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cost-effective equine insurance

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  • cost-effective equine insurance

    My horse is insured with Great American, which is changing its policies to require horses to be insured for $15,000 or greater in order to get major medical coverage. I've just found out that if I increase my horse's insured value to the minimum $15,000, the major medical and surgical coverage combined will be close to $1,000!

    I had to make a claim with GAIG this year and they were great to deal with, so no complaints re customer service. However, 1k a year seems a little steep to me. I was just wondering if anyone has had any good experiences with other companies that might be a little less expensive? I don't have a whole lot of extra cash right now and the new quote took me by surprise.

  • #2
    Most companies have swapped to that. Contact Broadstone Equine who will most likely set you up with The Hartford insurance company, who still insures horses under $15k.

    My mare is insured for $1k mortality, and still gets the $10k medical. My cost is under $400.


    • #3
      Insurance is ONLY "cost effective" if you make a big claim. Otherwise the profit goes to the insurance company. It is a gamble, and like casinos, the "house" wins more often than not.

      Discipline yourself (really) to put the $1K/year in an account that is otherwise not touched--the "horse emergency" slush fund. After a few years you will be self-insured.
      Click here before you buy.


      • #4
        I don't know how many companies require that minimum mortality for the major medical, but I know that for $15k mortality and major medical, $1000/year is pretty close to normal... about 3-3.5% of insured value plus whatever the major medical premium is. deltawave has a good point, I need to work on that discipline. lol


        • #5
          I just "cut the cord" myself this year after having insured my horses for 15+ years. The exclusions, co-pays, and deductibles make it just not worthwhile any more.
          Click here before you buy.


          • #6
            Look into Diamond State Insurance Co. They insure horses for 10K or 7.5K mortality plus major medical. Rate is 2.9%, so 10K plus major medical/surgical plan is 290 + 275 = $565/year. $300/year deductable.

            Insurance is expensive but it *can* save you alot of money. Of course, just like Vegas, you're playing the odds!
            Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation


            • #7
              I have Diamond State and they let you have a lower mortality than medical rate to keep costs down. 10,000 medical plus 5,000 mortality cost me $575 this year to renew. I used up every penny of my $10,000 last year.
              "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse..." ~Revelation 19:11


              • #8
                I split the difference

                On my less than 15k horse, I kept mortality and dropped medical. I can afford a vet bill, but not a new horse. I also got a colic surgery rider with my mortality.



                • #9
                  Originally posted by pheasantknoll View Post
                  On my less than 15k horse, I kept mortality and dropped medical. I can afford a vet bill, but not a new horse. I also got a colic surgery rider with my mortality.

                  For those w/ mortality insurance, just be aware of this (taken from a lawyer site):
                  MISTAKE#11: Expecting a full payout from your horse mortality insurance. You purchase mortality insurance on your horse for $50,000, the price you paid for him. Three years later he colics and is euthanized. Right away you notify your insurance carrier and expect a check to arrive in the mail for $50,000. Instead, your insurance company notifies you that they believe the horse is not worth $50,000 and send you a check for $30,000. You find out that the mortality insurance you purchased on your horse is an “actual cash value” policy instead of an “agreed value” policy. Where an “agreed value” policy would have paid you the full $50,000, the “actual cash value” pays only the value of the horse at the time of death. The majority of horse mortality insurance policies are “actual cash value.”
                  ADVICE: Read and understand your mortality insurance policy. Review the policy yearly to keep up to date with any changes.
                  We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........


                  • #10
                    He isn't that expensive.


                    • #11
                      If you go with The Hartford, be sure to ask about exclusions, because they are significant.

                      As a former Great American customer, I'm now going with a Diamond State/AEIG policy sold through Blue Bridle. No crazy exclusions or limitations in the policy. Cost is $575 for $2500 Mortality/$10k MM or $600 for $5k M/$10k MM.

