Washington RCW 4.24.530


  • Sign Required:  No
  • Release Required:  No
  • Date Enacted:  1989


Rev. Code Wash. (ARCW) § 4.24.530 (1994)

§ 4.24.530. Limitations on liability for equine activities – – Definitions

Unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the definitions in this section apply to RCW 4.24.500, 4.24.510, and section 3, chapter 292, Laws of 1989.

(1) “Equine” means a horse, pony, mule, donkey, or hinny.

(2) “Equine activity” means: (a) Equine shows, fairs, competitions, performances, or parades that involve any or all breeds of equines and any of the equine disciplines, including, but not limited to, dressage, hunter and jumper horse shows, grand prix jumping, three-day events, combined training, rodeos, driving, pulling, cutting, polo, steeplechasing, endurance trail riding and western games, and hunting; (b) equine training and/or teaching activities; (c) boarding equines; (d) riding, inspecting, or evaluating an equine belonging to another whether or not the owner has received some monetary consideration or other thing of value for the use of the equine or is permitting a prospective purchaser of the equine to ride, inspect, or evaluate the equine; and (e) rides, trips, hunts, or other equine activities of any type however informal or impromptu that are sponsored by an equine activity sponsor.

(3) “Equine activity sponsor” means an individual, group or club, partnership, or corporation, whether or not the sponsor is operating for profit or nonprofit, which sponsors, organizes, or provides the facilities for, an equine activity including but not limited to: Pony clubs, 4- H clubs, hunt clubs, riding clubs, school and college sponsored classes and programs, therapeutic riding programs, and, operators, instructors, and promoters of equine facilities, including but not limited to stables, clubhouses, ponyride strings, fairs, and arenas at which the activity is held.

(4) “Participant” means any person, whether amateur or professional, who directly engages in an equine activity, whether or not a fee is paid to participate in the equine activity.

(5) “Engages in an equine activity” means a person who rides, trains, drives, or is a passenger upon an equine, whether mounted or unmounted, and does not mean a spectator at an equine activity or a person who participates in the equine activity but does not ride, train, drive, or ride as a passenger upon an equine.

(6) “Equine professional” means a person engaged for compensation (a) in instructing a participant or renting to a participant an equine for the purpose of riding, driving, or being a passenger upon the equine, or, (b) in renting equipment or tack to a participant.

§ 4.24.540. Limitations on liability for equine activities – – Exceptions

(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, an equine activity sponsor or an equine professional shall not be liable for an injury to or the death of a participant engaged in an equine activity, and, except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, no participant nor participant’s representative may maintain an action against or recover from an equine activity sponsor or an equine professional for an injury to or the death of a participant engaged in an equine activity.

(2) (a) RCW 4.24.530 and 4.24.540 do not apply to the horse racing industry as regulated in chapter 67.16 RCW.

(b) Nothing in subsection (1) of this section shall prevent or limit the liability of an equine activity sponsor or an equine professional:

(i) If the equine activity sponsor or the equine professional:

(A) Provided the equipment or tack and the equipment or tack caused the injury; or

(B) Provided the equine and failed to make reasonable and prudent efforts to determine the ability of the participant to engage safely in the equine activity, determine the ability of the equine to behave safely with the participant, and determine the ability of the participant to safely manage the particular equine;

(ii) If the equine activity sponsor or the equine professional owns, leases, rents, or otherwise is in lawful possession and control of the land or facilities upon which the participant sustained injuries because of a dangerous latent condition which was known or should have been known to the equine activity sponsor or the equine professional and for which warning signs have not been conspicuously posted;

(iii) If the equine activity sponsor or the equine professional commits an act or omission that constitutes willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant and that act or omission caused the injury;

(iv) If the equine activity sponsor or the equine professional intentionally injures the participant;

(v) Under liability provisions as set forth in the products liability laws; or

(vi) Under liability provisions in chapter 16.04, 16.13, or 16.16 RCW.

HISTORY: 1989 c 292 § 2.

Instant Online Mortality Quotes – Part 3 of 3 (Buying the Coverage)

Question:  Now that I have the quote that I want to purchase, how do I convert this into a policy?

Answer:  This article describes how to purchase the coverages you’ve quoted online at www.insureyourhorse.com/quotePart One of this series describes how to obtain an instant online mortality quote for your horses and Part Two describes how to add coverage enhancements like Medical, Surgical and Loss of Use to your quote.

Buying the Coverage

Once you’ve determined which insurance company and coverages you want, refer to the “Application Forms Required” section under each animal for a list of items that we’ll need from you in order to start your coverage.  The list of requirements will vary from horse to horse, and from one company to another depending upon your answers to the basic horse information questions, as well as the optional coverages chosen.

