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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2013
    Posts
    150

    Default Insurance - A do or don't?

    It's that time of year again - time to renew my insurance policy.

    However, after knowing a few people this year that have made clams with less then seller results. I am wondering if it's worth it?

    In my area it seems that horses are more prone to injury, but we will be just doing lower level next year.

    My horse is on colic-care so I have that part taken care of.

    Thoughts? Stories? Moral Support?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    8,497

    Default

    Spent $4k+ last month tracking down my horse's intermittent lameness.

    Insurance covered $2.5k.

    It was the difference between being able to afford it and figuring out what's wrong with her, and continuing to just give her time off whenever she was sore.

    All for $350/year.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2013
    Posts
    150

    Default

    Who do you use?

    I can't find anyone to insure a horse with a value less then 5k. Horse valued @ 5k + major medical it's running about $500 per year.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    8,497

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by littlemess View Post
    Who do you use?

    I can't find anyone to insure a horse with a value less then 5k. Horse valued @ 5k + major medical it's running about $500 per year.
    I am using The Hartford, agent is Broadstone. My mare is valued in the ~$8k range, but I keep her mortality at $1k, with a $10k major medical/surgical policy.

    Honestly, while I would be thrilled to get a chunk of cash if she commits suicide, that doesn't really matter to me. I am far more interested in making sure that I can cover her medical needs.

    It would still be worth it, to me, at $500.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2013
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    150

    Default

    If you makes you feel any better I haven't know anyone to get the full mortality back.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    8,497

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by littlemess View Post
    If you makes you feel any better I haven't know anyone to get the full mortality back.
    Yeah, they'll always find something to fight you about.

    Honestly, I suspect that she's my last horse for a little while. So if she keels over, it would be nice to get $8k to put towards a new car or house improvements or whatever. But it's not like I'm going to be mid-way through an event season and feel the need to scramble to find a new ride.

    I also didn't spend $8k on her in the first place. I might have different feelings if I did actually spend $10k on a horse right off the bat. (vs the endless trickle of training/lessons/board/etc )

    But that's just personal preference.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2005
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    1,075

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by littlemess View Post
    If you makes you feel any better I haven't know anyone to get the full mortality back.
    That is odd...I had a mortality claim paid in full last year, no questions asked. It was a horrific thing to go through that I don't wish on anyone, but having the funds to buy something nice when I was ready was a huge plus.

    For the medical, IMHO it all depends on how you feel about vet bills. If your horse does a number on itself do you want to use your savings or a credit card to pay the bills?
    No Trouble
    2/2/05 - 7/29/13
    Rest In Peace my quirky brave boy, I will love you forever.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 22, 2001
    Posts
    5,387

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by littlemess View Post
    If you makes you feel any better I haven't know anyone to get the full mortality back.
    Hi there.

    Our insurance providers (Hallmark, writing for National Equine) have been consistently very fair. They paid full mortality on one of ours - never even batted an eye and sent a lovely condolence note as well. They've also fairly paid out on claims - I may jinx myself, but the folks I've worked with on claims have consistently been pretty darn fair and straight-shooting, and I didn't feel like they were looking for ways to weasel out of paying things. And I've heard similar things from folks who have worked with Broadstone, though I've no personal knowledge of them.
    I think insurance is great to cover the financial gaps - to make the decision about whether or not one does colic surgery a purely medical and best-outcome-for-the-horse choice. It is really helpful when, in that tragic awful moment where you and the vet are trying to decide what to do, you aren't frantically figuring out if you'll max out your credit card to pay for it. There are enough bad things about that experience - having insurance makes one them a lot easier.

    That being said, I don't think it necessarily makes sense to insure all horses at true replacement value (it's just too expensive), but sufficient to buy a nice youngster should you lose yours. And, once horses get to be in his higher teens or if they ahve a lot of pre-existing conditions, it may not make sense to insure them. In those instances, you can try to self-insure: put away in an account somewhere what you've been paying in premiums.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2008
    Posts
    6,454

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by littlemess View Post
    If you makes you feel any better I haven't know anyone to get the full mortality back.
    I had a mortality claim on a horse that I had just upped his mortality on his renewal. There was a mix-up on the paperwork, which I hadn't even gotten back from the insurance company, which didn't increase his mortality. That insurance gave me the increased amount - though are talking under $10K but still.

    Currently I have Hallmark and have been extremely pleased with them. I've had my horse 10 years w/ no claims so now he's making up for lost time. Hallmark has been great.

    And completely agree w/ GotSpots


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2007
    Location
    too far from the barn
    Posts
    5,864

    Default

    I haven't had a mortality claim, but have had numerous diagnostic and treatment claims for horses covered by Hartford (Broadstone as the agent). There has never been any real question and Broadstone has recommended different underwriters depending on the value, age, etc. of the horse as some provide more diagnostic coverage or whatnot. I think it is a great value at around $450 per year.
    OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    19,515

    Default

    I pay roughly $500/head for sub-$5k horses with 10k major medical through Hallmark, Diamond State/AEIG underwriting it. You deal with National Equine Adjusting in a claim.

    I have had one claim, and while I wish the communication had been a bit better, they paid with zero issues. My beef with the communication is just that it was slow. Notified them of the claim, had to wait for them to send me a letter, then submitted the receipts via mail, then had to wait for a letter than SAID they were going to pay me, then finally got the check. The process always seemed quicker and more person to person communication with Great American.

