Put the Insurance before the Horse

Cordelia Ashton is an angry woman; she feels that her insurance company is treating her unfairly. She feels this way because once her insurance company found out that she’d been keeping three horses on her property, they gave her an ultimatum: get rid of the horses, or we’re dropping your policy.

For her part, Ashton said she wouldn’t be able to afford a higher insurance premium if she had to look for another provider.

“Everything is high enough as it is,” Ashton said. “It’s not fair at all. Why are they picking on me?”

The type of sentiment expressed by Cordelia illustrates how the concept of “fairness” has been lost in society these days.  Is her insurance company “picking” on her by using the facts of reality to determine what to charge her (or as the case may be, that the facts make it impossible for the company to know what to charge her)? Would it be fair to let Cordelia keep paying the same rates though the company cannot know whether they are charging her enough or whether other customers will end up paying for her?  Is it fair for Cordelia to ask others to subsidize a risky lifestyle she admittedly can’t afford?

She claims that the horses pose no additional risk, but this is a ludicrous assertion; one which her insurance company is clearly not willing to believe.  As an owner of horses, I can say from personal experience that, even if a horse isn’t being ridden it can still do plenty of damage to anything or anyone within kicking range. From wild kicking fits to cribbing (a common activity horses engage in, consisting of biting and pulling on objects like fences and barn doors) horses are large, unpredictable liabilities.

When insurers neglect to account for certain risks, they inevitably transfer the burden of paying for such behavior from those who take the risks onto those who do not. Making non-horse owners pay the costs for those who own horses would truly be unfair.