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Insurance Agents leading me astray

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  • Insurance Agents leading me astray

    I've been looking into horse insurance. I am training my girl to be an all-arounder even though she is mostly dressage and trail, which means at some point she is going to do some low level eventing. I've had 2 agents at two different groups tell me to insure her as a dressage horse because it's cheaper. I'm pretty sure that if I tried to make a claim and there were records of her jumping at events that my claims would be denied.
    Which would be great for the insurance company but not for me! Needless to say, I did not go with either of those agents and am still without insurance.
    "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

    "...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x

  • #2
    The policy term is normally for one full year, so if she will only be doing dressage and not any jumping during the initial policy term, you can list her use as dressage for now and change it later once she is going to start over fences. However, if she will be doing some jumping/cross-country during that first year, then yes, her use should be listed appropriately. Her listed use should reflect what she is doing during the time period the policy covers.
    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!

    Comment


    • #3
      I think the agents were trying to do you a favor by giving you quotes based on what you are doing now vs. eventing in the future. The insurance companies don't differentiate between doing a low level unrecognized event at Baby Beginner Novice vs. a recognized event at higher levels; you could also ask the agent(s) if you could insure your horse under dressage discipline and see if once you start jumping and plan on competing at events if you can change the discipline in your policy to eventing - you'd probably have to pay an increase in the premium but that way should anything happen at an event where you'd need to file a claim your horse would be covered. One thing to also remember is if you have to have say colic surgery then you still need to have funds to pay for the surgery as many equine clinics want the payment first, and you get reimbursed by insurance..

      Comment


      • #4
        The agents are being honest. A higher premium is charged when horses event at higher levels, usually preliminary and above. Sounds like the OP has a low level horse, so the premium quote is correct.

        More importantly, however, is that the OP has a complete distrust of the insurance industry. Having worked in it for many years and still maintaining licenses that I don't use, I find the rationale for not buying insurance because the carrier might deny a claim to be silly. I've used equine mortality coverage and the carrier most certainly did pay the claim. Not hassles either.

        If the OP wants to use this as her rationale for not insuring, that is fine with me. Most people don't carry equine mortality. I just hope she doesn't get into the situation that my sister encountered. She lapsed her insurance. 6 months later her horse coliced. Went in for surgery, ran up a 10K bill and had to be euthanized anyway. It took sis 3 years to pay off the vet bill and she didn't have a horse during that time. Do you think she doesn't regret lapsing the policy?
        Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule
        http://www.ironwood-farm.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by IronwoodFarm View Post
          The agents are being honest. A higher premium is charged when horses event at higher levels, usually preliminary and above. Sounds like the OP has a low level horse, so the premium quote is correct.
          This is interesting ... when I called my then-insurance company to let them know that my dressage horse's training would be including 3' and under jumping only in training/lessons, they advised me to pay the jumping premium (3.5% as opposed to 3% at the time).

          I am going to make the same call tomorrow to my new insurance people (new horse, thanks ONLY to having kept insurance, which reduced the premium again when I advised them we were no longer jumping) just to be sure.

          It seems like if the company is going to say "no, you're fine" the policy will reflect the variety of approved or allowed activities.

          OP ...
          If you want insurance and don't trust the people you've talked to, call more of them. There are many fine and reputable equine insurers out there.

          And if you want to cover your horse under any circumstance, pay the additional premium for YOUR piece of mind.
          *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by IronwoodFarm View Post
            The agents are being honest. A higher premium is charged when horses event at higher levels, usually preliminary and above.

            No, that wasn't my experience. I was told that if my horse was going to jump I needed to pay the higher premium. I think if the OP isn't planning to jump her horse yet that's a different question. You insure based on what you're doing now, not at some hypothetical future date. Policies can be amended. I had only positive experiences with agents. Maybe people are more cautious with me because I'm a lawyer? I'd hate to think that's true.

            Comment


            • #7
              My insurance rate didn't change when I switched my mare from broodmare to event horse.
              McDowell Racing Stables

              Home Away From Home

              Comment


              • #8
                It is possible that some carriers have different underwriting standards for jumping. The carriers I have used don't seem to care about eventing until you get to the bigger fences. I have had a number of horses eventing at the lower levels and I was never charged more than the basic premium rate.

                If it were the case where the agent charged you the wrong premium rate for coverage, that does not mean the insurance carrier can void coverage in the event of a claim. The MOST they can do is have you pay the correct premium amount. Agents carry errors and omissions insurance for just these situations.

                I must be a bit cranky today, because the OP's attitude that two different agents were lying and that insurance carriers would deny her claim was pretty uninformed. She seems convinced she is being conned into paying a premium for coverage that will never pay out. That's just not true.
                Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule
                http://www.ironwood-farm.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                  My insurance rate didn't change when I switched my mare from broodmare to event horse.
                  That's probably because broodmares are usually insured at a higher rate than performance horses, due to risk at time of foaling. Or so my insurance agent told me.

