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  1. #1
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    Oct. 19, 2009
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    Default Value of Horse for Insurance Purposes

    I would love to have some help estimating the value of my horse. We are planning on getting insurance on him very soon and although I could throw a guess out there, it's always great to have a range of opinions. I've never done this before, so I'm not positive of all the details necessary to estimate a value but I'll do my best! Please let me know if there is anything else you would need to know. Thanks!

    The horse is a 13 year old solid dark bay registered Thoroughbred gelding. Raced for three years semi-sucessfully, pulled off because he just wasn't that great. Absolutely NO injuries before, during, or after his racetrack career. He is currently doing jumpers and has been used for equitation as well. Schools 2'9"-3' courses (lots of scope- mom's still working up) with effortless flying changes and a big but balanceable stride. He has only done schooling shows (with me) due to my finances. Always has champion and has been showing 2'6" (moving up to 2'9" soon). He does get excitable when jumping around courses but is very manageable. I am a junior and have had him since I was 13 and have no trouble with him. Besides his jumping and showing, he is in general a ton of fun. Very athletic, rarely spooky, loves to go on trail rides and go bareback. He has never had any health issues, just has front shoes and has more energy on a daily joint maitenence supplement. Relatively easy keeper besides that and just good to be around.

    Pictures:

    http://img155.imageshack.us/img155/5538/lexus1.png

    http://img683.imageshack.us/img683/747/lexus2n.jpg

    http://img443.imageshack.us/img443/4304/lexus3.png

    http://img193.imageshack.us/img193/8587/lexus4.jpg

    http://img828.imageshack.us/img828/8352/lexus5.jpg



  2. #2
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    Jul. 1, 2009
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    Default

    Well, the higher the stated value - the higher the premium. I would base the value on how much you'd need should your horse die unexpectedly. The value of the horse only affects the mortality insurance after all. The major medical cost is going to be the same regardless of the horse's value.

    I have a good friend who insures her horses for a fraction of what they're probably worth. She has no trouble finding free horses that she can train, so getting $20K back if one of her horses die isn't worth the extra expense of the annual premium.



  3. #3
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    Dec. 7, 2006
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    Default

    The insurance company is going to want something to verify the amount.

    So it either has to be the amount you paid, or if you think the horse is now worth more than you paid, you have to get a letter or letters a pro estimating the value.



  4. #4
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    Default

    Maybe not Ravencrest_Camp. I paid $4K for my horse as a very green 4 y/o. I didn't get insurance until she was 8 y/o. I told the insurance company that I paid $4K, but wanted to insure for $6K based on the fact that she had now been under saddle for 4 years. They didn't question it or ask for documentation as "proof" of value. It might be different had I wanted to insure her for $10K, but apparently the $2K difference wasn't worth their time.



  5. #5
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    Apr. 28, 2005
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    Chicago
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravencrest_Camp View Post
    The insurance company is going to want something to verify the amount.

    So it either has to be the amount you paid, or if you think the horse is now worth more than you paid, you have to get a letter or letters a pro estimating the value.
    That's not entirely true. My insurance company only requires additional paperwork if you're insuring a horse over $60,000.

    Paintlady is right with respect to the amount you insure...I'd base it on the amount you need if you needed to replace this horse. For show hunters (not sure about jumpers), the mortality premium is usually around 3% to 3.5% of the horse's insured value. So, insure him for (a) what you can afford in a premium and (b) what you need to buy yourself another horse.

    Once you buy the mortality insurance, the price for the medical is the same...meaning whether you insure the horse for $5k or $10k, you'll pay the same for the additional insurance for medical. So, if you don't need a ton to replace your horse, I'd go with the lower mortality rate and get the medical insurance.
    ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~



  6. #6
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    Apr. 28, 2010
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    Atlanta, GA and New Orleans, LA
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    Default

    This is a timely thread for me. I bought my horse in October, 2009 for way less than I would have paid for him because I just love his temperment and natural way of moving (he has one of the most amazing canters I have ever felt). He is insured for what I paid for him, but I know I could not replace him for that amount.

    He is a 6 yr. old AQHA and had been a western/roping horse his whole life, but my trainer saw great hunter potential in him. Her judgment has proved to be spot on - he has been learning very quickly and we have done really well in the green classes at local schooling shows this spring and summer.

    Anyway, I obviously plan to up his insured value when his policy renews this fall, and I assumed the training we have put into him and his performance in shows would support the increased $ figure. Unfortunately, I came off of him recently and broke my collar bone, so I'll be missing a good chunk of the remaining shows prior to October. I was worried that missing those shows would negatively impact what I can insure him for since I will have fewer concrete results to show the insurance company. But it sounds like I don't need to be concerned.



