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Big changes in horse insurance

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  • Big changes in horse insurance

    It is renewal time for my horse insurance. I have been with Marshall and Sterling over 10 years now. I have 6 horses that I insure. It used to be I could insure them for a minimum of about $2,000 mortality, the requirement was even probably less than that, but that would always get me the mortality with major medical added on, which was the most important thing to me.

    But, apparently this year each horse must be insured for at least $15,000 before major medical will be added on. And, apparently this is the only option to get the major medical. I have had next to zero claims in 10 years so they are not discriminating against me, it is apparently a change in their policy.

    My question is, is this is what is happening with all of the carriers? And, if not, PLEASE give me your suggestions of other carriers to try. I want my horses to be insured but this would be cost prohibitive!!

    Thank you!!

  • #2
    Try blue bridle. Another cother recommended them to me for a horse that no other carrier would insure. They are super nice and deal across the industry with different groups.
    My adventures as a working rider



    • #3
      yes, Great American is doing the same thing. They are not doing ANY medical insurance at ANY price on horses less then 15K.

      I am switching to diamond state.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Nickelodian View Post
        Try blue bridle. Another cother recommended them to me for a horse that no other carrier would insure. They are super nice and deal across the industry with different groups.
        I second Blue Bridle. Have used them for many many years. a friend just used them to insure a young horse who is not in the 15K range and they got her insurance no problem.
        Happily retired but used to be:


        • #5
          I know this has to do with the underwriters. Is this something we should be expecting from others in the future?


          • #6
            Call "Jade" at Corrinthian Insurance in Massachusetts. They will find you a few to quote from.


            • #7
              try Jennifer Nester at Equines 614 595 1996
              Cornerstone Equestrian
              Home of Amazing (Balou du Rouet/Voltaire) 2005 KWPN Stallion
              RPSI, KWPN reg B, and IHF nominated


              • #8
                I called Corinthian and will be switching from Great American to Diamond State...


                • Original Poster

                  Thank you very much, guys. Will be following up with these suggestions.


                  • #10
                    Regardless of who you go with, make sure you know your policy inside and out! Is your horse insured for "agreed value" or "actual cash value" (fair market value)? With agreed value, if your horse is insured for $10,000 and the horse dies, the insurance will pay out $10,000 as long as there is proof of value. With actual cash value, you may be paying premiums on $10,000 for 5 years, but if your horse dies, the insurance company will only pay out what your horse is worth at the time of death (fair market value). If the economy tanks, etc., and the fair market value is only $4,000, that is unfortunately all you will get.

                    Most horse owners are under the impression that if they insured their horse for $20,000 and they've paid their premiums every year that they will get $20,000 if they die. Unfortunately, no always true!

                    Regardless of the insurance company you choose, please, please, please make sure to keep good records on your insured horses - including pictures, video and show records....and remember to continue to update them! I've done several very tough equine appraisal cases in which the owner didn't have a single photo or video of their insured horses that passed away, no show record, nothing....which makes it extremely tough to prove their value! And, if you feel like the insurance company is giving you the run around, and you truly believe your horse is worth more, get your own independent equine appraisal done and present it to the insurance company. I do a lot of these...and it does work!

                    I've got a few insurance tips and tricks on my website and on our Facebook page to help horse owners...so my job isn't so hard if someone needs to make a claim at some point!
                    Daventry Equine Appraisal Services
                    Home of Welsh Cob stallion Goldhills Brandysnap
                    Also home to Daventry Equine Appraisals & Equine Expert Witness


                    • #11
                      I called M&S to confirm (not that I doubted a COTHER!) and it's true. Effective when the policy renews, the min is 15k. So come May, for me, I need to make some choices.

                      If I decided to stay with them & G.A, my premiums on 3 horses (now insured for
                      5k ea) would jump to $2700 total. If I go with the new company they are now offering, which would keep the policies the same, the premium would be $1800.00 or so. That would have to be paid in full however, no payment plans...

                      I am going to speak to Corinthian as well as Blue Bridle and see what they offer.
                      I am glad that this post was started, as I had no clue that things were changing.


                      • #12
                        Hallmark Horse (uses Diamond State) is another good one.
                        The Evil Chem Prof


                        • #13
                          Writing might be on the wall here, others will probably follow for the simple reason vet costs have gotten so high and they are paying out 3 or 4 times the insured value and substantially more then the premiums for even routine procedures. Far more then they would pay out for mortality on the same horse.

                          Insurance is a business and no business can repeatedly lose money. READ your policy and make SURE minimum mortality just to get MM does not have a stated cap or stop at the insured value.
                          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                          • #14
                            This is unfortunate news, I've always kept mine insured for $10K, regardless of whether they worth more or not, figured that would keep the premiums down. In this market getting a horse valued at $15K is sure to get more and more difficult.


                            • #15
                              We use Markel for most of our horses (the others are with EMO, which we have done well with as well, agent Bil Hartman),and they've been very good. They are not the cheapest, but they are good. That said, I would HIGHLY recommend finding an agent you have faith in. We use Bill Carrington and he's outstanding. He makes sure we know what we've got, he's on top of any changes they make, and he's gone to bat for us and made sure things got paid when they should have. IMO, your agent can make a huge difference!



                              • #16
                                I liked my agent too but they assured me my then 16 year old Hunter insured for 20k (I could not drop it any farther then xx% of original insured value at age 11) was still eligible for a surgical policy even though no MM was available at 16. Long as I kept the mortality...which was pricey for a 16 year old.

                                Imagine my surprise when I read the dam policy I bought and saw there was a 5k LIFETIME cap. They dropped mortality when horse hit 17.5 and offered to continue the exsisting surgical only. I declined to renew that.

                                Read, read, read, read, read. Agents don't cut the checks or approve/deny claims no matter how nice.
                                When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                                • #17
                                  Give Jennifer Oliver a call - 540-222-0460. She represents a number of companies and can give you excellent suggestions.
                                  Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist


                                  • #18
                                    You should go and read Off course or Horse Care sometimes as there have been many threads on this for a few months.
                                    Typical insurance business. Pay us the premiums, but we won't take any risks... I hate insurance. How many people claim on cars because they are afraid their premiums are going to go up... not very few.

                                    Daventry, is the same thing happening in Canada? We have a young new horse that I want my daughter to insure. He is nowhere near the $15K since he is green. He is not even hers yet, she has him on trial for as long as she wants until she is 100% sure he is what she wants. Owners are more interested in a good fit than $$$. Amazing!


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by findeight View Post
                                      Writing might be on the wall here, others will probably follow for the simple reason vet costs have gotten so high and they are paying out 3 or 4 times the insured value and substantially more then the premiums for even routine procedures. Far more then they would pay out for mortality on the same horse.

                                      Insurance is a business and no business can repeatedly lose money. READ your policy and make SURE minimum mortality just to get MM does not have a stated cap or stop at the insured value.
                                      Exactly. I've never understood how equine insurance can be profitable...and I'm in the insurance industry. Horses are prone to injuries, which means the pool of healthy or "non-insurance using" horses probably isn't large enough to even out the insurance using horses. And with how expensive care is these days, and the fact that people are saving horses that maybe wouldn't have been saved a few years ago...well, it doesn't surprise me to see costs go up.

                                      That also means I will probably have to make the choice of having my horse insured or not in the next year or two. Sigh.
                                      Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                                      Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"


                                      • #20
                                        Call Nicholson Insurance. They work with multiple underwriters and will work with you to find the best policy for your horses & wallet. Tell them Angela sent you... (Ask for Julie)
                                        Not all who wander are lost.