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Insuring a retiree

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  • Insuring a retiree

    One of my guys is recently retired and coming back into my possession. Still in light work (trails OK) and being boarded so I'm assuming I should insure him for liability and maybe major medical. Does anyone have experience with this? Mine is all limited to horses still showing, I'm curious if rates would be different now that he's much older. My preference would be to keep him happy and healthy as long as possible (including providing him excellent medical care) but it would be pretty difficult for me to foot a $10k vet bill if he colicked.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Biscotti View Post
    One of my guys is recently retired and coming back into my possession. Still in light work (trails OK) and being boarded so I'm assuming I should insure him for liability and maybe major medical. Does anyone have experience with this? Mine is all limited to horses still showing, I'm curious if rates would be different now that he's much older. My preference would be to keep him happy and healthy as long as possible (including providing him excellent medical care) but it would be pretty difficult for me to foot a $10k vet bill if he colicked.
    My stable requires liability insurance. It is $200 per year for a $2,000,000 policy through my homeowners insurance. I stopped in insuring my 20 year old as the rates got too high and he would be dropped at 21 anyway. You can do the colic care through Smart Pak or Platinum Performance through use of their supplements.

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by PonyPenny View Post

      My stable requires liability insurance. It is $200 per year for a $2,000,000 policy through my homeowners insurance. I stopped in insuring my 20 year old as the rates got too high and he would be dropped at 21 anyway. You can do the colic care through Smart Pak or Platinum Performance through use of their supplements.
      Mine is 18 - normal for horses to be ineligible for major med at 21? That's good to know.

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      • #4
        Yes, I was just about to say it is difficult, expensive, or not possible to insure an older horse.

        You can typically still get liability insurance, and I think that's always a good idea given that horses are masters of mayhem and odd situations.
        ​​​​​​
        Last edited by CanteringCarrot; Nov. 9, 2019, 08:13 AM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by CanteringCarrot View Post
          Yes, I was just about to say it is difficult, expensive, or not possible to insure an older horse.
          ​​​​​​
          Exactly. Why would any underwriter insure an older horse? There is no incentive for the insurance company; 20+ year old horses are going to have medical issues. So the premiums would have to be huge for it to work - in which case, why would anyone pay for insurance instead of paying the vet directly.

          Originally posted by Biscotti View Post
          My preference would be to keep him happy and healthy as long as possible (including providing him excellent medical care) but it would be pretty difficult for me to foot a $10k vet bill if he colicked.

          And the insurance company would have no reason to pay out for your old horse to have surgery either. At that age there is no value to saving the horse's life - if you want to spend the money, that's one thing. Personally I wouldn't put an older horse through that kind of surgery even if I could afford to.

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          • #6
            In theory you can insure anything if you're willing to pay the premium. Since few would pay the premium necessary to insure an older horse it's not generally offered. But I'd bet money if you went to specialty markets (like Lloyds of London) you could do it. Just bring money; lots of it.

            Liability should be no issue; morbidity and mortality will be very pricey when you find the coverage you want.

            G.

            In another life: Regional Vice-President for Claims
            Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
              In theory you can insure anything if you're willing to pay the premium. Since few would pay the premium necessary to insure an older horse it's not generally offered. But I'd bet money if you went to specialty markets (like Lloyds of London) you could do it. Just bring money; lots of it.

              Liability should be no issue; morbidity and mortality will be very pricey when you find the coverage you want.

              G.

              In another life: Regional Vice-President for Claims
              Thank you! Super helpful. Liability it is.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by S1969 View Post


                Personally I wouldn't put an older horse through that kind of surgery even if I could afford to.
                Surgery? $10k in bills from a bad colic doesn't necessarily mean surgery, I'm afraid - colic ward stays can get very expensive even without going under the knife.

                Probably not worth debating what procedures an older horse can humanely tolerate here, given that insurance isn't likely to be the answer, regardless of risk, invasiveness, recovery, etc. involved in hypothetical expensive vet care...

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by x-halt-salute View Post

                  Surgery? $10k in bills from a bad colic doesn't necessarily mean surgery, I'm afraid - colic ward stays can get very expensive even without going under the knife.

                  Probably not worth debating what procedures an older horse can humanely tolerate here, given that insurance isn't likely to be the answer, regardless of risk, invasiveness, recovery, etc. involved in hypothetical expensive vet care...
                  Thank you. I really just needed a simple answer about whether insurance was a) possible and b) required. I'll decide what I want to put my older horse through.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Biscotti View Post

                    Thank you. I really just needed a simple answer about whether insurance was a) possible and b) required. I'll decide what I want to put my older horse through.
                    I think it's a fair thing to bring up - as our horses get older, our intent and plans for them medically change as well. I don't think you need to take it as a personal slight.

                    It's easy to have insurance on autopilot, but there's a time when you realize that the product that was right when your horse was 11 and top of her game is not what you need for the teenager horse that is stepping down. That transition can happen pretty fast.

                    It also matters where you are and what's available to you. If you have a clinic right down the road, it's maybe an easier choice to end up there than if your horse is 3+ hours of twisty roads from that level of care.
                    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

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                    • #11
                      I have my horse, age 20, insured for mortality only. My insurance company (Hallmark) offered surgical only coverage as well but I elected not to have that because he's exempt from colic surgery and I wasn't sure if some crazy bad wound might potentially qualify under "surgical only". But if I were in your shoes and wanted to insure your horse - I'd look into mortality and surgical only and see what that covers. It might not cover nonsurgical treatment for colic like a tap, but then it might cover a tap for gas colic. Might be worth looking into.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by S1969 View Post

                        Exactly. Why would any underwriter insure an older horse? There is no incentive for the insurance company; 20+ year old horses are going to have medical issues. So the premiums would have to be huge for it to work - in which case, why would anyone pay for insurance instead of paying the vet directly.
                        I can understand not STARTING to insure an older horse, but dropping coverage after 10 years of no payout I can't. My first horse was healthy as a until 22 and a horrific accident. Guess I'm glad he wasn't insured, what a waste. Pet insurance doesn't drop coverage due to age AFAIK. My dog was covered until she died at 11 years.
                        That's fine, many of us have slid down this slippery slope and became very happy (and broke) doing it. We may not have a retirement, but we have memories ...

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by OTTBs View Post

                          I can understand not STARTING to insure an older horse, but dropping coverage after 10 years of no payout I can't. My first horse was healthy as a until 22 and a horrific accident. Guess I'm glad he wasn't insured, what a waste. Pet insurance doesn't drop coverage due to age AFAIK. My dog was covered until she died at 11 years.
                          Yes but a lot of horses are not healthy at 22. The risk pool is not based on your individual horse's past history - it's based on the pool of insured animals.

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