I'm looking to switch my insurance provider... I'm interested in major medical and mortality insurance. I'd love recommendations (or even companies you'd recommend I stay away from...). Feel free to PM
Also, my current horse is worth more now than she was when I first got her. She's currently insured for that purchase price. Do I have to have an appraiser come out? Or how does that work?
I have Equisure Insurance. So far no claims (knock on wood), but it was the best deal with the best coverage & the rep was very professional & patient with my strange issues & questions.
I bought my horse for about 1/2 her true worth. Rep said that if you wanted to demonstrate increased value, you fill out some forms describing training and/or placings, etc. It would probably be different for various companies & for different value brackets (mine is surely not in a very high one)
Are we talking carriers or agents? Most carriers work through agents. Markel is the exception as they will write direct to consumers. The coverage you chose is going to be based on your risk profile. Mortality it basically identical between carriers, but there is a fair amount of differentiation on the major medical on deductibles, copays, levels of coverage, and exclusions. It's not one size fits all.
An agent generally sells coverage from several carriers and can help you determine the best fit for your needs. I'd say find an agent you can talk with openly and who is responsive to your questions.
Increasing valuation is usually not a problem provided there is documentation of training or a show record to support it. It's rare to use an appraiser unless you have a really high dollar horse. More likely the carrier would want a vet exam.
Equisure through Caitlin has been very fair in handling an expensive claim and responsive about payments. It doesn't feel like a lot of hands are involved ... I talk to the people who are responsible for the policy who are also the people who are responsible for evaluating and processing claims.
I wish my policy was one of those that I hear pay 100%, but these folks are honest and also work with the vet very cordially.
Have had Great American for years, purchased through Fry's Equine Insurance Agency. Been happy with both. Previously had Markel and had good experience with them as well.
My horses have always been insured for minimal mortality value as I mostly wanted the major medical/surgical coverage. Since the mortality premium is based in the value (annual premium of 3.7% of value for mine, IIRC), when you bump up value, premium increases accordingly, and to me, it wasn't worth it (risk was low tat I would ver have a mortality claim).
I have assisted others in establishing value that was beyond mere purchase price, and without an appraisal. We've used show records, comparable sales, and letters from trainers. These weren't big numbers, like low to mid 5 figures...I'm sure the big $ jump would require something more.
IME, the carrier will have a threshhold where a vet report is required. I think Great Am is $25k, but I'm not sure as mine were all valued below that and I just had to fill out a form and sign myself, not the vet.
They switched their equine to Great American a few years ago. About 1 1/2 years ago I had a $1,000+ claim and both IEA and GA were excellent to work with. Quick payment. I had to do very little to process the claim.
Regardless of who you go with, make sure you know your policy inside and out! Is your horse insured for "agreed value" or "actual cash value" (fair market value)? With agreed value, if your horse is insured for $10,000 and the horse dies, the insurance will pay out $10,000 as long as there is proof of value. With actual cash value, you may be paying premiums on $10,000 for 5 years, but if your horse dies, the insurance company will only pay out what your horse is worth at the time of death (fair market value). If the economy tanks, etc., and the fair market value is only $4,000, that is unfortunately all you will get.
Most horse owners are under the impression that if they insured their horse for $20,000 and they've paid their premiums every year that they will get $20,000 if they die. Unfortunately, no always true!
Regardless of the insurance company you choose, please, please, please make sure to keep good records on your insured horses - including pictures, video and show records....and remember to continue to update them! I've done several very tough equine appraisal cases in which the owner didn't have a single photo or video of their insured horses that passed away, no show record, nothing....which makes it extremely tough to prove their value! And, if you feel like the insurance company is giving you the run around, and you truly believe your horse is worth more, get your own independent equine appraisal done and present it to the insurance company. I do a lot of these...and it does work!
I've got a few insurance tips and tricks on my website and on our Facebook page to help horse owners...so my job isn't so hard if someone needs to make a claim at some point!
Daventry Equine Appraisal Services www.equineappraisers.com
Last edited by Daventry; Sep. 23, 2012 at 12:37 PM.