To most horse owners, these beautiful accident-prone creatures are more than just a pet or a hobby. They’re our children! Insuring your beloved equine friend is an important way to protect what you love. This article will help answer some basic questions you may have about insuring your equine.
1. What does equine insurance cover?
This answer varies based on the company, type of insurance plan, and your state. Most equine insurance policies have a basic plan which can accompany ‘add-ons’ which can include mortality insurance, loss of use, personal liability, and medical or surgical insurance.
2. What does equine insurance cost?
Again, this varies based on your location, the company you choose to go through, and the plan that fits your needs. It is important to compare multiple companies and insurance plans to find one that fits your exact needs, going with the cheapest option isn’t always the best! On average, you could expect to pay $150-200 a year for $5,000 worth of major medical expenses.
3. Are there any limitations to what equine insurance will cover?
Sure! Different policies have different limitations, so it is always important to read the fine print and know exactly what you are paying for. Most insurance policies will not cover a horse younger than 3-6 months and over 15-18 years old or any pre-existing and degenerative conditions.
4. What do I need to do to get insurance for my horse?
First, find an agent. Some insurance agencies may have pet policies that cover horses, but it is always a good idea to work with an agent who has experience insuring livestock and other large animals. Second, work with your agent to find a plan. Some insurance companies may require a veterinary exam and a signed certificate before the coverage becomes active. This certificate must be signed the day of the exam and cannot be signed by a vet based on prior knowledge of the horse.
5. How do I know what my horse is worth?
To most insurance companies, a horse is worth what you purchased it for or what its sires stud fee was. A horse can be insured for more than its purchase price with proof and documentation of showing, training, and/or breeding records.
6. How do I choose a plan?
In order to choose a plan, it’s important to understand what your company’s different policies are. Markel Specialty Insurance has plans such as “all risk, mortality and left” which reimburses you for the death, theft, or humane destruction of your covered horse, including illness or disease. “Specified perils coverage- Also known as “Named Perils” or “Restricted Perils”, specified perils coverage covers your horse for death, theft or humane destruction caused by specified perils listed in the policy, including but not limited to fire, lightning, earthquakes, electrocution, drowning, transit risks and attack by wild animals. Death due to illness or disease is not covered.” (Markel Insurance) In addition to their basic plans, add-ons include emergency colic surgery and medical/surgical only.
7. Can I insure more than just my horse?
Yes! There are many companies that offer horse farm/property insurance as well as liability insurance for lesson horses and instructors or trainers. When we welcome the public into our barns, it is very important that they understand the risks that are involved with interacting with horses (& other livestock) and we protect ourselves and our horses!
8. I just bought a horse that was previously insured or sold a horse that I had insured. Will the policy transfer to the owner?
Most of the time, the answer is no. Just like if you sold a car, the insurance does not carry over to the new owner. However, if you are purchasing a new horse that is insured by its previous owners, it is a good idea to get your policy set up to become effective right at the purchase date so there is no lapse in coverage.
9. I must euthanize my horse, will my mortality insurance cover the expense?
This often depends on the specifics of your policy and what it covers. The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) has established guidelines that state the justification for euthanasia. They are listed below:
- A horse should not have to endure continuous or unmanageable pain from a condition that is chronic and incurable.
- A horse should not have to endure a medical or surgical condition that has a hopeless chance of survival.
- A horse should not have to remain alive if it has an unmanageable medical condition that renders it a hazard to itself or its handlers.
- A horse should not have to receive continuous analgesic medication for the relief of pain for the rest of its life.
- A horse should not have to endure a lifetime of continuous individual box stall confinement for prevention or relief of unmanageable pain or suffering.” (AEEP)
10. How much money will I receive if my horse passes away?
How much money you will receive if your horse passes away in a manner that is covered by your policy will depend on how their value is determined in the policy. Fair market value is very commonly used to determine a horse’s value. So, you would receive what horses of the same age, skill, and discipline are going for in the current market. Other polices may use the agreed value to determine the horse’s worth. The agreed value is most commonly agreed upon between the owner and the company at the time the policy is written.
**This blog post is informational; insurance companies and policies vary greatly so it is important to read and understand your individual agreement.
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