Public Liability Insurance

You know that idea I had about letting visitors meet the Minions?

Yer, that one (my blog post about my great idea).

Well, it can’t happen. I can’t get public liability insurance for this venture.   No one can go in their field accompanied by myself.

Today, I was putting eye ointment in Newt and Fivla’s eyes (they go gooby in the wind) when some nice visitors from Switzerland stopped their car to watch me.

They got out of their car to take photos of the ponies and we got chatting.

I tried out my best school French and they replied in much better English.

They also showed me photos of their Bernese Mountain dog and we instantly bonded as we used to have one called Lotte, many years ago.

I am sad that insurance companies see my Minions as a “High Insurance Risk”.

I tried to do this the right way. I was honest but it is not possible.

So that’s it.

No visitors for Minions chats allowed because my “High Risk” ponies are gonna eat you.

I think this is about as “high risk” as we get, to be perfectly honest.

Nuff said. I tried.  The world’s loss.

20 thoughts on “Public Liability Insurance

  1. Sam

    #%*#$#^@( insurance wonkers – as IF The Minions would bite anyone. More like snog you to death.
    Totally bumming here in Conn. because I wanted to be surrounded by the boys…big time bummer. But you get points for trying to be honest even if the insurance dopes don’t.

  2. Christine McGinlay

    So many wonderful experiences are missed because of ‘public liability’. Lisa and I were talking about the wonderful experiences she had as a child at Chester zoo during the ‘ day with a keeper’ experience days. Yes there were risks involved (a herd of zebra charging towards a group of kids springs to mind), but by heavens, it awoke a passion in her that she will carry with her for the rest of her life. Everything is so sterile now. No touching the animals, no feeding, no contact really. People are unable to take responsibility for themselves now. It’s a real shame……….

  3. Judith Garbutt

    Frankly that’s ridiculous! Would it be worth talking to the British Horse Society legal help bods to see if they can make any helpful suggestions? How do riding schools get public liability insurance? It must be do-able somehow!

  4. Joe Boyd

    You might still be able to allow visitors (even paying ones) if they will sign waivers releasing you from liability. Check with your attorney.

    1. Cindy

      I agree. I have a small boarding barn here in massachusetts and we have everyone who rides
      sign a release and hold harmless agreement which essentially says they’re riding at their own risk. The rules/laws maybe different where you are but it would be worth checking into. I think letting visitors meet
      the minions is a splendid idea.

  5. janet ainsworth

    I wonder how horse and pony sanctuaries in the rest of UK cope..surely there must be a way round this..I remember looking on line at a shire horse sanctuary and they allowed the public to help care for the horses.

    1. Gaina

      Hi Janet. 🙂

      I was wondering the same thing. It’s probably something to do with them being registered charities.

      My local wildlife rescue center had the same problem – it used to be open to the public all the time, but due to Insurance costs they are now open to the public on bank Holidays weekends.

  6. Celeste Nossiter

    That’s terrible ! How narrow minded! I’m now extra doubly glad I got to meet everyone up close and personal

  7. annie vanderven

    The waiver is a great idea. We have a pool and when our children would bring friends over no one was allowed to swim unless the parents would sign a waiver and they all did, I could not just pass my days having to watch these children of course they all had to know how to swim and no toddlers and the waiver had been drawn by our attorney . Now that was years ago today who knows

  8. Margaret Robinson

    Ah, but you see (and partially because Harry’s an attorney, I know this), it’s not the ponies or you, it’s the people. The kind who will “claim” something happened whilst visiting – not that it did or something minor happened and they want millions.. It’s just so interesting what people from all over the word will try just to get publicity and money. You are somewhat sheltered there on Shetland from the absurdities of this, but it’s probably a blanket clause covering people in all areas that has your insurance company up in arms. Sad, but true.

    Keep on being you and doing what you’re doing.

  9. Terri

    Good grief, life itself is a high insurance risk! In Oregon and Minnesota, I have had to sign a Waiver of Responsibility (legal document from the owner) in order to be on horse property, whether riding or participating in another horse-related activity. No big deal. Isn’t there something similar in the U.K.? Or how about an “Enter at Your Own Risk” sign? There must be some legal way to get around this silly requirement.

  10. Margaret Robinson

    I’ll unfortunately have to add something to this, in addition to my other statement. The “public liability” issue was not raised just by insurance companies, et al., it was done because the very public that goes to see animals like this made a fuss – some were organizations that felt the “public” must be protected and others were members of the general public who actually sued places very much like Frances’ because they saw money signs. The blame is largely on the every day people who try and make a few dollars in a way that is most dishonest; NOT necessarily the insurance companies and lawyers. A person claims a reason, goes to an attorney with the express intent of claiming something happened and that it was the other side’s fault. This is not meant to be an argumentative statement, but dishonest people are all over and it’s very, very sad.

    I agree that it would be a good thing to have a waiver signed by each and every adult who comes to see the ponies (who also sign on behalf of any children, if you allow them).

  11. Sherry Walter

    It doesn’t surprise me one bit. I have to lovely Rocky Mountain mares, both as sweet as the day is long and I pay a surcharge on my homeowner’s insurance for having them. I shouldn’t complain, I had one insurance company refuse to give me a policy because I have a barn and – horrors! – I might put hay in it.

  12. diane in northern wis

    You’re so right Frances….it is the world’ Loss!!! And isn’t that just like insurance companies to gum up the world greatest idea!!!! So sorry Frances. What a bummer.

  13. Kerry

    Numpties rule insurance world and imagine the Minions as slavering meat eating zombies. Instead of the sweetly idiosyncratic loving souls they are.
    If it wasn’t NFU you talked to then try them (heaven help us if it was!) or the BHS. And I agree with the others about talking to at least a couple of the horse/pony amd donkey sanctuaries about who they are with and what they do with regards to liability

    1. Frances Post author

      NFU was the first place I went as I use them for my house, etc.

      BHS – I waiting for a call back from their insurance having explained the situation. So far a deathly silence. I am not hopeful.

  14. Joe Boyd

    Another thought: When visitors do come to share the love with your horses/ponies, simply let it be known that you will accept donations for their care and feeding.

  15. Eva

    It is disappointing to hear about your man-eating ponies, they hide their natural killer instincts very well. I suppose this is all part of their ruse, many years of friendliness, hugs and kisses so they can attack when you’re least expecting it.

    It’s a real shame people couldn’t sign a waiver and make their own decisions about the risks involved


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