  7. #7
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    Jun. 20, 2008
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    Default

    Check around w/ insurance companies and their premiums, at 13 yrs some insurance companies will not insure for MM after (but might depending on competition record). Pictures don't mean anything really - purchase price and competition history are the key factors - and you should factor in also how much it would be to replace horse - reasonably speaking. Most insurance companies will not require a Vet/Health exam/cert under a certain amount - I want to say $25,000 but that could change depending on the company.

    So factor in your purchase price; show record and then determine value. I paid $13,000 for my horse as a 3 y/o import from Ireland. He has a pretty good show record - some year end awards and have him insured for $15,000. I could insure him for more I guess but quite frankly I'd rather bank the extra $$ it would cost me w/ increased premiums.

    there are some great threads on here about insurance company recommendations - you might want to search some of them to learn about some of the companies.



  8. #8
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    Jan. 23, 2000
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    Virginia
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    Default

    You can always insure for less than they are worth, correct?

    I'm looking into insuring my horse and would imagine he's worth more than I care to put into the policy. He's not for sale and were something to happen to him, I would be looking to buy an OTTB project, not another horse of the same quality and training. I would only want him insured to cover major medical expenses, not to have money to spend on another horse.

    But, mortality seems to be required, so I would not be incorrect in my thinking that I could keep my premium lower by insuring him for less, correct?
    ---
    They're small hearts.



  9. #9
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    Oct. 19, 2009
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    Default

    Thank you for all the information on insurance!

    Also, we may be leasing him as well so I'd like to have an estimated value to determine a good lease fee.



  10. #10
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    Jul. 1, 2009
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Trixie View Post
    You can always insure for less than they are worth, correct?

    But, mortality seems to be required, so I would not be incorrect in my thinking that I could keep my premium lower by insuring him for less, correct?
    Yes - that is correct.



  11. #11
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    Feb. 4, 2004
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    Most companies don't really argue on mortality price to insure for, under a certain amount (I think ~30K), you just provide purchase price, show record if you want to insure for over purchase price. But they will argue at claim time so overinsuring just wastes your money.

    All the details you provide (athletic, nice mover, fun, likes bareback riding) etc will not be considered to substantiate value. To them, those are all washed out in whatever you paid, so he is a 13 yo (2'6?) jumper, worth what you paid, maybe more if you send in a show record.

    To Trixie--Not all underwriters will do MM for a higher amount than the horse's worth. I use Broadstone (underwriter--The Hartford) to insure my 2 OTTBs with low mortality, high MM. My previous insurance--Newton Baker/Great American couldn't do that--they had reduced MM benefits for horses insured for less. So for that situation you have to shop around. (I think it makes a lot of sense though--if my horse died I'd have plenty of time to organize, start from scratch, but if it ran up a 6K vet bill I'd be expected to come up with that money now).



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beam Me Up View Post
    To Trixie--Not all underwriters will do MM for a higher amount than the horse's worth. I use Broadstone (underwriter--The Hartford) to insure my 2 OTTBs with low mortality, high MM. My previous insurance--Newton Baker/Great American couldn't do that--they had reduced MM benefits for horses insured for less. So for that situation you have to shop around. (I think it makes a lot of sense though--if my horse died I'd have plenty of time to organize, start from scratch, but if it ran up a 6K vet bill I'd be expected to come up with that money now).
    I have Great American (broker is the Equine Insurance Center in NC). My mortality is set at $6K. My major medical limit is $10K per year with a $250 deductible per injury. My annual premium is $591. I also had the option to get major medical coverage up to $25K per year (additional cost, of course). Great American also will now insure my horse up to the age of 20 y/o (used to be 15 y/o).



  13. #13
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    Sep. 30, 2007
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    Default

    My horse is an OTTB that I picked up for $1500 (price had been reduced from $4500). At the time, she had only been ridden a few times since leaving the track. I have had her for almost 2 years now and she is still green in some ways but I think worth much more than I paid for her (steady trail horse, ribbons in shows, jumps etc). I am probably just going to keep her insurance value at $1500 because if anything were to happen to her I would probably just get another inexpensive OTTB. I could probably justify $5000 for her pretty easily but it depends how much more the premium would be. Either way she has the major medical.



  14. #14
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    Feb. 4, 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by paintlady View Post
    I have Great American (broker is the Equine Insurance Center in NC). My mortality is set at $6K. My major medical limit is $10K per year with a $250 deductible per injury. My annual premium is $591. I also had the option to get major medical coverage up to $25K per year (additional cost, of course). Great American also will now insure my horse up to the age of 20 y/o (used to be 15 y/o).
    That's good!
    I guess depends on your insurance goals--there aren't limits with G.A. if your mortality is over 5K.
    If under, your MM is prorated and you are subject to the minimum premium which is pretty close to that of a 5K horse (I think it's 275, then 250 for the MM).

    I really just wanted the MM so I insured mine two for 1K/2K just to get the MM, for which I pay a little over $500 total for 2 horses on the 10K MM/250 deductible.

