3 Equine Insurance Policy Types
Shopping for your horse’s equine insurance shouldn’t cause you unwarranted stress. Understanding your needs and equine insurance in general are the first steps to a zen-like buying experience for your horse’s equine insurance policy.
First, most equine insurance companies offer three types of insurance policies.
- – Equine Mortality Insurance,
- – Equine Surgical Major Medical, and
- – Loss of Use.
Each policy type comes with its own restrictions and rules, so it is important to discuss them with your insurance broker.
Equine Mortality Insurance
Basic equine mortality insurance is available as ‘Named Perils’ or ‘Full Mortality’.
Mike King, owner/operator of Intercity Insurance Services/Capri Insurance explains, “named perils insures the life of the horse for death arising from a defined list of causes… These perils will typically include fire, lightning, theft, transport, entrapment, the collapse of a building, attack by wild animals, drowning, and other external causes.”
King says the horse’s age and health aren’t critical factors because this type of coverage usually doesn’t cover death arising from natural causes or sickness. As a result, the cost is usually low and is often an extension to a farm insurance policy or stand-alone through a specialty broker insurer.
The second type of basic equine insurance is full mortality. This covers a horse from named perils as well as any type of illness, disease, or accident. King adds that since these policies cover more they usually cost more.
Most insurance companies only offer full mortality equine insurance to horses under the age of 16. Horses over the age of 16 are normally only eligible for named perils coverage. Most equine insurance premiums can range anywhere from 3-4% of the total value of the insured horse. For example, if an owner wants to insure their horse for $5,000, they are likely to pay between $150 to $200 per year for that horse’s equine insurance.
Many insurance companies have a $150 minimum charge for basic equine insurance premiums. As a result, it is important to discuss these fees with your insurance broker.
Equine Surgical/Major Medical Insurance
Surgical or major medical equine insurance policies are normally one and the same. Hallmark Equine Insurance Agency’s Kelly Cote states, “this type of insurance is designed to cover the cost of medical and surgical procedures.”
Cote is an equine insurance broker located in Illinois. She says an accident, illness, injury, or disease may result in coverage for diagnostics, treatments, and medications.
Surgical or major medical coverage is often purchased with an equine mortality insurance policy.
Rates for surgical coverage are often between $200 to $400, depending on the type and amount of coverage needed. This amount is in addition to the mortality premium for your horse.
Cote explains, “if a horse is not eligible for major medical/surgical [too old or declined due to health history], they may be offered the surgical-only coverage instead. This provides for the actual cost of a surgical procedure and for some aftercare medical fees. It is less expensive than major medical/surgical because the coverage is not quite as extensive.”
Loss of Use Insurance
Loss of use insurance coverage can be complex. This type of policy covers a portion of the value of a horse. This type of insurance is beneficial for owners when a horse is unable to continue performing it’s duties (ie, a stallion) or competing in their designated discipline. As a result, some insurance companies do not offer this type of insurance coverage. Insurance companies will usually only pay up to a maximum of 60% of the horse’s insured value.
It is important to understand that the loss of use must be permanent. For example, a dressage horse suffers a suspensory ligament injury. A veterinarian recommends the horse can start back into training after six months of stall rest. Eventually, the horse starts competing again. This is not a loss of use claim because the injury is not permanent or career-ending.
Here’s an important question to ask your insurance broker. If a claim is filed, what happens to your horse?
That’s because the insurance company may become the legal owner of the horse. As a result, it then has control over the fate of the horse, which may mean the horse’s euthanasia or sale.
Before you spend your money on this equine insurance type, you may want to discuss the loss of use policies in detail with your equine insurance broker.
Hopefully, these equine insurance tips brought some zen to your life as well as confidence in your equine insurance decision-making process.
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.