Only if you have loss of use insurance could you be expected to be compensated for vet bills AND the value of the horse, I think. At which point you are no longer the owner of the horse. Unless vets agree that the horse needs to be euthanized, in which case you'd then have a mortality claim AND major medical claim.
Many policies will not insure a horse beyond what his appraised or agreed-upon value is--and this is negotiated up front, not after the fact.
In my experience you only are covered up the appraised value of the horse.
So if your horse is worth $20,000 (I'm assuming this appraisal was for his condition PRIOR to his accident) you get up to $20,000 in compensation. Not $25,000, because the horse is not worth $25,000, so you are not owed $25,000 in compensation.
Put another way... let's say you buy a new car for $20,000. You drive it for a while. It gets totaled. It is appraised at $15,000 and your insurance company hands you a check for $15,000. But the amount you owe is $18,000. Unless you're carrying gap insurance (that covers the gap between value <= obligation) you are stuck with that $15K and the insurance company has done their part. And by the way, the bank wants their $3,000.
YOU have to absorb $18,000 in losses, but the insurance company only has to absorb $15,000 under those conditions.
"The nice thing about memories is the good ones are stronger and linger longer than the bad and we sure have some incredibly good memories." - EverythingButWings
That is correct, but from what I hear there are policies now that will allow a major medical policy to exceed the value of a horse. Again, though, this needs to be negotiated BEFORE the policy is purchased, and is not the norm/default practice.
Shouldn't I be able to get $20,000 (the value of the horse) PLUS vet expenses up to the cap of $25,000?
Insurance is not to allow the owner to turn a profit, but to a) replace a LOST horse (as in, dead or euthanized or stolen) and/or b) recoup medical expenses. If the horse is still alive and belongs to you, why should the insurance company pay you for the cost of the horse? Unless, as I said, you have loss of use coverage, but if you make a claim on that you rarely get full value AND the insurance company then becomes the owner of the horse.
It's the barn's CCC policy, not mine. The injury was the barn's fault so their insurance is covering this.
I can see how they will only pay out up to the appraised value...I just wish they had told me that originally! It may have impacted my decision making!
What would you have done differently? This is not a "loss of use" policy, so you don't get the horse fixed and his appraised value. In fact, you don't get anything but fixing up to $20,000 worth.
Would you have euthanized the horse? Not that there's anything wrong with that, but even is loss of use scenarios that's not an option for collecting the horse's appraised value.
As I understand it (from watching some semi-scammy deals done long ago), when you collect on a loss of use policy, the horse becomes the insurance co.'s property to sell, kill or otherwise dispose of as they see fit. Of course you'd sometimes see these horses back in barns connected to the peeps who had collected on the policy.
You have gotten really lucky here in many respects. The BO actually carried a CCC policy. Your horse was worth a lot. You could establish his value to the insurance co.'s satisfaction. And you didn't have to pay for a major medical policy of your own. Many people with cheaper BOs or horses are simply SOL and left with the awful decision to fix or euthanize for financial reasons on their own.
Without knowing what the horse was worth and could do before, compared to what he is worth and can do now, there is no way anyone can tell you what should be paid out.
But that insurance policy is only going to pay vet bills for the horse. It's not going to pay you for his time off, or pay you a chunk of his value for your trouble. It going to pay for vet bills related to this injury. Now if he is never going to be more than pasture sound, then you *might* have a case, but if he's just in need of some time off and some treatment...
If you wanted more compensation, you should have purchased LOU.