                  OP, I'm with you - I don't think your agents are being straight with you. If your horse is jumping more than 2' and more than just occasionally, you should be insuring it as a hunter/jumper/eventer. Otherwise, if something does happen as a result of the horse jumping, the injury might very well not be covered.

                  Not an insurance agent, and not up on any new developments in equine insurance, but going on my 20+ years of having horses insured, and the advice of equine insurers during that time.
                  In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
                  A life lived by example, done too soon.
                  www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    3.6% of value for both broodie and event horse. They didn't ask me what level of eventing which at this point is no level as she is just beginning her training and has never shown.
                    McDowell Racing Stables

                    Home Away From Home

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think others have made this point, but DH is an insurance agent (of the human variety) and I thought this was a relevant example to your situation:

                      Had some acquaintances tell us they had recently gotten life insurance and that involves an interview/cheek swab to assess current health and lifestyle. Husband in the couple smokes cigars occasionally-as in less than 5 cigars each year. No other smoking ever. He explained that to the adjuster during the interview and is now paying $30 extra every month because he's a "smoker." DH told him next year to just say he quit and save himself some money. If it's an occasional behavior agents will often probe further or, in DH's case, recommend that the client "rethink" their answers to get them a better rate.

                      Are there sketchy insurance people out there? Yes. But I would think they'd be telling you to take the higher rate-it would be more beneficial to them from a premium/commission standpoint and they have no reason to want you to be under-insured. Ultimately you have to trust your gut and make sure you go with someone who you feel is looking out for your best interests. Sounds like, for you, that wasn't these guys, but if you get the same experience somewhere else it might not be that they're coming from a place of dishonesty. You can always refuse their suggestion and go ahead and insure her as if she's jumping consistently if that's what gives you peace of mind.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My insurance agent was very honest and explained to me that dressage was less expensive, but that if my horse happened to be injured jumping, that my claims may not be covered. Since I intend to jump my horse for fun and am all about more-protection-is-good, I elected to go ahead and insure her as a hunter/jumper. Pretty sure she's one of the only Lipizzaners in the history of ever to be labeled as a hunter/jumper. :-)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Maybe one of the few Lippys, but there are lots of baroques (Andalusians and Lusitanos) that are pretty spectacular jumpers. I know - I owned one.

                          And kudos to you for covering your basis. Smart lady.
                          In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
                          A life lived by example, done too soon.
                          www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by IronwoodFarm View Post

                            I must be a bit cranky today, because the OP's attitude that two different agents were lying and that insurance carriers would deny her claim was pretty uninformed. She seems convinced she is being conned into paying a premium for coverage that will never pay out. That's just not true.
                            The agents themselves told me the claims would be denied if the horse was injured jumping. My speculation was that the company could claim that an injury was due to jumping because if the horse was being jumped at all, how could anyone know it was not from jumping?
                            "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

                            "...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Please contact Joe Lombard at Corinthian Insurance. He is more honest than Abe Lincoln and will never steer you wrong.

                              Here is his website: http://www.corinthianinsurance.com/JoeL_bio.html
                              I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Which is exactly why, if you intend to insure with their companies, that you should follow their recommendations and insure the horse for jumping if it's going to jump at all. Just makes sense to spend maybe a couple hundred dollars more per year than to risk not having a claim covered if one occurs.
                                In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
                                A life lived by example, done too soon.
                                www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  ESG, these reps recommended that I NOT insure for jumping even though the horse would be being jumped as part of her all around training program and I intended to take her to some low level eventing clinics and shows. They **pushed** that the horse be insured as a dressage horse only as her main use was dressage and trail. A person who is less stubborn than myself might have gone along with that recommendation and my complaint is that the rep was giving a bad recommendation that could result in claims being denied.
                                  "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

                                  "...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    When making application for any insurance be scrupulously honest and accurate in your application. If a use changes during a policy period then report the change. Keep a copy of the application and any changes made. If the agent or anyone else alters the application, either by changing it or by improperly characterizing it, the owner is golden. If the company tries to deny a claim based upon some sort of defense of misrepresentation they will quickly change their minds if confronted with any evidence of no wrongdoing by the insured. And the wrongdoers will likely be looking for new employment.

                                    One of the facts of life for insurance companies is that a wrongful denial of a claim can be very expensive. In most places if the company makes a mistake and doesn't correct it when given opportunity then they will pay compensatory damages; often punitive damages (either directly or on the form of multiplied compensatory damages); and pay the plaintiff's attorney's fees and court costs. If the company has a track record of wrongful denials it can cost them their license in that state.

                                    Denial of a claim based upon external fact is a big deal; denial based upon misrepresentation by the insured is a Very Big Deal. Honesty by the insured is the best defense against wrongful insurance company action.

                                    G.
                                    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Thanks G. My thoughts exactly!
                                      "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

                                      "...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x

                                      Comment

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