                      Here is a recent thread that discusses some options:



                      • #12
                        2Tempe brings up a good point, so does Simke. You have to stay on top of the exclusions. I've not had to cash in a mortality policy, but I know someone who had to do it twice due to freak accidents. Accident number 1 - horse slipped and fell on ice when being walked to turnout, broke hip, never stood up again. Vet euthanized the horse where he fell. To collect the insurance policy, owners had to ship the body to the nearest Vet school for a necropsy (not covered by insurance policy) to prove that the death was not caused by suspicious circumstances. They were able to collect money but it was minus the euthanization vet call and the trip to Ohio state University and minus the necropsy fee. It was pricey. They purchased a second horse who ended up having a problem with the right front leg. Major medical and mortality was reduced to specifically exclude the right front leg. One day, the horse decided to jump out of the pasture - uphill at the gate. he didn't clear the gate, had a rotational fall, and broke his neck on impact. Same situation, the horse had to be transported to Ohio State for full necropsy (not covered) before payout. You really do need to pay attention to the fine print in your particular policy, or call the adjuster to ask about exclusions.
                        Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation


                        • #13
                          I think horse equine medical insurance is wonderful and worth every penny. They lose a fortune on me and I sometimes wonder how they stay afloat. And it prevents having to make those tough last-minute decisions if your horse needs, say, emergency colic surgery. Or be prepared to put it down.


                          • #14
                            I sometimes wonder how they stay afloat
                            Are you kidding? Checked the salary of insurance CEOs lately? It's legalized gambling, and the house ALWAYS wins.
                            Click here before you buy.


                            • #15
                              I just switched from Great American to EquiSure, they will still insure at $10K and their rates were reasonable.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by ArbGrl View Post
                                I just switched from Great American to EquiSure, they will still insure at $10K and their rates were reasonable.
                                EquiSure is an agent. They sell policies for a variety of underwriters, one of which is Chartis.

                                Great American is an underwriter.

                                And as of last fall, EquiSure did not offer an underwriter that would give you more major medical than mortality.


                                • #17
                                  I have Hallmark which I am quite happy with, having owned and insured for 10 years this fall I had not one but two colic surgeries to contend with (same horse ugh) and Hallmark was super. My horse was insured for less than $15K and MM at $7500 w/ $3,000 colic rider. The thing about MM or surgical coverage is that you will have upfront/out of pockets costs if your horse needs some type of surgery - do you have funds available to cover? For my horse's first surgery, the vet wasn't quite sure what they were dealing with so my estimate was quite high and as horse was being prepped I was writing out a check for $5,000... partial payment for his surgery and post-op care. Its not like human health insurance which most of the time is billed by and paid direct to the hospital or drs. office. I'm painting the worse case scenario which was my situation. But it is something to think about in the case of MM/surgical coverage. I just got my renewal notice and w/ $13,000 mortality and $7500 MM the premium is about $750 and of course colic will be excluded.

                                  I've also heard good things about Markel.


                                  • #18
                                    Hallmark is another agency. They sell Diamond State/AEIG policies.

                                    Your point about having the funds to cover it all is a very good one. It can take some time between paying the vet and getting the check from the insurance company (IME, the insurance company has always been pretty quick to pay, but sometimes the vet is slooooow to get the paperwork to the company ) Having a credit card with a big limit can be very useful!


                                    • #19
                                      Exactly Simkie. In my situation, I left w/ the hospital bill but waited for my bill from my vet (who treated horse before heading to hospital). I ended up sending mine in early in November and received the first couple of checks right after Thanksgiving. And in my case, the insurance company sends you some letter or document stating your case # etc.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by pheasantknoll View Post
                                        He isn't that expensive.
                                        That was just an example. Change the numbers and you still risk the same outcome. Horse insured for $10,000 is suddenly only worth $6000 according to insurance co. I have a friend who went through this exact situation two years ago. There were even "lawyer letters" back and forth before an agreement reached
                                        We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........