The Importance of Horse Insurance – Protecting Your Equine Investment

Owning a horse is a significant investment far beyond the initial purchase price. These expenses can add up quickly, from food and medical care to a barn or stable and possibly even acreage.

Insurance can help protect your equine investments. The types of coverage available include total mortality, significant medical, and loss of use policies.

Coverage for Accidents

There is a broad range of accident coverage available. The insurance company will consider the horses’ activities and income when determining a premium to charge.

Many horse owners opt for mortality (insured value) and primary medical coverage. A significant feature is that these policies often include loss of use coverage. If the horse becomes permanently disabled and cannot perform its insured usage, it can receive financial compensation. It is based on the horses’ value, which such factors as lineage, purchase price, training, and breeding potential can determine.

Some people also choose to insure their equine operations with liability coverage. These policies can provide coverage if public members are injured due to a horse’s negligent actions.

Coverage for Illness

Illness coverage is a standard part of any mortality policy and can be a big reason that horse owners choose to insure their horses. When insuring your horse, the cost is confidently determined by the actual or fair market value of the horse at the time of loss. Your horse’s condition and history influence this figure, including previous injuries, pre-existing conditions, and health problems that could reoccur.

Most full mortality policies offer significant medical as an add-on to cover reasonable and customary veterinary expenses. These can include colic surgery, euthanasia, and other standard procedures. Exclusions can vary by company, including elective surgeries, alternative treatments (chiropractic or acupuncture), and some dental procedures.

Remember that it is not your equine veterinarian’s role to attest to the insurability of a horse or its medical history. It is a matter for the owner and insurance company to determine.

Coverage for Liability

Like you don’t drive a car without liability insurance, owning a horse involves risks requiring a financial safety net. Whether you want to protect your investment or ensure your animal receives the best medical care, horse insurance is worth it.

The most common type of insurance that a horse owner buys is mortality coverage, which reimburses the policyholder for the value of their horse in the event of death. Another popular option is primary medical and surgical coverage, which covers surgeries resulting from an accident or illness. Look for a policy with a toll-free number and someone available 24/7 to help you with your claim. Finding an approach that recognizes the unique exposure horses face is also essential.

Coverage for Damage to Property

Owning a horse comes with the responsibility of being liable for any damages caused by your horse to third parties. For example, a stray kick from a horse could damage a car parked on the street. Liability coverage is essential for anyone who owns a horse, especially if they participate in commercial activities like riding lessons or breeding.

Insurance is a great way to protect your investment and give you peace of mind. Your independent agent will review your options, cut through the jargon, and find you the right insurance for your unique situation. They’ll work for you to get the best equine policy at the right price. 

Coverage for Loss of Use

In addition to saving on veterinary expenses, loss of use coverage can help you recoup up to 60 percent of your horse’s value if an injury or illness permanently prevents him from competing (for competition horses), working as a broodmare, or being stood at stud. It is essential to know the terms of any such policy and the requirements that must be met for a claim to be made.

Be sure your agent understands your operation and can answer questions promptly. Ask about 24/7 emergency contact availability. And don’t go cheap. The cost of a policy may seem steep, but it’s far less than the value of your horse and your peace of mind.