What to Insure
Protecting pricey tack begins with deciding what to insure and for how much, said Brittany Kochiss. CPIA, of Daigle & Travers Insurance, in Darien, Connecticut.
“When looking at insuring individual items it’s a personal preference but, when you are spending $500 or more on anything horse related, including custom riding boots or bridles, I would recommend looking into insuring them,” she said. “With high-end-quality saddles easily cost $5,000 or more, I strongly recommend covering at least your saddle.”
Kochiss said tack is generally covered under the owner’s homeowners’ insurance policy. Policy holders can schedule—or itemize—the saddles, bridle, show halters, or other items covered, or they can choose blanket coverage, which insures the total value of all tack and horse-related items with a per-item limit.
“When you cover items on a blanketed basic, the rates tend to be lower than scheduling each individual piece,” Kochiss noted. “And with a per-item limit, it’s good for items valued at $1,000 each or below.”
When tack isn’t specifically scheduled, basic homeowners’ policy provisions, including its deductible, apply.
“Depending on your homeowner’s policy your deductible can be anywhere from $1,000 up to $25,000,” Kochiss said. “If you have even a high-end saddle and a deductible of $5,000 or more, you could end up with a loss for a saddle and a couple other items that don’t meet your deductible requirements if it’s stolen or destroyed.”
Home is Where the Tack Is
Most homeowners’ policies cover tack whether it’s stolen from a car, a trailer, a show venue, or even from a barn where an owner’s horse is boarded. In fact, some boarding contracts specifically stipulate that barn operators are not responsible for boarders’ personal items.
“A common mistake is that of a client of a professional barn in that they think their trainer is responsible for insuring their equipment,” said Wellington, Florida-based Missy Sullivan, assistant vice president of Marshall & Sterling Insurance’s Equisport Division. “Not necessarily so—that (personal tack) should be covered under the homeowner’s policy.”
If tack is lost or stolen, policy holders must prove ownership of the equipment in order to file a claim. That means owner should take an inventory of what they own, when they acquired the items, and their retail value.
- Keep receipts—“Just like with any jewelry or other valuables it is recommended to keep your bills of sale and receipts for any items you want covered, and to send your insurance agent a copy to keep on file,” Sullivan said.
- Take pictures—Take pictures of tack covered under their policies, including close-up photos of blemishes, makers marks, serial numbers, and other identifying marks.
- Write it down—“It’s also a good idea to keep an inventory list of your tack and send a copy to your insurance agent,” Kochiss added. “This way if things are lost, stolen, or destroyed you easily have a list of what items you had.”
One More Tip: Make it Personal
Finally, an easy and effective way to protect expensive tack is to thwart would-be thieves in the first place by personalizing equipment. While some such items are expensive (saddles made in custom colors and/or materials, made-to-fit boots, etc.), there are other easy and less pricey ways to personalize your equipment, as well. For example, putting name plates on saddles, bridles, and halters, and monogram (or even permanently label) saddle pads, blankets, fly gear, and stable supplies to make them easy to identify.