If you lose your horse, do you need money to replace it? Or picture an injury or illness that will cost hundreds, or possibly thousands of dollars. Do you have money put aside to cover an emergency vet bill? Then insurance may be for you. If you have funds put aside so that you're not worried about buying a new horse or paying for a surgery or major treatment, you may not need it.
Lots of people underinsure for mortality coverage to keep their premiums lower, so they wouldn't get as much as the horse is actually worth should they lose them, but then they get medical coverage to cover any vet bills. Personally, it's worth my peace of mind to know that I probably don't have to make a decision as to what emergency care my horses will get based on how much I can afford to cover by myself. I wouldn't forgive myself if I had to put down one of my boys because I couldn't afford a colic surgery that's straightforward. One of my geldings started headshaking last year and it was a big help to have the insurance available to do some diagnostics to see if we could find a physical cause (head x-rays, scoping, allergy test, etc.). It wasn't a huge bill, but between a couple of vet visits, the diagnostics and meds it was a couple thousand dollars. Well worth the few hundred dollars of premium I paid for the year.
It's not about the color of the ribbon but the quality of the ride. Having said that, I'd like the blue one please!
I'm personally not a believer in insurance; that said, I'm comfortable that I can deal with any issues that arise with my two horses. I can also afford to replace the show horse if need be. The retired guy will not be replaced...
Some insurance companies now are requiring a minimum of $15k in mortality insurance in order to get major medical. Others are lower. Also I've heard good and bad stories about coverage, and fights over whether or not a horse should be euthanized. I'm sure these are not common, but stuff does happen. Prices are pretty consistent I think; the mortality component will run around 3.5% of the insured value of the horse, adjusted for the risk of its job. The major medical is another maybe three hundred dollars. So if you have a $15,000 value, the annual premium will be probably around $800.
There was another thread on this topic not long ago: http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...ight=insurance
We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........
The one thing about insurance and should anything happen, you still need to have the funds or be able to liquidate funds to say have your horse undergo colic surgery. The insurance companies do not typically pay for a colic surgery direct to the vet hospital or clinic. For example my horse recently had colic surgery, I had to shell out the $6,000 for the surgery and submit the invoices to insurance company for payment. they did a fast turnaround so I was able to pay myself back. I will say that having my horse insured made the decision to undergo surgery much easier - I think even if I didn't have insurance I would have still opted to have the surgery. Having the insurance also enabled me to send my horse to a rehab facility since the barn where I boarded didn't really have the set up needed to rehab him i.e. private paddock.
I used Hallmark and found them to be great. They have a $3,000 colic rider and their rates were a bit less than some of the others with a higher colic rider (others were $2500) and as mentioned their turnaround for payment was about 3 weeks.
The reasons why one would insure their horse varies from person to person, and there are many types of insurance... are you talking about liability insurance... mortality...medical... loss of use?
My personal insurance experience is this:
I have liability insurance on my horse should he hurt someone, another horse, or damage property ($190 per year).
I have a mortality policy for $5,000 and a major medical/surgical policy for $10,000 ($575 per year).
I decided to get medical/surgical insurance on my horse because I had a wake-up call when another horse at my barn got a small wound on his leg that ended up turning into a bone infection that needed surgery. He was at the hospital for about a week IIRC. I thought "if this happened to my horse, there's no way I could swing the $10,000 without making my husband resent the financial impact it had on us, nor would it be smart to go $10,000 into debt or wipe out our emergency fund intended for mortgage, etc. should I lose my job."
In order to get medical/surgical insurance you have to also get a mortality policy. I didn't care so much about replacing my horse should something happen as I did being able to pay for major vet bills, so I found a company that let me have a lower mortality than medical/surgical amount to keep my annual premium lower.
Within the first year of having the policy I used up every last cent of my $10,000 PLUS thousands out of pocket for diagnosing and treating a major lameness (fractured navicular bones), and ulcers. Just renewed my policy and while there are many exclusions, my insurance co didn't drop me or anything like that. Could I have diagnosed and treated these issues without insurance? I could have to an extent, but not as thoroughly and much would have been a guessing game. My horse has a 50/50 chance of being sound or becoming a pasture ornament, so I am glad I can give it our very best shot with treatments, etc.
Someone who could spend $10,000 on a vet bill without it being a big financial burden, or someone who has decided they will not spend above X amount of money on a horse's medical expenses may decide having insurance on their horse is not worth it. It all depends on your financial situation and what you would want to do should your horse have a major injury or illness.
I will never *not* have insurance. It's a minimum payment that gives me major piece of mind.
In 2011, I bought this GORGEOUS hunter gelding and paid him off right after Christmas. I didn't immediately transfer his policy, because it was right after the holidays, I had just paid him off, etc.
60 days later, he coliced and required surgery. Was able to work out a payment plan with my vet.
Didn't immediately pursue insurance, as I figured I'd probably have to wait until he was reasonably back to work, etc so as not to have exclusions, etc. (Which may or may not be correct). Regardless, 90 days after surgery he dropped dead.
I ended up losing about $17,000 on that deal.
Never again will I have a horse that is not insured in my barn.
I insure from the moment of purchase, going so far as to submit the insurance paperwork days before the actual purchase is complete. I want that coverage bound the second that bank transfer hits, baby.
I insure for several reasons. The foremost is, of course, peace of mind. My horse is worth more money than I care to admit and replacing him would be a financial impossibility for a few years. Secondly, yanking out $10k+ for colic surgery would be something I could afford, but it would cause me some grief. Third, if said expensive critter suddenly can't do the job for which he was purchased (big jumpers) I once again can't really afford to replace him, so having a loss of use clause on him adds another layer to my peace of mind.
With that said, I've held insurance on horses worth *far* less money and been happy to do so for the medical coverage alone. I've only had to use it once (touch wood), and I was thrilled to have it at my disposal.
My parents insured my horse when we bought him, and thank god we've never had to use it. Due to personal experience and money troubles I refuse to lease a horse without insurance, or even offer to pay for their insurance as part of the lease fee! But accident's happen, and having to fork out the money unexpectedly could be detrimental, and I've seen it happen.
Granted, people that start to deal with more expensive horses with competitive show careers or plans to train and sell later on tend to put more money into insuring their horse. It's all up to you, but having that peace of mind that other's have mentioned is very important.