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Question on Insurance Value?

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  • Question on Insurance Value?

    Have a horse that my kid did Jr hunters and Eq stuff with until leaving for college. Horse was consistant and competitive at "A" level and even did 3'6" Hunter Derby and placed.
    Has been insured for 50K as that is all I could afford premium wise. Anyway renewal time is here again for policy and they have brightly highlighted in the renewal that values are subject to show and training record. Now we haven't done anything with this horse in well over a year as far as showing so would horses value ever come into question due to this?
    What I am trying to decide is should I drop coverage down to minimum just to get major medical or what? Tempted to just stop coverage totally....
    What do you guys think?

  • #2
    Is he still a $50K horse, or did something happen in this past year that caused his value to decrease? If not, I wouldn't lower his coverage or drop it completely at all, unless you're considering retiring him altogether and just want to lower your premium. But if you've been paying premium on him for the $50K policy, they shouldn't be asking for show records to qualify that amount unless he hit an age limit.
    I just have my horse insured for my company's minimum premium mortality coverage right now mainly because I wanted the colic surgery coverage and a supplemental surgical policy, but I didn't go higher because she is a 15 y.o. OTTB with no show record. If I had put $$ into her purchase price plus training and showing at the level your horse competed at for the last few years, I would certainly want to insure her for that full value.


    • Original Poster

      Actually valued at more but 50K was all I could do premium wise. Really the same horse, nothing wrong just not showing as I am way over the paying of bills....and didn't want to lease it out.... Just wondering if the fact that horse isnt showing hurts insurance value.


      • #4
        Generally speaking, you would only run into a problem is the horse is not worth at least the value it is insured for (for example, he's really only worth $20,000 but is insured for $50,000). If his actual current fair market value (what you could realistically expect to get should you sell him) is his insured value or more, you are fine. The short version is that people shouldn't insure a horse or more than it is actually worth.

        Regarding reducing his value, if you want to save some money on premium you can certainly drop his value down but you shouldn't go lower than what you'd be comfortable getting should you lose him. If you only need enough money to replace him with a lower level greenie, you could go with a much lower value. If you want to recoup your initial investment and/or what you've put into him over the years, keep his value at what he's actually worth (or at whatever amount you can comfortably afford).
        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!


        • #5
          What did you originally pay for the horse? I'm assuming more than 50K. I insure mine for the minimum about required to get the best major medical policy available--but both of my insured horses were given to me so I have no initial investment to lose.

          My advice would be to strike a balance between what you are comfortable with paying premium wise vs. what you would want $$$ wise should the horse die.

          I would not think that a year of not showing a horse with that record "just because" would decrease its value at all. I would however think that after several years they may start to question its value.
          Originally posted by EquineImagined
          My subconscious is a wretched insufferable beotch.


          • #6
            Most companies require annual show records to renew on policies $50k or more. I would send the complete show record, not just for the last year. If they come back with a question, I would then offer an explanation for the gap in the record. This is generally not a big deal. I would reinsure for what you valued the horse at the time you purchased the policy.


            • #7
              Generally you can buy an insurance policy for any value (below a certain reasonable amount), for example I could insure my husband's trail horse for 20K if I wanted to. But if something happens, the insurance company will only pay out what the horse was really worth, and they will ask for proof of that worth before paying out.

              None of us here can tell you what your horse is worth. But I can tell you that your horse's value is dropping with time out of the show ring, and if it were my horse I would consider being very conservative about what I insured it for. I would insure it for an amount that I KNEW I could easily prove on paper that it was worth. To answer your question directly, yes, I think the insurance company certainly would question your horse's value should he die. I think that proving the horse's actual value occurs as a matter of procedure before any payouts happen. If your horse is not in any kind of training or work, I could easily see there being questions about his soundness or rideability and therefore his value.

              For example, I once had a young horse that had only been show once die from an unusual illness. Although he didn't have much of a show record, I had a good training record including a calendar of training rides and clinics, notes from a trainer, canceled checks to the trainer, and photographs to demonstrate his value. The insurance company asked for and reviewed all of that information before paying out the full amount.

              Personally, I think that insuring a horse for an amount below its full value is a reasonable idea. If one of my more valuable horses gets sick or injured, I know I'm going to want to do the full workup and treatment for it, so I like knowing that I have the major medical part of the policy. If a horse were to die, I'm ok taking a loss, but it's nice to get something back to put towards another youngster or to reimburse me for some of the money I put into that horse.


              • #8
                Originally posted by I'dRatherBRiding View Post
                But if you've been paying premium on him for the $50K policy, they shouldn't be asking for show records to qualify that amount unless he hit an age limit.
                Not necessarily. It all depends on the insurance company and the policy.

                Which is why you have to be careful on the type of policy you purchase. An insurance company could be justified in paying you less than your insurance policy's face value. This can happen if you bought an "actual cash value" mortality insurance policy. Policies of this type are designed to pay you the fair market value of your horse around the time of its death. By comparison, "agreed value" policies provide coverage for a specifically agreed-upon amount.

                So, if you insure a horse for $10,000 and your policy is for actual cash value, you could be paying those premiums for several years, and if your horse dies and your insurance company determines that the horse isn't worth $10,000 at the time of it's death....you get whatever they decide the horse is actually worth.

                Ask me how I know? I'm an Equine Appraiser and regularly work for private clients and/or insurance companies on Death Claim Reimbursements and see this problem all the time. (Not so much as a problem, but horse owners are devastated when they find out they won't be getting their 10K after all those years of premiums)

                No matter what insurance company you go with, make sure you understand your policy inside and out.

                An insurance policy for agreed value with having you filling out a Justification of Value form each year to prove that the horse is still worth x amount.

                Daventry Equine Appraisals
                Home of Welsh Cob stallion Goldhills Brandysnap
                Also home to Daventry Equine Appraisals & Equine Expert Witness