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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 20, 2008
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    PA
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    Default At what point do you insure a horse?

    Does it depend on how much you paid for the horse? Current value? Or maybe type and frequency of use of the horse?

    I’ve always owned low-dollar “for fun” horses so have never insured any. However, I might be purchasing a new horse soon. It will be the highest amount I’ve ever paid for an animal, though I doubt he’s considered a high-dollar horse by most. I just wanted to gauge what other people’s opinions are on the matter of insurance and where they set the bar as far as when to insure/what horses to insure.

    TIA!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2002
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    Area VIII, Region 2, Zone 5.
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    My rule of thumb is, "How bad would I feel if I couldn't afford colic surgery for this horse?"
    Quote Originally Posted by SuzieQNutter
    The whip is held across your thigh so as you can still hold the reins without spilling your coffee!!
    SillyHorse adds: Or your wine.


    9 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 18, 2006
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    I always insure for major medical and surgical and always would regardless of the horses value because one case of colic, needing surgery, could easily run someone 10 or 15k and I would never want to not do the surgery because I don't have that kind of money just 'laying' around. Mortality insurance: I also get but usually that is so if my horse were to pass away or need to be put down I would have the ability to get a new horse if I so desired. I hope that is helpful!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2006
    Posts
    261

    Default

    Insurance on a horse is no different than on a car, a home, etc...it is there to help you make "repairs" (meds, surgeries, etc.) if your horse gets "damaged" (injured/ sick)...or to leave you with the necessary funds to replace him or her if he/ she dies or would need to be put down.

    Yes, you have to determine a value and that value is not necessarily the purchase price. It is what the horse is worth on the day you insure him. So why doesn' t everyone claim that their horse is worth $1M?? Because the higher the value of the horse, the more expensive the policy.

    I would insure all of mine for major medical if I had an unlimited budget...premiums are reasonable and it will ultimately save you from some hefty vet bills at some point. As for mortality...you have to determine if the cost of the insurance is worth shelling out for a horse on whom minimal value can be proven.

    Also keep in mind that some horses are uninsurable....same as people...depending on their health history.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 25, 2012
    Posts
    597

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    For me it's always been a two part question: how difficult would the horse be to replace, and how expensive?

    If the horse is a local show horse or good do-be pleasure horse, I might not insure. If I have an extraordinary attachment to the horse, for whatever reason, well, then, they're not easiy replaceable and I would insure.

    If the horse has a combo of skills and suitability that required months to locate, I would insure.

    If I have bought an under $5000. yearling and brought it along and developed it for years so it's now a $25 - $50K performance horse, I would insure, because I would want to be compensated for the added value, not just the original purchase price.

    Finally for any horse under $15K, I would definitley have major medical as well as full mortality. With just full mortality, the insurance may require that colic surgery be attempted before paying the claim, and colic surgery, as mentioned above, can be $10K/


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6

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    I insured my horse the day after I bought her. She was skinny, untrained, and not worth any money but I didn't care, I loved her already and would have been devastated if she needed medical care that I could not afford for her.

    Her insurance paid for her to be scoped and receive 30 days of GastroGard, and they just paid for a three day stay at a hospital to receive a bone scan and ultrasounds for a very slight mystery lameness. My husband has been out of a full time job for over a year and we would have NEVER been able to afford that level of care for her...and it wasn't even an emergency. Can't complain, really.

    Most ins. companies won't let you buy a MM policy without purchasing mortality, too.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 29, 2009
    Posts
    750

    Default

    Insure for mortality at the point where if you lost the horse you would not have the funds to replace it. So, if you saved up to spend $5k on a horse and it dies from colic on the night you bring it home, are you going to be unable to go out and get a new horse until you save up another $5k? If so, insure. If not, you may not need to do so.

    A good rule of thumb is that Major Medical usually needs to match your mortality limits bc, unless it is an emergency situation, your insurer can require you to do everything you can to prevent the mortality loss, up to the cost of the mortality risk. For instance, if you insured the above horse for $5k and when you bring him home that night and he colics and you call the insurance company to say hey, I can't afford colic surgery bc I didn't get major medical so I am putting the horse down, they can say that colic surgery is a reasonable treatment that you have to do before they will pay out your claim. And if you don't have $5k to replace the horse, you probably won't have $5k for surgery either.

    When you first buy a horse, they normally will only allow you to ensure for market value -i.e., what you paid for the horse. So if you pay $5k, you probably can't insure for $10k. As you add training or the horse proves itself, you can increase your limits, but keep in mind that if you have a claim, they will require you to prove value. But you do not have to increase your limits beyond what you would feel comfortable replacing. So say you get the $5k horse and train him to where he is worth $25k. You could up the coverage to $25k, leave it at $5k with the understanding that you won't be able to replace with a horse with the same value or do something in the middle. Once again it is a question of how much you are willing to risk losing and, as importantly, how much you can afford to pay not to lose it.


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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by jennifersw View Post
    I would insure all of mine for major medical if I had an unlimited budget...premiums are reasonable and it will ultimately save you from some hefty vet bills at some point. As for mortality...you have to determine if the cost of the insurance is worth shelling out for a horse on whom minimal value can be proven.
    It is not always possible to insure for major medical without insuring for mortality. You don't have to insure for mortality for the full value of the horse (you could insure a $500,000 horse for $5,000), but you can't just pay the $250 or whatever it is now and have major medical. It generally needs to be attached to a mortality policy.

    (People who have gotten around this, please tell me what policy you have so I can get it too.)

