Insurance Advice During Lockdown Easing

Sophie Hall Shearwater Insurance Brand Ambassador

As lockdown conditions begin to ease across the country many equestrians will take the chance to increase their level of activity and get back to training.  Governing bodies are also looking to resume competition as soon as possible, and numerous riding schools and training venues are looking to re-open their facilities.  At Shearwater Insurance our team are frequently asked how these changes in Government policy may affect their current insurance policies and those policies that are included as member benefits, such as our British Dressage members insurance.

The following information takes guidance from our underwriters and British Equestrian.

Who can meet and where?

How does this affect you?

We appreciate that Riding Schools, training facilities and competition venues are keen to get back to business and re-open all of their facilities.  During this re-opening and easing process we will continually refer clients to the latest coronavirus guidance from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, in relation to permitted recreational sport and exercise, as this is a continually evolving situation.

At this time, 11thJune, only outdoor activities are permitted to resume.  Venues, and those taking part in activities, are all required to follow the most current Government guidance on social distancing and hygiene.  In following these recommendations, we recommend:

  • Venues publish an action plan as to how they are managing the risks in relation to re-opening safely
  • Publish and communicate new guidelines for use to their customers
  • Gain advice from their local authority in regard to their re-opening
  • Seek confirmation of cover and advice from their insurance provider on any additional re-opening requirements.

We would also recommend that riders, and coaches, double check with venues whether they have been given permission from their local authority/council to open specific facilities that may sit outside of the scope of the currently permitted locations, for example the use of an indoor arena.

We are aware of a number of queries surrounding the use of indoor riding arenas and are hopeful of further guidance from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in the coming days.  We are aware that some indoor facilities have been granted permission to open by their local authorities already.

How does this affect my Public Liability or Personal Accident Insurance?

As always, our advice to riders, and clients, is to ensure that they are acting within the current Government guidance and are acting lawfully at all times.  We would therefore strongly check with venues whether they have been given written permission to open certain facilities.

As long as members are following government guidelines and not carrying out illegal acts then cover is in force as per normal terms/conditions of policy. If they are perceived to be breaching lockdown rules/legislation then this could be interpreted as carrying out an illegal act.

Additional Resources

The British Horse Society have also published useful Risk Assessment Guidance, and templates, for riding schools, livery centres and accredited professionals. Click here to download


Statements from the BEF:

Outdoor facilities to re-open

Equestrian sport resumption

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