FAQ’s Horse Owner Insurance
Horse Owner Insurance and FAQ’s
Equine Insurance Questions and Frequently Asked Questions
By: Allen Financial Insurance Group
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If you own a horse, there are several types of insurance coverage to consider.The FAQ’s Horse Owner Insurance will help you choose a policy that fits your needs. Allen Financial Insurance Group, has you covered whether you’re looking to insure your horse, farm or equine operation. We try our best to provide you with answers to your frequently asked questions about horse and farm insurance.
What are the age limits to insure my horse?
Your horse must be between the ages of 24 hours through 17 years to insure for Full Mortality. If your horse is age 18 or older, Extended Named Perils coverage is available.
Is it necessary to have a Veterinary Certificate completed in order to insure my horse?
No, as long as your horse is sound and healthy and the insured value is $25,000 or less. The exception to this is if you want to add Full Loss of Use coverage, in which case the Full Loss of Use Veterinary Certificate must be completed.
I board my horse and the owners of the barn told me they have coverage in the event anything happens to him?
They probably have what is called Care, Custody & Control coverage. This coverage is meant to protect them in the event if your horse is injured or killed and you feel they were negligent. It doesn’t protect you if your horse is injured or dies in a manner unrelated to the boarding facility. For this reason, you should consider a full mortality policy for your horse.
How much can I insure my horse for?
If you have owned your horse for some time and your horse has been in training and competing and doing well, then your horse’s value may have increased. You can substantiate the value by submitting a competition record, breeding record, and/or opinion of the value by a professional equestrian such as your trainer.
I’m taking a horse on trial, is it possible to get a temporary policy?
Yes. The shortest policy we can write is for one month. The minimum premium for a one-month Full Mortality policy is $100. If you are taking the horse on trial, you can fill out the mortality application and statement of health or veterinary certificate (if necessary) and fax those to us before you take possession of the horse. If the information is satisfactory, we can bind coverage immediately and fax you a binder. The binder will be effective for 30 days.
If you purchase the horse and would like to continue coverage for a full year, let us know and we can extend the coverage for a full year and bill you for the additional premium due (the original amount you paid on your credit card is applied to the full year premium).
If we do not hear from you by the expiration of the 30-day binder, we will assume you did not purchase the horse or that you do not wish to continue coverage and a one-month policy will be issued. If you decide later after the expiration of the binder that you would like to continue coverage, you will have to reapply for a new policy.
What is Guaranteed Extension Coverage?
Full Mortality policies include Guaranteed Extension coverage which provides that in the event of a condition occurring and reported during the policy period, mortality coverage will automatically continue for up to 12 months from the expiration date for that specific condition. An example of when this coverage would apply would be if your horse experienced laminitis during the policy period. If you report the condition promptly during the policy period, you would have mortality coverage extended for the laminitis condition for up to 12 months from the expiration date of the policy in the event your horse dies.
What does Agreed Value coverage mean?
Our policies are automatically written on an Agreed Value basis. This means that as long as your horse was worth its insured value at any time during the policy period, that is the amount you will be paid in the event of an approved claim. Other companies may write on an Actual Cash Value basis which means you would only be paid what your horse was worth at the time of its death.
What is the Free Colic Surgery coverage?
Our Full Mortality policies automatically include Free Colic Surgery coverage, providing the horse does not have a history of colic problems. The coverage limit is 60% of the insured value with a maximum of $3,000, and there is no deductible.
What coverage is available if my horse gets sick or has an injury?
You may want to consider purchasing Major Medical/Surgical coverage for your horse to protect yourself if you have unexpected veterinary bills. This coverage will reimburse you for your veterinary fees in the event your horse has an injury, illness, or disease. It provides coverage for diagnostics such as X-rays, ultrasounds, blood work, bone scans, spinal taps, etc. as well as for treatment.
Keep in mind that under the terms of your mortality policy, you are required to give proper care and attention to your horse. If your horse develops a serious problem such as EPM, colic, or has a fracture and the veterinarians believe your horse can be saved, you are expected to provide for that care. Humane destruction is covered under the mortality policy, but economic destruction is not. If you choose to put your horse down for financial reasons, the mortality coverage would not apply. Major Medical/Surgical coverage would help you with these veterinary expenses.
There are two Major Medical plans are available. The Up to $7,500 Annual Aggregate Limit coverage offers a limit of $7,500, not to exceed the horse’s insured mortality limit, subject to a $250 deductible per illness, injury or incident. The $10,000 Annual Aggregate Limit is available to horses valued $5,000 and higher and offers a limit of $10,000, subject to a $150 deductible per illness, injury or incident. Major Medical/Surgical coverage is available for horses between 30 days and 15 years of age.
When comparing Medical coverages from different companies, ask to see the wording to see what exactly is covered and more importantly, what is not covered. For example, some companies limit how long they will provide coverage for a problem. Our company provides coverage for a problem for the entire policy period in which it happened. This can be quite important if you are dealing with a serious problem like EPM where the medication and treatment is both lengthy and costly.
You could also consider Surgical Only coverage for your horse. This option covers the cost of actual surgery and provides limited aftercare. Surgical Only coverage is available for horses 30 days through 17 years of age making this an option for you to consider if your horse is 16 or 17 years old and not eligible for Major Medical coverage.
Do I really need Major Medical/Surgical coverage, especially since the policy automatically includes coverage for colic surgery?
