I'm possibly looking into getting equine insurance for my very accident prone TB. I haven't looked into getting quotes, and plan on calling around to different companies after the weekend. I should have insured him since day 1, but I have had him for two years now. I was wondering if equine insurance works like people insurance? His SI's were injected almost a year ago, and he had a "laminitic episode" over the summer due to a steroid he was on for allergies, with no rotation. I adopted him for $1,000, and he has no show record. I am much more interested in major medical than mortality. He has on again, off again lameness. Eventually I would like to get him a bone scan and knowing that I could partially get reimbursed for something like this would be amazing. Would he even be insurable with past issues?
IME, they will exclude any body part that a veterinarian has so much as *breathed* on in the past couple of years. If the part in question has no further issues, they might reinstate coverage for it. Or not.
Basically you fill out a questionnaire that says "Has the horse been seen by a veterinarian for other than routine care" and anything you list there gets excluded.
It's ridiculous when you start considering the insurance company when you're deciding whether to call the vet!
If you can be disciplined about it, my advice is to save your premiums and be your own insurance company.
They're unlikely to insure a horse "so you can eventually get a bone scan." If you're already having issues with an area, they'll exclude it from coverage.
For instance, I started insuring my horse as an issue-free two year old. At four, she had a colic incident and got a puncture wound on her elbow at the same time. She was eventually hospitalized but not treated surgically. Filed a claim.
At six she had lameness in her LF, for which we finally decided to MRI. They also did her RF leg at the same time for a baseline.
Currently colic is covered again since she's now been three years without another incident, but the elbow where she had the puncture wound (which wasn't even treated by the vets at the hospital but was noted on her chart) and BOTH front legs are excluded. I understand excluding the LF where she actually had an injury, but ther RF is also excluded from all further treatment due to the MRI report that said she showed changes consistent with a horse of her age in eventing training....
It's sometimes better to insure first thing before you discover these issues so you have plausible deniability.
You will have trouble with value - if horse was purchased for a low price and has no subsequent competition record, many companies will not issue mortality insurance. They have a minimum value threshold of something like 10k. No one issues major medical except as an addition to mortality.
I have had reasonable luck with exclusions - had my horse treated by chiro and now "back soreness" is excluded (even though a bone scan 2 years later showed no back issues), but other things have been de-excluded after a year or two.
Everyone's threshold for risk tolerance is different- for me, the idea of saving up money to "insure myself" is very scary. One colic surgery could cost way more than I could save up unless the horse conveniently waited 15 years to colic.