In the “Application Forms” list under the first horse, you’ll find a document titled “How to Begin Coverage”.   It contains a general overview of the information required and how to submit your request to us.  You’ll also find a mortality coverage flyer, payment instructions, a full mortality application (applicable to all horses) as well as any health documentation and value support requirements.   The full mortality application and payment instructions are applicable to all horses.  The health and value support requirements are specific to this horse.  If more than one horse has been quoted, there will be a list of application forms required for that horse.

Clicking on the  icon or form name will open that document in a new window.   Download the form to your computer and complete / sign / save it using Adobe Acrobat Reader.  Email the completed / signed forms to mortality@insureyourhorse.com.    If you prefer to complete and sign each document from within your web browser, you’ll need to print the completed documents and fax them to us at (866) 207-6953.  Web browsers do not easily allow you to save completed PDF forms to your desktop.  Downloading a completed form will cause the data you’ve entered to be erased.

The last step in the process to begin coverage is to pay your premium.  Three of our partners bill the customer directly.  This means that you will receive a bill for your premium amount after the policy has been issued.  These insurance companies also give you the ability to pay your premium in installments instead of all at once.  The number of installment options offered generally depends upon your policy’s premium amount.

  • Great American has the most flexible billing options, offering Annual, Semiannual, Quarterly and Monthly options for all premium levels.
  • Berkley Equine & Cattle (StarNet Insurance Company) offers one, two and three payment options at any premium level. They have a four installment option for policies with a premium of at least $1,000, and five and six installment options when your premium exceeds $2,500.
  • American Reliable offers one and two installment options for premiums of $500 or more and a four installment option for premiums of $1,000 or more.

Our other two programs (American Equine and The Hartford) require premiums to be paid to Equine Insurance Specialists.  No installment options are available for these programs.  Payments are paid online at the same time the application is submitted to us for binding.  We accept payment by electronic check and credit card (Mastercard, Visa, Discover and American Express) through our online payment portal at www.insureyourhorse.com/customer-payments.  When submitting your payment, include “New Policy” in the description / invoice or policy number field of the payment window.

If your request is received during business hours, you will be contacted soon after your application (and payment, if necessary) are received.  We will either confirm that coverage has been bound, or request additional documentation or answers to questions based upon your submission.  If your submission / payment are received outside of normal business hours, we’ll contact you on the next business day.  A formal binder will be sent to you within one business day of our confirmation of coverage bound, and your policy will follow within a couple of weeks.  The invoice for your premium payment, if necessary, will arrive shortly after your policy.

Instant Online Mortality Quotes – Part 2 of 3 (Adding Optional Coverages)

Question:  I’ve just used your website to get a mortality quote.  How do I add coverage options like medical, surgical and loss of use to my quote? 

Answer:  This post describes how to add optional coverages to full mortality proposals at insureyourhorse.com/quote.  For information about obtaining an instant online mortality quote for your horses, refer to Part one of this series. Part three describes how to purchase the coverages that you’ve quoted online.

Coverage Options

The initial quote provided by our site includes Full Mortality coverage and the automatic enhancements (Emergency Colic Surgery, Agreed Value, etc.) for each company quoted.  Optional coverages like Major Medical, Surgical, Stallion Infertility and Loss of Use may be added to your proposal by clicking the “+ Add / Edit Optional Coverages” link underneath the quote for each horse.  Here you may choose from the complete list of enhancements available for your horse from that company.  NOTE: The coverages shown on this page are the only options available for your horse from that company.

Add an optional coverage to your proposal by clicking on the radio button or check box next to the desired coverage.   The “Quote Summary” box on the right side of the page by will immediately update with the added optional coverage and pricing, showing you the total cost for that horse.  To change coverages, simply select a different option from the set or choose the “None” option to remove that coverage from the proposal.  Once the desired coverages have been chosen, click the “Submit” button at the bottom of the page to return to the Mortality Proposal for that company.  The horse you are working with will be updated to include any coverage selected on the previous page.  If multiple horses are being quoted, you’ll need to repeat this process for each horse.

Because the coverage offerings are different from one company to the next, any “Optional Coverage” you select will only apply to that horse and that proposal.  If multiple horses have been quoted, you’ll need to add any desired options to every horse.  Each company’s underwriting guidelines are different, so be sure to check out the optional coverages offered under all the proposal tabs shown in order to make sure that you’ve selected coverage options with the terms and pricing that best suits your needs and budget.

The final post in this series explains the process of converting your proposal to a policy, insuring the horses you’ve just quoted.