    But I have basically no mortality. I understand why most insurance companies don't let you do this, since on a cheap horse it's much easier to pay out the mortality than the MM.



  15. #15
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    You cannot insure the horse for less than their worth with some companies This was very frustrating for me, and had I known, I never would have told them how much I paid, as I wanted to ensure my horse for less than they wanted me to - I felt very "conned" into paying a higher premium. I had always been under the impression that I could insure for less than I paid, but two prominent companies told me I could not.

    I would ask the companies how they calculate premiums before offering the value - also, you have to insure a certain amount of FM in order to get MM - or maybe it's the reverse? I cannot recall - insurance is such a confusing gamble!



  16. #16
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    Apr. 7, 2006
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    The more you value the horse at the more you are paying in premium. It also depends if you just want mortality insurance or major medical as well. IRRC when I was looking for coverage for my horse many companies would not insure a horse older than 12. I had my horse insured for the purchase price for a while, when he turned 14 (I can't remember exactly) I decided to stop insuring him. He is now 16 and not worth what I paid for him as a 9 year old. The premiums were just too high to justify keeping him insured in respect to the level he was competing at (5 or so shows a year doing the 3'- 3'6 jumpers.) The best thing to do is get quotes from different companies. I did not have to send in any paper work for my horse's value because it was under 15k.



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beam Me Up View Post
    That's good!
    I guess depends on your insurance goals--there aren't limits with G.A. if your mortality is over 5K.
    If under, your MM is prorated and you are subject to the minimum premium which is pretty close to that of a 5K horse (I think it's 275, then 250 for the MM).
    When I first got insurance, I figured out that the minimum premium - at least on my policy - was equivalent to that of a $6K horse. Honestly, that is how I determined my horse's value. I paid $4K for her as a green 4 y/o, but didn't insure her until she turned 8 y/o (and I got a horse trailer). Since I had to pay a minimum premium anyway, I figured I might as well get my money's worth. Plus, if I were to buy another horse, $6K is about what I'd need. I don't have the interest or skills to get a cheap OTTB and retrain myself.

    Insurance was quite possibly one of the best things I ever purchased. I've had it 5 years now. About a year after getting my policy, my mare tore her check ligament. Great American paid 100% of every bill after the $250 deductible and excluding farm calls. That injury alone ran me at least $3,500 for ultrasounds, shock wave therapy, etc. over a 9 month period. My mare has had two other minor injuries since then costing around $1K each. I estimate that I've spent about $2,500 in insurance premiums and got back close to $5K in major medical payouts. I've never had a single hassle dealing with Great American either.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by paintlady View Post
    Insurance was quite possibly one of the best things I ever purchased. I've had it 5 years now. About a year after getting my policy, my mare tore her check ligament. Great American paid 100% of every bill after the $250 deductible and excluding farm calls. That injury alone ran me at least $3,500 for ultrasounds, shock wave therapy, etc. over a 9 month period. My mare has had two other minor injuries since then costing around $1K each. I estimate that I've spent about $2,500 in insurance premiums and got back close to $5K in major medical payouts. I've never had a single hassle dealing with Great American either.
    Hrmmm....I had a slightly different experience with Great American and then this year, when they insisted that my MM have a $10k limit and the premium was going to be $750 a year, I moved to a new company.

    Anyway, my experience that turned me off of Great American was the lenght of benefit. Being naive...and not reading my full policy like I should've have, I figured I would have 12 months of coverage on an injury. Horse had a small tear in his suspensory in April. The rehab was a little longer than planned due to a few factors, but when I went to get what was to be his last ultrasound at the end of the next March (11 months) it wasn't covered. Turns out the policy has coverage for injuries only 3 months after the renewal date. Since my policy was purchased in July, I only had coverage for the injury thru October. Basically 6 months worth of coverage. Had the horse been injured in July (after the renewal date), I would've had 15 months of coverage. Needless to say, I was quite angry...mostly at myself for not reading my policy, a little at my agent for not explaining that...and a little at GA for some random rule that leaves the amount of coverage ones gets up to the Gods of timing.

    Trixie: I'm pretty sure most companies will insure for less than value. I know both Great American and Chartis will. They usually have a minimum MM value that must be purchased. My theory has always been the 'what would it cost to get the next horse' rather than a true replacement or value....so I don't insure for those amounts. I've never insured for more than $8k as that seems like it would be a good nest egg for the next horse. Add to that the monthly expenses I would save...I could have a nice sum fairly quickly.
    Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
    Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"



  19. #19
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    I assure you, Markel will NOT insure less than the purchase price or determined value - BTDT. There is another company that operates the same way, but I cannot recall the name at the moment.



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eye in the Sky View Post
    I assure you, Markel will NOT insure less than the purchase price or determined value - BTDT. There is another company that operates the same way, but I cannot recall the name at the moment.
    I'm not doubting you. Notice I said "Most". The point was there are plenty who will.
    Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
    Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"



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