Are You Considering Equine Insurance?

Insurance coverage for your horse is a subject of considerable importance. To not insure just because you are undecided as to what to do can affect your finances considerably. If the task of researching your insurance needs feels overwhelming maybe this article can help you formulate a plan.

Insuring your horses

This is an easy decision. All horses are a financial investment and like your house or car you should protect your investments. Insurance coverage gives you a means to pay, in case of death, the money to replace your animal or major medical expenses. Coverage for your horse can be broken down into: Mortality, Major Medical, Surgical and Loss of Use.

Mortality Coverage

This policy covers death as a result of accident, illness, injury, humane destruction, transportation or theft. You must ask your agent what types of risks your policy will cover as they can vary from company to company. To this policy you can add riders to cover major medical, surgical and loss of use.

What you need to consider when insuring your horse is what types of risks your horse will encounter. If for example you have a breeding stallion you are exposing him to outside horses and will want to cover him for illness and injury. This also applies to anyone showing their horses.  Make a list of the risks you want covered. Decide on the horse's value. If you have just purchased your horse, the insurance company will want to see a copy of the bill of sale as this will generally be the maximum sum they are prepared to insure your horse for.

However, if you own a horse and need to qualify it's value, if for example you wish to increase the amount of the insurance because your horse is now trained and showing well, you will probably have to have an accredited equine appraiser justify this increase. The appraiser will establish current "fair market value" based on a number of factors, which include physical traits such as age, health and conformation as well as breed type characteristics, pedigree and background. Other factors are disposition and accomplishments including training, show records, prizes and earnings. Progenitors and offspring are also taken into consideration when finding a value.

The factors that don't affect your horse's value are: emotional attachment, perceived value, and direct or indirect cost of ownership such as maintenance, veterinary bills and financial needs.

My company works directly with the insurance industry. I have done appraisals for people who are looking at purchasing insurance. I have also worked directly with adjusters and claims departments for various insurance companies.  In my work I have found horses that are under-insured by a considerable amount. I have also found horses that are over-insured by twice their appraised value.  Since I have no vested interest in these horses I can give a complete and unbiased opinion on the value of equine stock.

Losing a horse can be devastating emotionally. Having your investment covered will give you great peace of mind.

Carla Dickhaut, Equine Appraiser