Instant Online Mortality Quotes – Part 1 of 3 (The Initial Proposal)

Question: I’m interested in equine mortality insurance, but I don’t know how much it will cost.  Is there an easy way to get a mortality quote right now without having to wait for someone to get back to me?

Answer: Whether you own or lease your horse, have a horse on trial or plan to import a horse from outside of the US, it’s never been easier to determine the cost to insure your horse.  There’s no need to submit your information online, only to learn that you now need to wait for someone to get back to you.  Equine Insurance Specialists is the only place on the web that offers instant online mortality quotes from multiple insurance companies.  After entering some basic information about you and your horse on our site, just click the “Next Step” button at the bottom of the page, you’ll instantly receive mortality quotes from up to five different insurance companies.  Here’s how it works:

Enter Your Information

Visit www.insureyourhorse.com/quote and enter some basic information about you and your horse.

  • Your horse’s name.
  • Your state of residence.
  • Horse’s breed, age and sex.
  • Desired mortality insurance limit.
  • Primary use (select all that apply).
  • Additional information applicable to this horse (select all that apply):
    • Sum insured is greater than purchase price.
    • Prior claim, injury or illness within the last 12 months?
    • Purchased within the last 30 days?
    • Currently insured with another company.

Verify that all the information entered is accurate and click the “Next Step” button to receive proposals from up to five different insurance companies.  You can view the various proposals by clicking on each of the insurance company tabs at the top of the proposal section.  The green tab is the current proposal displayed, and the tabs shown in gray are your other proposals.  Not all companies are able to insure every horse.  If the proposal page shows fewer than five tabs, then the State of Residence / Age / Breed / Use or Value that you entered has disqualified one or more companies from offering a quote.

Multiple Horses

To add additional horses, click the “+ Add Another Horse” link on the proposal page.  The data entry page will be the almost same as before, just without the State of Residence.   Verify that all the information entered for each subsequent horse is accurate and click the “Next Step” button.  There’s no limit to the number of horses that may be added to a proposal.

The second post in this series describes the process for adding optional coverages like Medical, Surgical and Loss of Use to your proposal.

Why Choose Equine Insurance Specialists?

Why should I choose Equine Insurance Specialists to handle my insurance needs?

As one of the largest specialty brokerage firms in the country, Equine Insurance Specialists has been a leader in the horse insurance marketplace for nearly thirty years.  We were the first to offer instant online mortality insurance quotes for horses.  To this day, we remain the only broker in the world to offer a comparative rating service that provides instant online mortality quotes from multiple insurance companies.  Feel free to compare coverages and terms for yourself at www.insureyourhorse.com.

Our agents are located in Lexington, KY and Wellington, FL – two major hubs of horse activity in the US.  Since we are licensed in all US States except Alaska and Hawaii, we are able to write your coverage virtually anywhere in the country.  We also have the ability to write coverage on a worldwide basis for buyers looking to import a horse from outside of the US, or clients who are sending their valuable animals to other countries to train, race and show for extended periods of time.

Our name says it all:  Equine Insurance Specialists.  Crafting comprehensive insurance solutions for horse owners, horse farms, instructors and trainers and horse-related businesses such as boarding, breeding, training, riding instruction, sales, events, etc. is all we do.  As specialists in this narrow segment of the insurance marketplace, we have deep knowledge of and direct relationships with the best insurance companies that cover horses and related risks.  This means that we’re not just able to “get you a quote”.  Our experienced staff will design a competitive insurance solution for you from among the best programs the industry has to offer.  We’ll also work with you as your business grows or your needs change in order to ensure that your insurance solution is as comprehensive and competitive in five to ten years as it is today.

Got questions?  Give us a call to ensure you have the best solution to protect your investment.

Does my homeowners insurance cover incidental boarding?

Does my homeowners insurance cover incidental boarding?  I’m only keeping one or two horses for a friend or family member.  This is one of the most frequently-asked questions that we receive.  All too often, the answer to this question is learned too late.  This article describes several claim scenarios and explains how the typical homeowners may or may not respond, and why.  It also includes an easy, low cost solution to the shortcomings of homeowners insurance.

Exposures & Claim Scenarios

There are numerous exposures that exist when caring for non-owned horses.

