • Cover of rented damages in case of accommodation in horse pension or often changing horse boxes
  • crop damage
  • Unwanted deck damage
  • Co-insurance of foals
  • Worldwide insurance cover
  • Passive legal protection

Who is covered by the horse liability insurance?

First of all, the policyholder is protected by the horse liability insurance, ie the animal keeper or the pet owner . From the respective policy depends on whether Reitbeteiligungen, Tierhüter and Fremdreiter are mitabgesichert.

If a riding participation exists

It is relatively common that a horse owner (or owner) with a third person agreed riding participation. Services and consideration are contractually agreed. The person is allowed to ride with the horse, for which she participates for example in the maintenance costs for the horse. If you, as a horse owner, enable riding participation, this circumstance should also be included in the animal husbandry liability for your horse. For if the riding participation suffers a damage during an outing, for example by a bite, you can be reclaimed as a holder. In the same way, damages caused by your horse riding during riding should be covered.

If someone cares for the horse

The term animal keeper refers to someone who has taken over the supervision of the horse for a certain period of time and acts independently. This may not be a paid job, but an occasional courtesy or friendship service. Animal keepers must be included separately in some liability insurance for horses. Watch out for pet keepers, for example, if you want to ask a friend to take care of your horse while you and your family are on vacation. Otherwise there is no insurance coverage for your friend.

When someone stranger rides the horse

Also Fremdreiter are not included in every liability. This term refers to all persons who ride on horseback at irregular intervals and pay nothing for it . This may be the daughter of a friendly couple, who would like to ride with their horse during a visit, but also the neighbor children or the acquaintances who would like to come on a horseback ride. Especially inexperienced riders can not always understand the “language of horses” correctly. This does not matter if they are injured during a ride. Because due to the strict liability of the horse owner is responsible. With the inclusion of foreign riders you secure against financial claims that are related. Damage can happen quickly: During a ride, your friend suddenly gets hit by the horse, it then throws it off and your friend gets hurt badly on the head.

What does a liability insurance for horses cost?

Various factors influence the level of the premium for the liability insurance:

  • Tariff: A tariff with very many benefits will usually cost a bit more than a basic horse liability, which includes only a basic cover and a minimum sum insured of 5 million euros. Other factors include:
  • Deductible: If a deductible is agreed, the policyholder pays all damages up to the agreed amount himself. Only all costs that go beyond that are covered by the horse liability.
  • Contract period: The longer the contract is concluded from the outset, the more favorable the annual premium.


CosmosDirekt offers a five-year discount to customers who commit to five years, and ten percent to ten years of their contract. Here you can find out more about our animal husbandry liability and how you can insure your horse.

Basic protection Comprehensive
Baseline protection
Comfort protection top protection with
many extras
Package for personal injury and property damage € 5 million € 10 million
financial losses 250,000 € € 1 million
rented property   100,000 €
Stay abroad for up to 1 year    
crop damage    
Unwanted deck damage    
Co-insurance of the offspring up to 6 months    
Annual premium for 1 year (with 250 € deductible / without SB) 1 98.51 euros / 123.14 euros 131.72 euros / 164.67 euros
Annual premium for 5 years (with 250 Euro SB / without SB) 1 93.58 euros / 116.98 euros 125.13 euros / 156.44 euros
Annual premium for 10 years (with 250 Euro SB / without SB) 1 88.66 euros / 110.82 euros 118.55 euros / 148.20 euros
  • 1 For an insured horse

How can I cancel the animal husbandry liability insurance for my horse?

As with many other insurances, you can terminate the animal husbandry liability for your horse in two ways: ordinary and extraordinary.

The ordinary termination

Ordinary termination is always possible at the end of an insurance year. In the case of the risk of injury, the period of notice which you must pay is usually three months . This means that at the latest on this date, the written notice must be received by your current insurer, preferably by registered letter. Otherwise, the liability insurance will be extended for another year.

For many insurers you can also take out the horse liability insurance for several years. You can reduce the insurance premium through five- or ten-year contracts. With such a multi-year animal owner liability for the horse, which runs three years or longer, you can not terminate properly until expiration of the third insurance year.

Main liability for horse-drawn
Deadline *
01.01. 30.09.
1.2. 31.10.
3.1. 30.11.
01.04. 31.12.
01.05. 31.01.
6.1. 28.02. / 29.02.
01.07. 31.03.
8.1. 30.04.
1.9. 31.05.
01.10. 30.06.
11.1. 31.07.
1.12. 31.08.

The extraordinary termination

In the following circumstances, you can also terminate the horse liability insurance extraordinarily:

  • Damage was regulated by the liability of the horse
  • Your insurer has increased the premium without improving benefits

In these cases, the period of notice is one month from receipt of the notification from the insurer, for example about the premium increase.

Termination of the contract after death or sale

If your horse dies or sells, you do not have to cancel the pet owner liability that you had for your horse. You can cancel the contract with immediate effect . All you need to do is inform your insurer. Attach the appropriate proof of death or sale to the letter. The insurer then proportionally reimburses the already paid premium for the liability of the horse.

Horse liability insurance: Compare and change is worthwhile

The horse owner liability insurance is one of the insurance that every horse owner should have completed . Although it is not required by law, but the horse owner can with her own financial ruin at very manageable costs to prevent. In addition to a favorable premium , the scope and amount of benefits in choosing the right liability insurance for your horse also play an important role. You should definitely pay attention to the highest possible sum insured, so that you are protected even in the case of serious personal injury.

Before deciding on a specific pet owner liability for your horse, you should compare the different offers : Are all risks covered? Are there any people who regularly or occasionally ride the horse and need additional security? For stallions, it makes sense to include unintentional cover damage in the horse liability, broodmares the free co-insurance of foals.

If you have found your provider with a good and favorable horse liability insurance, you can cancel by the next deadline at the latest.