I tried looking for this on the forums but couldn't find anything. If this has already been discussed, just point me to the thread.
The story is: My mom's mare is delivering a foal and she's going to give the foal to me. This is very nice of her! I'm looking forward to starting my own horse. I've been working at a layup barn for the past six months or so and seen a lot of horrific injuries and horses who were able to be saved because their owners had insurance and could afford it. I've never insured any of my horses, but it seems like a good idea. Some of the boarders at my barn use Markel. Is it worth insuring a foal? It's due in April, and neither the dam nor the sire is super valuable or anything (my mom bought the mare pregnant) but I want to give the little one the best I can manage. Or should I wait until it's older/started under saddle?
I think you have to decide if you are insuring for loss/value or for major medical expenses, from what I understand, two different kinds of insurance. The first is not worthwhile for a foal of non-value, breedwise, and you might have a hard time getting an insurance company to insure for value (what value, they might ask?) until the animal was trained and competing and had a resale value. Please, others, correct me if I am wrong, here, its just what I have come to understand myself. Another value insured foal might be the son of Secretariat bred to win the Triple Crown, raised for that and in training for that, but I'm guessing about that, too.
Major Medical insurance from what I understand can cover you for catastrophic medical expenses, like 15,000 surgeries, or even less expensive injury procedures and can run 1 to 2,000 a year and may have a several thousand dollar deductible, but is worth it if the horse chances to experience something profoundly expensivfe, vet-wise. Often, people with a horse with low value, such as a mediocre pedigree and/or no performance value, yet, choose not to insure major med either, but that's a bit more subjective, I'd guess. If you are looking for the MajMed, talk with your insurance agent about it and see if the yearly cost and deductible are worth it. For example, if that cost is 5,000 or more, it might be more worth it to not insure and pay out of pocket should something happen in his early years.
"If you're a rescuer who needs 'rescuing'... you need to rethink what you're doing." - Angela Freda
Seems to me I recall foals being not insurable until a certain age, but that may be a partial memory as my last "foal" that I've owned rather than simply looked after is 13 this year. Things may have changed. I think I didn't insure Bonnie until she was 3 or 4.
you can insure for mortality as soon as the critter hits the ground. All insurance companies are diff but mine (Hallmark) is as follows:
You can purchase mortality insurance the foal for (3 x the stud fee) for the first 30 days. Last year it was 6 months but I *believe the changed it to 30 days which ROCKS! Don't quote me though.
They have certain specifics for the IGG (?) levels as well that need to be reported within the 1st 2 days.
Once that time frame is up, you can insure for major medical as well--for 3 x the stud fee.
Might be a good idea to put some insurance on the mare now as well. If anything wonky happens during birth you might want some coverage.
I insured at 7 months or so and it was hands down the smartest "investment" I've ever made. he managed to get really sick right after i insured him, in fact he was in quarantine at uc davis when i sent in my first payment.
he's had a major issue every year since then. if you look up my posts you'll see all the drama.
still i love this stupid hot house flower and would do anything for him and do. insurance doesn't cover the acupuncture hes getting now to help with his layup - for example, but on my 300 a year payment, my company has paid out ~10K in the past four years for his care.
you have to insure for mortality to get major medical. just insure for whatever value the company requires. and be careful about this because it might change. mine was insured for the value of his stud fee - 2K and in December i received word that the company was no longer offering major medical for horses under 15K. he's four, has barely been started and now laid up - obviously i cant prove an increase in his value but i did find another insurance company willing to take us on. of course all previous issues are now excluded from coverage.
insurance really isn't expensive and if you are going to get attached to the beast, you'd better get it because when something does happen, you'll be crushed if you have to refuse treatment.
Thanks, y'all! I'll call some agents and see what they have to say. I think Markel doesn't insure them until they're 91 days old or something but they also don't ask for proof of value for horses under $50k (and unless my life gets weirder than it already is, I doubt this little one will ever be worth that much in the eyes of an insurance agent). I don't know if we even know the stud fee, because the person who sold the dam to my mom bred her to one of her stallions. She's not very communicative so I'm not sure she'd even be willing to tell us what the stud fee would be - I think she sold the stallion, too. (She's a mess.)
Anyway, hopefully we'll have a live and healthy foal who will grow up to be a nice horse for someone - maybe even me! Fingers crossed!