Being a life-long equestrian with a passion for horses, I accept the risks inherent in the sport. The tradeoffs are worth it. Nothing compares to being connected with the horse, in my book.
When I was younger, the risks hardly entered my mind. But a bad fall had me close to paralysis and possibly death. While I did heal, it took me a long time to mentally recover, and the risks of riding became much more present for me.
In recent years, we have been painfully reminded that riding horses is a dangerous and unpredictable sport. To compound matters, there is a misconception that equestrian professionals are “uninsurable.” This is simply not the truth. There are insurance programs that protect riders in the event they sustain a critical injury and Athletes Risk Management can help you find them.
I have seen too many firsthand tragedies in my years creating and managing equestrian events, from polo players left in comas or wheelchairs to Olympic show jumper Kevin Babington’s more recent fall that has changed the way many people in the sport evaluate safety. Life happens, even to those at the top of their game with all the skills and experience that brought them there. If we want to assume the risks, we have to protect ourselves.
Kevin, an ARM ambassador, says he regrets not knowing about the life insurance with living benefits ARM sources for equestrians: “I was told, as a rider, I was uninsurable for disability, and I wasn’t. If I had known about this coverage, I would have taken it and received $1 million of much needed financial help at the time of my accident. It’s not too late for you to protect yourself and your family with this affordable insurance.” The on-going fundraisers for him keep reminding us about the dangers we willingly assume the moment we choose to throw a leg over the back of a horse.
I have searched the world of insurance and secured access to coverage that seems to be tailor made for equestrians. The life insurance plans include what are called “living benefits,” in the case of critical injury, critical illness, and chronic illness. With these living benefits, you, as the policy owner, can access money when a life event covered in the policy triggers it. You do not have to die to receive the money. And what is most important and personal to me, equestrians are not discriminated against as high-risk.
So, while the life insurance plans protect those we might leave behind, coverage that includes living benefits is there to write you a check while you are alive when you most need it, either as a lump sum, or as a monthly payment, much like how you might receive from a disability policy.