angle-left Protecting Your Investment: Equine Insurance

Protecting Your Investment: Equine Insurance

Major medical and surgery policies can help offset unexpected veterinary costs.

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When it comes to discussing horse insurance, many people think insurance is just for super-valuable equine competitors. While that 27-year-old beloved pasture pal might not be the ideal candidate for an equine insurance policy, what about the horses falling somewhere in-between?

When does it make sense to purchase a mortality policy, and when does equine medical coverage make good financial sense? For answers, we turned to Frank Costantini, western discipline director for AQHA Corporate Partner Markel.

Deciphering Equine Insurance

Insuring your horse is the same kind of personal decision that needs to be discussed with your insurance agent, who can help you weigh the costs and benefits of equine insurance for your specific situation.

  • Mortality Insurance: the most common type of policy, reimburses you for the death, theft or human destruction of a covered horse. 
  • Optional coverage you may want to add to your mortality policy:
    • Surgical: coverage pays for accidents or injuries that require a surgical procedure or sutures. Elective equine surgeries are typically not covered unless medically necessary. This coverage has a variety of limits and deductibles. 
    • Medical: covers accidents, illnesses or injuries to a covered horse. Horse owners should speak with their agent/insurer to understand the specifics of any limitations or sub-limits that are included with this coverage.
    • Emergency colic surgery: common coverage and usually automatically included with your mortality policy. Markel provides emergency colic surgery coverage to eligible horses at no charge with a $2,500 limit. You can also increase the limit if needed for an additional charge. With this coverage, there is no deductible. 
    • Personal horse liability: protects you against covered legal claims should your horse cause bodily injury or property damage to a third party on or off premises, even when your horse is kept at an independently owned stable. 

Insurance for Foals and Older Horses

  • Markel can insure foals for mortality coverage as early as 24 hours of age. Have the sire and dam's show and breeding records available to assist with determining value. Stud fees are also reviewed. Additional optional coverage can be added at 91 days of age. 
  • Horses are eligible for full mortality coverage through 18 years of age. If you’ve got an older horse, the rate increases as your horse ages. Starting at 16 years of age, the horse mortality rate will increase each year. When insuring with Markel, specified perils coverage is offered when your horse turns 19.
  • 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, earthquake, electrocution, drowning, transit risks and attack by wild animals. This policy does not cover your horse for death due to illness or disease

Research Equine Insurance Companies

Frank says it’s best to work with a reputable insurance agent to choose the policy that’s right for your horse and situation. 

  • Make sure they’re trustworthy. “Look at the strength of the company that is holding your contract,” Frank says, “because by and large, we’re selling a piece of paper and a promise. You have to look at the financial resources of the company behind the policy and its claims-paying ability.”
  • Have an agent and company that is available when you need them. Horses don’t know when it’s a holiday. Markel has representatives on call 24/7.