  • The nonowned horse may injure itself or damage property that belongs to someone else. This might happen if it were to escape from its pasture and be struck by a passing car.
  • A third party may also be injured by a nonowned horse in your care. Referring to the example above, the driver or occupants of the car which strikes that horse on the road may easily be injured or killed in the accident, resulting in an expensive bodily injury lawsuit.
  • Conditions at premises where nonowned horses are kept or ridden may cause bodily injury to a rider or third party. A boarded horse may trip or stumble over soft or loose terrain, causing  a rider to fall and become injured.
  • Finally, the horse may be injured or killed as a result of the care it receives (or didn’t receive). Moldy hay or a lack of enough fresh water to drink might cause a horse to colic and possibly die if prompt medical care isn’t provided.
Little To No Protection

Will your homeowner’s policy adequately protect you in the event of a claim involving a horse you’re caring for? The short answer is “probably not”. There are a couple of reasons why incidental boarding isn’t likely covered by your homeowners insurance, or if coverage does exist, it would only provide a minimal amount of protection.

Business Pursuits Exclusion

The liability coverage afforded under a homeowner’s policy is intended to protect an individual and his or her family members for activities and exposures one would typically have as an “individual”. Whether it’s a baseball that was accidentally thrown through a neighbor’s window or a visitor slipping on ice-covered stairs that weren’t cleared in anticipation of visitors, the homeowners policy is there to respond. However, these policies exclude coverage for liability arising out of the “Business Pursuits” of an insured. Business pursuits are commonly defined as a “continual or recurrent activity carried out for financial gain”. For this reason, the fact that a fee is charged in exchange for care would prevent your homeowner’s policy from protecting you in the event of a claim.

Damage to Property of Others

What if you’re just keeping your friend’s horse as a favor, with no fee charged? This is another area where your homeowners insurance might still let you down. Many popular homeowners policies include up to $1,000 of protection for damage to property of others caused by an insured. Others may include a smaller amount of protection or exclude it entirely. At claim time though, $1,000 isn’t much coverage considering the price of horses and the cost of veterinary care these days. Also, all of these policies exclude claims arising from business activities, as mentioned above.

The Solution!

Obtaining the proper liability protection is essential for anyone who is planning to board horses that don’t belong to them. Not only should it include adequate protection for Bodily Injury and Property Damage, it should also be properly endorsed to include coverage for injury or death to non-owned horses in the Care, Custody or Control of the insured. The cost of a policy which includes these essential protections starts out around $500 – $600 per year. In addition to a relatively small premium cost, many insurance companies offer low-cost installment options, which make it possible to cash-flow your premiums in conjunction with your boarding income. Finally, obtaining a quote and purchasing the coverage is quick and easy.  In some cases may even be completed all in one day, although it generally takes a little longer.

When considering this post, please keep in mind that no two scenarios are identical. This is just a general overview of some of the risks associated with relying on homeowners insurance to cover your boarding exposures. For coverage advice, please consult directly with an Equine Insurance Specialists representative. You may reach us at (800) 723-9414 or by email at info@insureyourhorse.com. Visit us online at insureyourhorse.com and on Facebook.

Insuring Your Farm Personal Property

Because no two farms are identical, farm policies are written with a great deal of flexibility to cover the property insurance needs of individual farm owners.  For this reason, there is no automatic farm personal property coverage afforded under the typical farm policy.  This gives you the ability to purchase just the coverages you need, and update them as your needs change.


A Picture is Worth a Thousand… Dollars?

Understanding the Legal Right of Publicity

With an ear-to-ear grin as you proudly sit astride your gleaming horse, you grasp a big blue ribbon. This photograph graces the walls of your home and can be seen in the homes of your relatives and friends. But what happens if, one day, a major equine goods manufacturer uses that picture on its products and advertisements nationwide — without your permission? Do you have any legal rights?

Possibly, yes. This article generally examines the legal right of publicity. (more…)

Why did You Settle that Case?

A horrible nightmare has come true. During a casual Sunday afternoon trail ride, your friend fell off your horse. Now, several months later, he is suing you. You know you have powerful defenses. The horse he fell from — your elderly and practically “bomb-proof” gelding — barely moves and has never thrown a rider. You distinctly recall hearing your friend say that he lost his balance as he reached to pick an apple while the horse stood grazing. He also told you that he was “100% OK” after he fell. Since the incident, your friend never missed a day of work, has no scars, and his life seems no different than it was before he rode your horse. (more…)

Will Your Corporation Limit Your Personal Liability?

Nine Suggestions for Taking Your Corporation Seriously so that Others Will Too.

Who needs a corporation? Possibly, you. The corporation’s main benefit is that it can serve as a liability shield — that is, individuals running the corporation are typically immunized from personal liability for liabilities arising out of the corporation’s activities. This can be especially desirable if your equine business faces the risk of a lawsuit that could exceed even the highest liability insurance limits. The corporation is also desirable if you seek to protect your personal assets from obligations or debts of the corporation.