    Quote Originally Posted by McGurk View Post
    If I have bought an under $5000. yearling and brought it along and developed it for years so it's now a $25 - $50K performance horse, I would insure, because I would want to be compensated for the added value, not just the original purchase price.
    Make sure to have an 'agreed value' policy. This means the value of the horse is agreed upon at the time of policy purchase. This sounds completely self-explanatory but a lot of insurance companies manage to slip it in that it is the "value of the horse at the time of death" not the actual value insured for, so then after paying premiums for a $50,000 price tag for 7 years the insurance company says, "Well, actually, we only think it was worth $15,000 because it didn't show at all last year."

    Just some things I have run across in my navigations of insurance purchasing.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2008
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    5,045

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    One thing to remember is even though your horse is insurance for MM / surgical - chances are very high you will still need funds upfront to pay for any surgery - the insurance company reimburses you, not direct payment to vet hospitals. When mine had surgery I had to write out a check for 50% of the estimated cost; and balance due before I loaded him up to take him home. Would you be able to liquidate or have access (borrow from mom/dad/401k?) until you received insurance payment? Having said that I've had insurance on 3 horses and sadly needed it for 2 of them so I'm def. in favor of coverage. It is a huge help and when you have that big beautiful animal looking at you w/ those eyes and the vet asks if he's a surgical candidate, it makes for a much easier decision.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 10, 2007
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    down south
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    I purchased my guy 2 years ago for a lower value than what I just insured him for. I just had to provide information on what type if training, how often he is trained, and how much for training I have paid. I'm not asking for a lot of money for insurance just what he is worth now with his training. Most companies I takes to you can't have major medical policy on a horse unless it is valued at at least 5k. You can have mortality under 5k but not the medical. Then the medical will only go to the insured price of the horse. So say you insure for 5k with major medical and he needs a surgery that will cost 7k (not colic surgery, that is more because legality comes with a portion for colic surgery usually) they will only pay the 5k that you have insured him to out. If you insure him at 7500 then you will get 7500 in the year that's it.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by rabicon View Post
    I purchased my guy 2 years ago for a lower value than what I just insured him for. I just had to provide information on what type if training, how often he is trained, and how much for training I have paid. I'm not asking for a lot of money for insurance just what he is worth now with his training. Most companies I takes to you can't have major medical policy on a horse unless it is valued at at least 5k. You can have mortality under 5k but not the medical. Then the medical will only go to the insured price of the horse. So say you insure for 5k with major medical and he needs a surgery that will cost 7k (not colic surgery, that is more because legality comes with a portion for colic surgery usually) they will only pay the 5k that you have insured him to out. If you insure him at 7500 then you will get 7500 in the year that's it.
    Not ALL companies do that. If you look around, you will find companies that will pay out up to $15k of MM regardless of the value of the horse. My horse is insured for $5k but her MM policy is $10k. My premium is about $600 a year, though I heard it's going up company-wide this year (I will still renew it though!), my deductible is $300, and they pay 100% of diagnostics.

    Reading the fine print is VERY important when looking at policies. If you don't understand what it all means, ask someone who does to interpret for you. Meup is spot on about the agreed value thing. I don't really care if I get a cheque for my horse's worth if she dies; my main concern is the MM coverage, so I am not worried about that stuff, but then again my horse isn't worth much. If I had a big fancy show horse that I had paid $25k + for, I might be more concerned about the mortality half.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2005
    Location
    Back to Normal.. or as close as I'll ever get
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    What PoohLP said.
    Amount will depend on breed and use.
    I always carried mortality when I was showing and horse was on a commerical van a couple times a month.
    I considered it "Replacement Cost"

    As my Hunter accrued ribbons and titles I upped the insurance.
    Had to provide proof of training fees and point standings to verify the increase.

    Still never went for Major Medical coverage and {knock wood} did not need it except for a uncomplicated colic surgery that ran me under $2K (waaaay back in the early 90s)

    As I backed off showing and horses aged I dropped the mortality.
    Most companies are not going to insure a 20+yo horse.

    I had a great agent - he wrote my TB as a Pleasure horse since we showed less than 6X/year and the TWH as an Event Horse since the stats on Walking Horses being injured while eventing were in our favor.
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009


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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug. 31, 2011
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    southeast Georgia
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    What if you're training your horse yourself? I bought a greenie last year and am training her; I know she's worth more than she was when I bought her but have no training bills to prove it.
    I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
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    15,561

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    Quote Originally Posted by jennifersw View Post
    So why doesn' t everyone claim that their horse is worth $1M?? Because the higher the value of the horse, the more expensive the policy.
    Also, an insurance company won't sell you a mortality policy worth way more than the horse. That's an invitation to fraud.

    I'd buy minimal insurance: The amount required to get a major medical policy, or the amount I'd want in my pocket for the next horse. Neither might be as high as the horse's appraised value. IMO, you get the best products insurance allows for the least price this way.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2007
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    California
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    Quote Originally Posted by SillyHorse View Post
    My rule of thumb is, "How bad would I feel if I couldn't afford colic surgery for this horse?"
    DITTO on this one.
    Train like you have never won and show like you have never lost!!!



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2007
    Location
    California
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dewey View Post
    What if you're training your horse yourself? I bought a greenie last year and am training her; I know she's worth more than she was when I bought her but have no training bills to prove it.

    If you know of a local trainer that can write up an evaluation of your horse. Or you can talk to the insurance company and provide them with your bills etc and what your horse is now worth.
    Train like you have never won and show like you have never lost!!!



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by doublesstable View Post
    If you know of a local trainer that can write up an evaluation of your horse. Or you can talk to the insurance company and provide them with your bills etc and what your horse is now worth.
    Or take it to a horse show and put a score on the board.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2008
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    meupatdoes - I tried to PM you but your mailbox is full.
    Yes, I know how to spell. I'm using freespeling!

    freespeling



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