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Nigebob Squarepants

Remember My Lucky Horseshoe?

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A quick update regarding the damage to my car door by a passing horse.

It appears that the Law as it stands is an *****.

And that if your car is damaged by a horse you are very unlikely to get any form of compensation.

See article below from HORSE & HOUND regarding something similar.



Expert advice on liability for damage caused by someone else's horse

Q: My 4x4 received panel damage after a horse on our livery yard fell into it. No one was injured, the horse was insured and my vehicle is covered by fully comprehensive insurance.

The equine insurers will not pay out because "strict liability does not impose" and no negligence can be shown — my insurance company wants to write-off my vehicle or fund a replacement.

The person who owns the horse claims that they have no money. As the "injured party", I am out of pocket because of the small print in my policy.

Following a well-known test case, it was believed that owners would always be responsible for damage done by their horse; but this has turned out not to be the case.

H&H asked several insurance experts for their advice regarding this situation.

Guy Prest of KBIS British Equestrian Insurance says that since the car owner has a comprehensive policy, the correct procedure is for him to make a claim on his own motor policy.

"The insurer would then make a claim against the insurance cover of the third party [horse owner]. Even if the third party's insurance accepted liability, the settlement would probably be the same," said Guy.

"As to whether the horse owner is liable or not, there are two ways to establish liability — negligence and/or a breach of statutory duty. Strict liability can occur in certain circumstances in relation to horses, under the Animals Act, as a consequence of the Mirvahedy v Henley case.

"In this case, it would appear the horse owner has legal liability cover, but the insurer does not consider the horse owner is liable and is therefore denying the claim. If that is the case, the insurer has fulfilled its policy obligations."

South Essex Insurance Brokers' (SEIB) David Buckton agrees this is not a question of policy small print, but a point of law.

"I don't have all the details, but this case would seem to be one of those genuine, blameless accidents, with no particular circumstances to bring the Animals Act in to play," he said.

"It is understandable that a rider may feel sorry for a third party, particularly if that person is a friend who has suffered damage caused by the rider's horse.

"The rider may feel for all sorts of reasons that they should compensate the injured party in some way, but unless there is a legal liability, they don't have to.

"In simple terms, if the horse owner is not compelled legally to pay damages, there is nothing for the insurer to pay.

"There have been several court decisions following the test case that have helped to clarify the particular circumstance when a claim brought under the Animals Act will be successful," David concluded.


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Very sorry to read about the damage to your wheels Nige.

Totally agree with your footnote and admire your research.

Wonder what would have happened if it had been a "public vehicle" i.e police car or an MP`s motor?

The insurance companies can be a waste of space sometimes!!!!

Rant over,but unfortunately it does`nt help you one bit.

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It's not a case of poor insurance it is strictly on a point of law probably set down over a 300 years ago. It's known as the Law of Torts or in some cases the Law of Trespass can be applied.

Under the Law of Tort the claimaint must establish 3 definitive criteria.

1. That whoever caused the loss or damage did in fact owe the claimant a duty of care.

2. Did whoever cause the loss fail in that duty of care.

3. Did loss ensue from such failure.

It's not always possible to prove or establish that all 3 aspects were foreseeable or in fact there has been a causal link between all 3 aspects. To succeed it would need to be proven that whoever (rider for instance) was in control of the horse at the time failed in their duty of care to others who may be effected by such failure. When it comes to animals there is always likely to be some doubt as the rider only has to prove they took reasonable care and not absolute care.

Yes I know my comments are a bit long winded but it has to be accepted that animlas have a mind of their own.:)

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I know its against a law to chase foxes altho one can run over a fox.

But don't they shoot horses all the time? I wouldn't advocate running over a horse unless you are driving a Cat D6 or equivalant. i guess Cats can run over a horse without due care or undue care.

One really could do with a good vigilante group, take me neighbour....rant rant :censor: :censor: :censor: :censor:

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