It depends. The automatic colic surgery coverage with the Full Mortality policy has a limit of $3,000 or less, depending on the insured value of your horse. Costs for colic surgery can range greatly depending upon the severity of the colic, the area of the country you are in, and if there are post operative problems. Depending on the insured value of your horse, the Major Medical/Surgical or Surgical Only coverage could add another $5,000, $7,500, or $10,000 to your limit in the event your horse has colic surgery.
Although colic is many horse owner’s worst fear, it is not the only expensive health problem your horse might face. Lameness, EPM, and founder are just a few other problems that can be lengthy and expensive to treat. The Major Medical/Surgical coverage will help reimburse you for both the diagnostics and treatment for problems such as these as long as the conditions are not pre-existing to the policy.
Can I get Loss of Use coverage without mortality coverage?
No. The Full Mortality coverage is the actual policy. Loss of Use coverage are coverage options which you add to the policy.
How do I get Loss of Use coverage?
The External Injury Only Loss of Use coverage is available for horses ages 1-17 years and does not require any additional Vet Certificate.
Full Loss of Use coverage is available for horses ages 2-12 years and requires the submission of our Full Loss of Use Vet Certificate. This exam includes a basic health exam as well as flexion tests and narratives of the required X-rays. A drug screen taken at the time of the exam is also required for horses valued over $25,000.
Both types of Loss of Use coverage require Major Medical/Surgical coverage or Surgical Only coverage if your horse is 16 or 17 years old and you select External Injury Only Loss of Use.
I’ve heard that if a Loss of Use claim is paid, the company can take the horse?
There is a provision in the Loss of Use coverage wording that gives the company the authority to take possession of a horse in the event a loss of use claim is paid. This is not a common occurrence but is necessary to prevent fraud.
I have a mare, how does that affect the Loss of Use coverage?
For mares that are used for competition, it is important to remember that they may have a residual value as a broodmare in the event they are no longer able to compete. Most likely the insurance company would deduct the mare’s residual value as a broodmare from the claim settlement.
Is there any type of infertility coverage for my breeding stallion?
Yes. You can add the Stallion Infertility for Accident, Sickness and Disease coverage to your mortality policy. This coverage helps protect you in the event your proven breeding stallion is permanently unable to get mares in foal as the result of an accident, sickness or disease.
What happens if my horse develops a health problem or lameness during the policy? Will the company renew the coverage?
In the majority of cases, the company will offer renewal with an exclusion for the specific problem depending on its severity.
What if my horse becomes permanently disabled and can never compete again? Is there coverage to protect me if this happens?
Loss of Use coverages are available in the event your horse is permanently unable to perform its insured use. These coverages are intended for performance horses, not breeding or pleasure horses. Loss of Use coverages protect you in the event your horse is not injured or ill enough to require humane destruction, but becomes permanently unable to return to its insured use. The coverage helps to reimburse you for the loss in your horse’s value.
Do I need a Veterinary Certificate completed each year to renew my policy?
If your horse is sound and healthy and you are insuring him for $25,000 or less, a Vet Certificate is not required. If you are insuring your horse for more than $25,000, if your horse has an ongoing health condition, or if you have Full Loss of Use coverage on the policy, a Vet Certificate will be required.
What are the differences between the two types of Loss of Use coverages?
There are two types of Loss of Use coverage available. One type is usually known as Accident or External Injury Only Loss of Use. The other is normally known as Full Loss of Use. Some companies only offer External Injury Only Loss of Use.
External Injury Only Loss of Use
provides coverage in the event your horse is permanently unable to perform its insured function as a result of a visible, external, accidental and violent means injury. Examples of these types of injuries would be if your horse was in a trailering accident, if he was kicked by another horse, or if he ran into a pasture fence or collided with a jump or cross country obstacle. If your horse is just galloping around the pasture and tears a suspensory ligament, this would not be covered by the External Injury Only Loss of Use.
Full Loss of Use
Including Economic Destruction provides coverage in the event your horse is permanently unable to perform its insured function due to an accident, injury, illness or disease as long as these were not pre-existing conditions. Full Loss of Use coverage would include coverage for conditions such as a torn suspensory, EPM, moon blindness, or degenerative problems like arthritis or navicular, as long as they first occurred during the policy period.
Why would I need liability coverage for my horse?
If your horse injures a third party or damages their property, you could be faced with a lawsuit. Even if the lawsuit is frivolous and you were not at fault, you can still be sued and it can be costly to defend yourself. Many horse owners assume they have coverage for their equestrian activities under their homeowner’s policy, but you should check with your agent. Ask for written confirmation and make sure coverage applies if you take your horse off your property to a horse show, trail ride, etc.
Equine Third Party Liability Coverage is available as an addition to your mortality policy. This coverage provides an annual aggregate limit of $25,000, subject to a $250 on each claim.
You might also want to consider our Personal Horse Owner’s Liability coverage which provides limits of $300,000, $500,000, or $1 million for up to five horses with the ability to add more horses.
I board my horse, so I don’t need liability coverage, right?
Actually you still do. If your horse got loose and ran into a car on the road, both the stable owner and you as the horse owner would likely be sued. Personal Horse Owner’s Liability coverage will help protect you.
How quickly can I get coverage?
Mortality coverage can begin immediately upon receipt of the completed application and a satisfactory Statement of Health for horses valued at $25,000 or less. Fax the required documents to us and as long as the information meets our underwriters’ criteria, we can bind coverage immediately and fax you back a confirmation of coverage.
What about payment?
If we bind coverage for you with faxed documents, we will then give you 15 days to get payment to us.
What are my payment options?
You can pay by personal check, money order, Visa, MasterCard, or Discover Card. Payment plans are also available.