The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 26, 2007
    Bay Area, CA

    Default Speak to me of Equine Insurance

    Worth it? Not worth it?

    I talked to my trainer about it and she's pro getting a plan for my horse, she mentioned Major Medical and Loss of Use as well as Mortality.

    He's a 10k H/J/Eq horse.

    Stories to share? Companies to recommend? Avoid? Anyone know what the payment on a policies like the one I mentioned might cost?
    If only horses would use their athletic powers for good instead of evil. ~ MHM

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2007


    The first thing you need is mortality. That is the basic policy. It is priced as x% of the horses value. The percent is determined by the discipline and level of the horse (think 2.5-5%).

    Then, you can add optional riders on to that policy for things like loss of use and major medical. Loss of use is rarely worth it- search for threads here on the subject. A typical major medical policy is definitely a good idea- and will run $250-$600 (or more) per year depending on maximum coverage, deductible, co-pay, etc.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 2, 2006


    I use Broadstone equine (The Hartford is the plan I have). They've been great when I've had to make claims, and the rates were reasonable.
    ~Jet Lag~
    ~Willie Cruise~
    ~Hot Tea~
    ~Calypso Bob~

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2008


    read the fine print...I thought I had 50% coverage for all medical situations and after an $800 lamenes episode was given $45 after every exclusion. The insurance company even used an order of transactions to make my reimbursement as small as possible. I had been insuring my horse for 7 years without ever making a claim...RIP OFF... but I did not read the fine print.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 27, 2000
    Southern California - on a freeway someplace


    Mortality and Major Medical/Surgical are worth it. Loss of use - not so much. Do a search here for an idea of companies that are better/worse to deal with. I have been happy with Hallmark Horse.
    The Evil Chem Prof

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 21, 2003


    Mortality is a definite - unless you can pull 10k out of you butt to replace your horse Major medical is always a question - and a gamble. As said, r ead the fine print. I have heard various recounts on recouping monies sent, etc. Lossof use is not usual worth it. very expensive, the payff is usuallny ls than half of what the horse insured for and number of fi,ms needed to get the policy makes the cost pretty exorbitant.
    Save a an organ donor! Visit

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2008


    It depends.

    I don't insure any of my horses. It isn't worth it to me, because over the long run, paying for major life catastrophes is cheaper for me than paying insurance. I have averaged it out. 20 years of insurance on as many as 8 horses at a time would be much more than the 1 colic surgery and 1 other major health crisis my horses have suffered.

    BUT -- I have a significant rainy day fund. If they get sick, I can pay for whatever it takes.

    AND -- none of them were particularly expensive to purchase. (Though at their peak a few have been worth six figures -- I didn't pay that and don't feel the need to insure for it. If one dies, I'll get another the same way I got that one, buying young and training it up.)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 8, 2007
    St. Louis, MO


    It all depends on your situation financially. I like to carry mortality on my horses but only at around half of their value, it gets really expensive as their value goes up. But at 10k it's really affordable for full value. If you have a pretty good emergency savings fund then you don't really need major medical or loss of use.

    I use and have always been impressed with their customer service.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 28, 2010


    DEFINITELY worth it!!!! Just like with anything else - human injury, fire, flood, car accident, theft - you don't want to be caught without it. You could go paying on it forever and never use it, but you'll want it when you need it, unless of course money isn't really an object to you. I suggest Mortality & Major Medical with surgical. Always, always, always get surgical if you can - you don't want to have your horse colic, send it to the clinic and then have to decide if you should do surgery based on how much money you have. Colic surgery can be anywhere from 3k-15k and it's almost never on the lower end of that. Major medical is less important, but can still be useful. If your horse has a lot of exclusions though it may not be worth it. If they have had a torn suspensory in the right front, they'll exclude the whole right front limb. However if you don't have an exclusions and your horse gets injured they'll pay for quite a bit - injections, shockwave, tildren, stem cell injections, etc.. All of which can be thousands of dollars each. But like someone else said - read the fine print - know what your deductible is, know what they will and will not cover. They'll tell you that you should inform them of ANYTHING that happens with the horse. I wouldn't go telling them that they had their hocks done, or they had a cold, but talk with your vet about what they think you should do. If you don't inform them of something going on and it becomes a big deal but they catch wind of the fact that it's an old problem they won't cover it. Also we had a horse go in for tie back surgery (not a covered procedure for this horse) and die from complications upon waking up. The owner had not informed the insurance company that he was going into surgery (because it wasn't covered) so they wouldn't pay out on the mortality. Loss of Use is generally not recommended by anyone. Basic loss of use is very hard to prove, and the insurance company may say that if the horse is useful at all there is no loss of use, or they may even require that they take the horse from you. The full Loss of Use coverage is very expensive and requires a full, extensive and expensive veterinary exam. Hope that helps.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2001
    Finally...back in civilization, more or less