    I've seen here and heard from others that Hallmark/Diamond State/AEIG is no longer insuring sub $5k horses, but they renewed my policy in ... June, I think it was, with no problems. I have two horses insured.

    I will continue with Hallmark until they tell me I can't, but I don't know if I will switch to The Hartford after that. The Hartford is SO limited in what they'll pay out. I suppose it's better than nothing, but it's a hard pill to swallow after the much more generous policies I've been using for the past 10 or so years.

    I don't think there are any other agencies that are giving cheap horses more major medical than mortality?


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2003
    Location
    Area I
    Posts
    227

    Default

    Another Hallmark fan here - we use them ourselves not only to insure horses but also for our liability and farm etc. We have not had to make a claim for a horse but for damage to the indoor due to a storm they were awesome. Our clients who have made claims have had only positive things to say about their experiences using them.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13

    Default

    I have used Markel Insurance & had the unfortunate need to collect mortality on 1 in the past. They paid in full without a problem. I will admit they didn't cover all the medical, with deductible & what they counted as medical versus surgical, etc. I'll admit I didn't push alot by then, they covered most of the bills, & sent full mortality promptly. I got a signed sympathy card from the office I have the policy thru.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov. 12, 2001
    Location
    Dry Ridge, KY USA
    Posts
    3,235

    Default

    I had Hallmark pay a full mortality claim on a mare I had.

    I use Broadstone now. They have been great! They paid out the full $7,500, when Tess had pneumonia and spent 12 days at Rood and Riddle. They paid out a lot for her suspensory issue last year. Tessie's claim was handled by R J Ketch Ins., out of Lexington, KY. The claim agent was wonderful with which to work!

    Last year, Piper could only be insured for her purchase price. Broadstone put her with The Hartford. They paid a good portion for her ultrasound, to check out her heart issue. This year it is excluded, so I just insured for mortality, instead of major med. I was able to increase her value, because of the training I had put into her.

    After losing both of my horses to a lightening strike, back in the early 80's, I always insure (even if it is just mortality.) I did not have insurance on them.
    Last edited by Auburn; Aug. 16, 2014 at 11:05 AM.
    When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec. 26, 2008
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    629

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by littlemess View Post
    If you makes you feel any better I haven't know anyone to get the full mortality back.
    I got full mortality when my horse died. I insure with Broadstone. I will now ALWAYS insure. My horse that died was a 5 yo with no significant med history. He just died, tragically, in his field. Without that insurance I would have had no means to buy another horse (when I was ready).
    Yes, I ride a pony. No, he would not be ideal for your child. No, he is not a re-sale project...



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2002
    Location
    Delaplane, VA, USA
    Posts
    919

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by littlemess View Post
    If you makes you feel any better I haven't know anyone to get the full mortality back.
    I have unfortunately had two occasions to get a mortality payout. The full payout was made in both cases -- one five figures and one six figures -- one with Hallmark and one with Great American. Both companies asked for reasonable documentation, paid quickly and were kind and sympathetic in the process. Everything I own that is not retired is insured.
    Kate



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2010
    Location
    Sonoma County
    Posts
    97

    Default So far, worth it

    I always questioned why I paid $700 a year for medical/mortality - until this year when my horse decided this was the year of colic. We are 4 after hour/emergency vet call colics and two clinic stays in, insurance has covered 100% minus my deductible without question.

    I've had the policy for 4 years. It has more than paid for itself over the last month.

    The policy renews next month (Markel). I got the renewal notice before any of the colics, so I'm not sure whether they will come back as excluded. Since she has not had surgery, the agent said there is a chance they will still cover her.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2004
    Location
    Rixeyville, VA
    Posts
    7,457

    Default

    As someone who worked in the insurance industry for a chunk of my career and who carries insurance licenses, I just cringe when I see vague posts about carriers not paying claims. That's a serious allegation.

    My experience when I carried mortality and MM is that claims were paid without any problem. It sounds like others have had similar experiences. I don't have any issue with someone wishing to self-insure; I do it myself. But it's my choice for business reasons and not because insurance carriers aren't paying claims.
    Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule
    http://www.ironwood-farm.com



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2009
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    806

    Default

    I am also in the insurance industry and I know my company (Cincinnati Insurance) will go out of their way to pay a claim, not look for reasons not to pay it! I have found this to be the case with other companies I have had my own personal insurance with as well. That is what it is for, and if they didn't pay claims, no one would use them. I have my horse insured with The Hartford and it is peace of mind for me. I hope I never have to make a claim, but I want to know that if he is hurt I don't have to make decisions based on what I can or cannot afford - I want to be able to do what he needs. Totally worth it for $500 a year!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr. 13, 2005
    Posts
    4,263

    Default

    Insurance for the frequently traveling horse, or some sort of umbrella policy for at least liability, is a good practice. Every time you load then up you increase your odds if something happening. Maybe it's them putting a dent in someone else's car at a horse show But I recommend some type of coverage. Depending on your savings & investments, insurance with premiums and deductibles likely costs less than taking the money straight out of a bank account or the interest you'd accrue on a large credit card bill...a couple years ago this was not the case (for me anyways!), so I didn't insure and kept some money aside for vet bills...another way to look at things. Always good to consider the best use of your money & overall investments when considering insurance policies...



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