Know your equine insurance policy
Equine insurance helps horse owners secure their horse investments.
Contacting your equine insurance company in an emergency is always a condition of coverage. Failure to report your horse’s illness or injury can cause your horse’s policy to become null and void. Notifying the insurance company of a problem does not force you to make a claim. It simply makes the insurance company aware of a potential problem.
Kelley Cote is an insurance broker with Hallmark Equine Insurance Agency in Illinois.“It is very important that the owner notify the company as soon as possible in the event of an injury or illness to their horse,” she says.
Additionally, don’t risk your claim being denied because you waited too long to file your claim. That’s why insurance companies offer a 24/7 claims line for those after-hour emergencies.
“Even if no information as to the extent of the injury is available at that time,” insurance broker Cote adds, “it is better to get the notification on the record.”
Consequently, if you board your horse at a facility or with your trainer, make sure the barn owner is aware that your horse is insured. Provide them with the emergency number for your insurance company as well as your policy number. In an emergency, this ensures that the insurance company is contacted in your absence.
Equine insurance mistakes
Two equine insurance specialists share the biggest mistakes people make when purchasing insurance for their horses.
Stephanie Kirton, vice-president, and associate at BFL Canada says in her experience they include: Not reading your policy wording to review exclusions and sub-limits in coverage that may apply to their coverage; not notifying the company about a serious health condition or putting a horse down without permission from the insurance company.
Sarah Hansen of Henry Equestrian Plan Insurance Brokers Ltd. offers these tips when purchasing equine insurance:
– Don’t feel silly asking questions. One of the biggest disappointments a policyholder can experience is filing a claim only to find out their policy doesn’t cover their needs.
– Horse owners can add liability coverage to a policy. This type of coverage is activated if the policyholder is sued. For example, the horse on your policy hurts someone or damages their property.
Additionally, keep good records on your insured horse. This includes photographs, videos, and show records. Keeping these records updated can help prove the value of your horse.
Above all, it is important to understand your insurance policy and read the fine print. This will benefit both you and your horse if a situation arises.
Tracy Dopko provides valuable services to the equine industry as a Certified Senior Equine Appraiser, Equine Expert Witness, and as a licensed Private Investigator. She travels across the United States and Canada yearly conducting equine appraisals. Similarly, Tracy appraises top equines including jumpers and dressage horses in Europe. In 2018, she celebrated her 20th year in the business with 4,000+ hours of equine appraisals.