    I have always carried mortality and major medical... it gives me peace of mind to know I won't ever be standing in the vet's office having to make a decision about whether I can afford to offer my horse the recommended treatment due to economic concerns. If he got sick or hurt and the vet said, "well, I'd give this (expensive procedure) about a 30-40% chance of returning him to complete soundness," I want to be able to say, "Absolutely, let's try."

    With respect to Loss of Use - do your homework before purchasing so that you know what the terms are. MANY LOU policies specify that if you take the payout, the insurance company then takes possession of the horse and can do what they like with it, including selling it for meat price to recoup their loss. (Most such policies also specify that you can keep the horse in return for accepting a 50% payout or something along those lines.) Also keep in mind that LOU is very tricky to determine. For example, if you have a horse doing the meter thirties that gets hurt, and after rehab, can still jump cross rails - that might not qualify for a payout, as the horse "can still jump."

    I have used EMO in the past and now use Markel. Have been very satisfied with both.
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2005
    Columbus, OH


    It just depends on the "what ifs."

    Ask yourself these questions:

    "If my horse died, would I have the financial means to buy another horse of the kind I'd want to have?"

    "If my horse required expensive diagnostic procedures for a mystery lameness, would I be willing to pay that out of pocket or take a loan? At what point would I prefer to go the Mother Nature route and put the horse out to pasture (temporarily or permanently) rather than shell out for diagnostics?"

    "If my horse were in a mortal danger situation, like needing colic surgery, would I feel comfortable paying that out of pocket/taking a loan/putting the horse down?"

    Once you answer those questions, your insurance preference or non-preference should become very clear. There is no right or wrong way, just the way that meets your financial and psychological needs.
    Resident COTH saddle nerd. (CYA: Not a pro, just a long-time enthusiast!)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2009


    So glad you posted this question OP because I was just pondering the same thing myself!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug. 16, 2009


    YES! Worth it!

    At minimum get major medical. You don't want to have to make that "I can't afford it" decision when your horse needs to go in for colic surgery or slices his leg horribly on the fence and needs to go in for surgery (heaven forbid). Or if he comes up mysteriously lame and needs and MRI. Or. Or....

    It's a small investment but a huge peace of mind.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 14, 2002
    Azle, Teh-has


    also, do a search on the eventing forum.
    we just talked a little bit about some of the changes in insurance companies.

    I think you can search under something like:

    "who doesn't make you pay a % of diagnostics"
    Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug. 10, 2008
    Cornville USA


    I use these folks:

    Great to work with and very accommodating.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb. 15, 2007
    often between a rock and hard place in Ky


    Worth it!! This coming from someone who is currently using hers to the max for a DDFT tear. Without insurance I would never have been able to afford the MRI to diagnose or the PRP/Stem Cells to treat. Yes I had to pay a percentage for the diagnostics, but they covered the anesthesia and stem cell and PRP 100% they even covered 100% of Tildren for him. I use Markel and they have been very helpful and very very speedy at getting my checks to me once I filed the bill. If I sent them a copy of an invoice on Friday, I had a check in hand by the next Thursday. Very great to deal with and what they have paid out on this claim alone has more than covered what I have paid in premiums for the last 3 years.

    Now this leg will be excluded next year but it was nice to not have to worry as much about the cost of treatment and diagnostics. It has really given me piece of mind.
    ___._/> I don't suffer from insanity.. I enjoy every
    ____/ minute of it! Member stick horse art lovers
    ';;;;;;; clique
    //__\\<-- Don't feed the llama!

Similar Threads

  1. Equine Insurance
    By muffintop in forum Off Course
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: Mar. 1, 2012, 08:36 PM
  2. Replies: 4
    Last Post: Feb. 24, 2011, 06:24 AM
  3. Equine Insurance
    By King's Ransom in forum Off Course
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: Dec. 29, 2010, 11:10 PM
  4. Equine Insurance
    By DuffyAgain in forum Hunter/Jumper
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: Oct. 6, 2009, 10:10 AM
  5. equine insurance
    By peco in forum Hunter/Jumper
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: Sep. 20, 2009, 10:42 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts