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Questions, Questions, Equine insurance.

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  • Questions, Questions, Equine insurance.

    Searched for threads but did not come up with much.

    What are your favorite equine insurance companies? I got quotes from Markel and Hallmark, (3% of assessed value or purchase price). Anyone use these people?

    If not, what others would you recommend? I'm looking for med/surg and mortality, and possibly Loss of Use. My BO has an agent she loves, but she does not offer loss of use. BO said it's not worth it to her personally, but I am kind of wanting to get loss of use for SOME of the horse's value should something happen to him rendering him not usable for jumping or dressage. However, he is 10 going on 11 years old, so I'm worried his vetting xrays aren't going to be 100 percent clean at this age, which is what I'm assuming they require for this type of coverage.

    Maybe it isn't worth it.

    Anyways, I'm wondering what the all-knowledgeable COTH'ers here like. I've never had an expensive enough horse to require mortality, and never had medical ins. (Thankfully, never needed it). But now that I'm adult buying 'my' first horse, I don't want to take risks.

    (Hopefully this thread hasn't been done to death, but I couldn't find anything when I searched for it).

    ETA: I will use horse for 2'6/2'9''-3'' hunters. Not extensively showing him, just some schooling and local level A's. Will be maintained as recommend as well by vet as well either using joint suppl. or IM injections. (Not sure if this info is necessary, but decided to add it just in case).

    Thanks all!
    But George Morris still wears rust-colored breeches- so can I!

  • #2
    I use Hallmark. Granted I haven't had any claims yet and just dutifully pay my very low premium a month, but they've been great.

    I just have major medical/mortality and it's $30/month.

    I didn't have to send in any xrays or PPE paperwork either.
    Friend of bar.ka!
    Originally posted by MHM
    GM quote of the day, regarding the correct way to do things:
    "There's correct, and then there's correct. If you're almost correct, that means you're wrong."

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by RxCate View Post
      I use Hallmark. Granted I haven't had any claims yet and just dutifully pay my very low premium a month, but they've been great.

      I just have major medical/mortality and it's $30/month.

      I didn't have to send in any xrays or PPE paperwork either.
      Wow! What age is your horse?
      But George Morris still wears rust-colored breeches- so can I!

      Comment


      • #4
        wait...you found a horse?!?!?!
        "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
        carolprudm

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by mroades View Post
          wait...you found a horse?!?!?!
          Haha MAYBEEE... I don't want to jinx it yet, so I'm keeping quiet about it until it's ALL finalized. I can't wait to post about it though- I'm just superstitious!
          But George Morris still wears rust-colored breeches- so can I!

          Comment


          • #6
            I have used EMO in the past and now use Markel; I have been very satisfied with both companies.

            I have MM, a supplemental surgical coverage and mortality. I also have some additional colic surgery coverage through the Preventicare program.

            I would strongly urge you to really research Loss of Use coverage before making a purchase decision. A lot of people think that LOU is going to cover a situation where, for example, the horse can no longer jump 3' (but could perhaps jump crossrails.) Most LOU policies would *not* cover that situation - if the horse can still be used as a riding horse, or as a horse that "can jump" (a crossrail) the LOU provision is not satisfied.

            Additionally, it is very common to have to surrender the horse to the insurance company when you make a LOU claim. The insurance company is then free to do whatever it wants with that horse to try to recover some of that cost. They can sell the horse if they wish, and can also elect to put the horse down. Some LOU policies will allow a smaller payout (usually half) and allow you to retain the horse. Do your homework.
            **********
            We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
            -PaulaEdwina

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Catomine View Post
              Wow! What age is your horse?
              She'll be 8 in May and is an OTTB
              Friend of bar.ka!
              Originally posted by MHM
              GM quote of the day, regarding the correct way to do things:
              "There's correct, and then there's correct. If you're almost correct, that means you're wrong."

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
                I have used EMO in the past and now use Markel; I have been very satisfied with both companies.

                I have MM, a supplemental surgical coverage and mortality. I also have some additional colic surgery coverage through the Preventicare program.

                I would strongly urge you to really research Loss of Use coverage before making a purchase decision. A lot of people think that LOU is going to cover a situation where, for example, the horse can no longer jump 3' (but could perhaps jump crossrails.) Most LOU policies would *not* cover that situation - if the horse can still be used as a riding horse, or as a horse that "can jump" (a crossrail) the LOU provision is not satisfied.

                Additionally, it is very common to have to surrender the horse to the insurance company when you make a LOU claim. The insurance company is then free to do whatever it wants with that horse to try to recover some of that cost. They can sell the horse if they wish, and can also elect to put the horse down. Some LOU policies will allow a smaller payout (usually half) and allow you to retain the horse. Do your homework.
                Oh god, I'd never give the horse to the company! I was just thinking it would be a nice thing to have if he for some reason became only pasture sound! Thanks- thats very interesting.
                But George Morris still wears rust-colored breeches- so can I!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yeah, LOU is really expensive and not worth half of the premiums. Don't bother. They will require the equivalent of a full vetting every year, and barely pay out. There are certain cases in which it's worth it (i.e., a very valuable TB broodmare who can no longer carry a foal), but for the average horse, no.

                  I have used Great American and Broadstone/The Hartford.

                  I can NOT recommend Great American--I had a horrid experience with an EPM horse and I had to fight tooth and nail to get my pay outs for her medical coverage. The horse was a danger to herself and others, but I could not get euthanasia authorization and I ultimately donated her into a research study on the disease to try to help some other poor horse down the road.

                  My experience with The Hartford through Broadstone has been stellar in every aspect. My horse was in a trailer accident and ultimately needed three surgeries for a chest abscess that went on and on and on. They were terrific, paid out promptly and gave me no problems when my horse kept having complications. I maxed out my entire benefit and my agent actually apologized to me that they couldn't give me more money! They did, of course, exclude it for the following year, but every company will do that (and it was resolved by that point, although I did utilize the 90-day extension to finish an open claim).
                  Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Great American

                    We have our horse insured with Great American and have been very pleased. We have mortality and major medical. The mortality is 3% of the horse's purchase price, and the major medical is $250/year. We just had to make our first claim and the insurance company was great. Very helpful in getting the claims filed correctly and fast reimbursement. They do offer loss of use if the horse is insured for a certain amount or over. If I remember correctly the horse has to be insured for a minimum of $50,000. We opted to not get the loss of use because if you do file a loss of use claim the insurance company can take possession of your horse and you have no say so as to what is done with it from there. We didn't think we could handle that. Anyway, I highly recommend Great American---don't think you can go wrong with them. Good luck!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I also have Great American and have been happy with them (and I've had several claims over the years with multiple horses). However, there is another thread going right now about the changes GAIC has made to their major medical coverage so you should check that out. The rates are higher, the owner share of cost is higher, and I'm not sure it is competitive with other providers, so do some research to compare.

                      I would never do Loss of Use for the reasons already discussed (high premiums, possibility of losing horse, etc.). I pretty much carry insurance for the med/surgical coverage anyway, and mortality is a just a means to get the other coverage (since you must have mortality to get med/surg).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I had a good experience with the Hartford on claims payout, but they were extremely overzealous, bordering on ridiculous, on the exclusions they wanted to add when it came time to renew, and they would not budge. My agent also advised that in her experience, they are not usually inclined to reconsider the exclusion in the future either, regardless of circumstances. There were certain exclusions I expected based on my mare's injury and the claims paid, but complete exclusion of the hind legs because we went ahead and had her hocks injected while she was already at the vet school was going a little far, to say the least [As a frame of reference, the injury they paid out the claims on was to a ligament in the right front foot . . . . ]

                        My agent recommended switching to Great American when we saw what the Hartford was proposing, and I have not had any trouble with them, including on a subsequent claim. When they did the initial underwriting, the exclusions they came back with were precisely what we would have expected, nothing more, nothing less. GA was slightly more expensive than the Hartford, IIRC.

                        On loss of use, you'd pretty much be better off self-insuring on that front by setting aside the premiums for a rainy day because of the limitations and restrictions others have described, so definitely investigate thoroughly.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Madison View Post
                          I had a good experience with the Hartford on claims payout, but they were extremely overzealous, bordering on ridiculous, on the exclusions they wanted to add when it came time to renew, and they would not budge. My agent also advised that in her experience, they are not usually inclined to reconsider the exclusion in the future either, regardless of circumstances. There were certain exclusions I expected based on my mare's injury and the claims paid, but complete exclusion of the hind legs because we went ahead and had her hocks injected while she was already at the vet school was going a little far, to say the least [As a frame of reference, the injury they paid out the claims on was to a ligament in the right front foot . . . . ]

                          My agent recommended switching to Great American when we saw what the Hartford was proposing, and I have not had any trouble with them, including on a subsequent claim. When they did the initial underwriting, the exclusions they came back with were precisely what we would have expected, nothing more, nothing less. GA was slightly more expensive than the Hartford, IIRC.

                          On loss of use, you'd pretty much be better off self-insuring on that front by setting aside the premiums for a rainy day because of the limitations and restrictions others have described, so definitely investigate thoroughly.
                          Now is the agent someone independent that you work with to find you the best rates/companies? Or when you say your 'agent' told you do switch, do you mean the person at the Hartford actually recommended that?
                          But George Morris still wears rust-colored breeches- so can I!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            No, I purchase through an independent agency that sells for various insurance companies -- www.harbinagency.com . They quote premiums from the various companies, and are generally familiar with the differences between the companies, and then I decide which one to go with. When I called the agent after I saw the proposed exclusions from Hartford, she asked whether I wanted to consider switching to a new company, and based on my policy needs and their (and their customers) experiences, she suggested GA. It is safe to say the Hartford employee did not send me and my premium dollars elsewhere, though they might as well have given how inflexible they were when I spoke with them about the proposed exclusions!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Most equine insurance is sold through agents. I use Cunningham and Cunningham, and used Equisure in the past. Agents usually sell policies for a few different companies. In my experience, having a good agent is almost more important than the policy (assuming the same general terms). Agents that write a lot of volume with a company are generaly well respected and can get what you need done.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I would not ever get LOU - for the reasons explained here already, and because you truly do not need it - LOU is more typically purchased for high $$ performance and breeding horses, mostly stallions (this information was given to me over the years by numerous agents for Markel, Harbin, EMO and Great American).

                                I have used all mentioned at one time or another, and the only negative experience I can recall was that Great American is difficult to work with if you have a high dollar horse that should be PTS - they argued the point to death with my trainer's vet and it took two other vet opinions to convince them to allow the mare to be humanely PTS after unsuccessful colic surgery. Now, that could have been a bad agent, or perhaps it was the company/underwriter's policy - whatever it was, it caused the entire barn and everyone who knew the situation to stop purchasing MM and FM with GA.

                                Markel and EMO are wonderful to work with when filing a claim - Markel even sent me a "get well" card, and I never had to file a claim when I used Harbin (and I had no idea they were brokers until now! LOL!). I think I have used another company, but I cannot recall who it was right now, but I was pleased with them as well.

                                If I could, I'd choose to start a saving's account for medical expenses vs. paying insurance premiums every year - especially since if you file a claim, exclusions can be a real issue later on. Then you also have the age issue to contend with - I'd rather have the money if and when I need it, collecting interest - but that assumes I have that kind of money to save in the first place
                                Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.
                                W. C. Fields

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I am now with Neuman insurance and I have had to file a claim recently.

                                  My buy had a serious impaction and spent 8 days at the vet clinic on IV's.... i initally I was not going to file the claim, but as the days went on and the bill went up, I had no choice.

                                  I called on day 8, the discharge day, they took the claim no problem, and it was paid within one week of the claim being filed, AMAZING!!

                                  Also, Neuman was the only company that would insure my horse for more than I paid. With his show record and in a normal market he is a 20-30k horse, however, being in the right place at the right time, I was able to purchase in for 4k.... the rep @ newuman sent his show record to the underwriters and got them to insure him for closer to what his value was based on show record....... so he is insured for more, because he could in no way be replaced for what his purchase price was.

                                  I would suggest this co. to anyone, super awesome!!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Love Broadstone! They were great with my accident prone horse (who racked up $2000 of vet fees in 2 years!)!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      [QUOTEI can NOT recommend Great American--I had a horrid experience with an EPM horse and I had to fight tooth and nail to get my pay outs for her medical coverage. The horse was a danger to herself and others, but I could not get euthanasia authorization and I ultimately donated her into a research study on the disease to try to help some other poor horse down the road][/QUOTE]

                                      Had a similar issue with a horse with epilepsy. They said she wasn't "suffering" so when I opted to put her down after she had a grand mal seizure that last about 5 minutes they paid me zero. I was expected to try to maintain her on phenobarbital and hope she didn't hurt anyone. No thanks. I put her down at my own expense and lost out on the mortality payment. On the other hand, I have been very, very happy with Traveler's.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by kimball1 View Post
                                        [QUOTEI can NOT recommend Great American--I had a horrid experience with an EPM horse and I had to fight tooth and nail to get my pay outs for her medical coverage. The horse was a danger to herself and others, but I could not get euthanasia authorization and I ultimately donated her into a research study on the disease to try to help some other poor horse down the road]
                                        Had a similar issue with a horse with epilepsy. They said she wasn't "suffering" so when I opted to put her down after she had a grand mal seizure that last about 5 minutes they paid me zero. I was expected to try to maintain her on phenobarbital and hope she didn't hurt anyone. No thanks. I put her down at my own expense and lost out on the mortality payment. On the other hand, I have been very, very happy with Traveler's.[/QUOTE]

                                        They would rather pay to have her on a life-time of phenobarb (which I think also requires serum level draws once in a while too), than have her euthanized? What if she DID hurt someone, you'd think they would not want to deal with the possible financial repercussions from that..
                                        But George Morris still wears rust-colored breeches- so can I!

                                        Comment

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