Insurance for Horse Owners
some of the most special moments of our lives - big and small - are shared with our horses. our love for them makes all of the responsibility worth it. owning a horse requires our physical, emotional, and financial resources. the time that you spend grooming your horse and mucking his stall, your internal calm translated into a quiet voice and a pat on the neck when he's nervous, and the money that you spend on his board, training, vet bills, farrier bills, and more, are all ways that you love your horse.
when something goes wrong - and with horses it does all too often - insurance can help to mitigate the financial impact. whether he has a mystery lameness or bites a wandering spectator in a show barn, use insurance to protect yourself financially, thereby protecting your horse.
we all know that our horses can never be replaced, but a mortality policy is designed to reimburse you for his economic value if he were to pass away.
look for agreed value coverage, meaning that the carrier will pay the value of the horse stated on your policy.
theft is a covered cause of loss for most carriers.
typically free colic surgery coverage is included with mortality, even if you do not purchase medical coverage. however, it generally has a limit, which varies by carrier.
some carriers include coverage for wobblers syndrome, which can be particularly important for younger horses.
some carriers include guaranteed renewal coverage, which requires them to renew your horse's mortality coverage at the same value the following year, even if your horse suffered an illness or injury that made him less valuable or that would normally make him uninsurable.
other carriers include coverage extensions for 90 days up to 12 months, depending on the carrier. they will cover the death of the horse from a covered injury or illness that first occurred during the policy period.
some carriers exclude coverage for west nile if your horse is not vaccinated.
limitations and exclusions vary between carriers, so it is important to review them and pick the policy that is the best fit for your horse.
there are many additional coverage endorsements that can be added to a mortality policy, such as medical, surgical, or colic - learn more about those below!
Personal Equine Liability
your horse might usually be the calmest one in the barn; or, maybe you already know that he's a firecracker! even the safest horse and the horse with whom you take extra precautions can do something unpredictable. you are liable for any injury or damage caused by your horse.
some boarding barns may require you to obtain a personal equine liability policy and name them as additional insureds, so that they are covered as well if your horse were to cause injury or damage while they were handling it.
you should check with your homeowners or renters insurance carrier to see if they will include coverage for your owned or leased horses in your personal liability coverage on that policy. sometimes an additional endorsement will be required.
you can purchase a stand alone personal equine liability policy or you can add it as an endorsement to some mortality policies.
good risk management practices are always your best defense against potential liability. insurance is one type of risk management; safety practices are another. so, always tie your horse with a quick release knot, always double check your tack for wear and damage, and remember to check your fences often - all of the things that horse people know we need to do, but sometimes let slide. these safety measures are important - every single time!
we know that our hobby comes with risk, but mitigating that with personal equine liability coverage will allow you to enjoy your quality time with your horse, worry-free (or at least with a little less worry!).
Trailering Other Horses
do you ever trailer your friend's horse? if you have a horse trailer, you're used to bringing along non-owned horses to shows and trailheads. you may even charge for this service!
however, most personal auto insurance carriers do not want this exposure. you are not eligible for coverage on a personal auto policy if you charge for trailering non-owned horses! some may still insure you if you only do this on occasion and you do not charge. it is very important for you to check with your personal auto carrier about their rules.
if they are unable to insure you and you want to continue trailering horses for others, then please contact us. we may be able to include some coverage in a farm package policy, and we can look at farm or commercial auto policies that may better suit your needs!
Optional Coverages on Mortality Policies
most carriers offer additional endorsements on their mortality policies, which broaden the coverage provided to your insured horses. please contact us with any questions about coverage options or to see a comparison between your current policy and what other options might be available!
all mortality carriers offer some kind of medical coverage endorsement that can be added to a mortality policy. Most carriers call this "major medical," but the name can vary. it is designed to cover any out of the ordinary vet bills due to a sudden and unexpected illness or injury (not checkups, vaccines, teeth floating, joint injections, etc.). the coverage typically has a deductible, ranging from $300-$600 per claim. once this deductible has been met, the carrier will cover a percentage of your horse's vet bills. your portion of this percentage is usually called coinsurance, and ranges from 0%-20%. the coverage has an annual limit, which is typically $7,500, $10,000, or $15,000. note that your horse should have colic surgery coverage included in the mortality policy form, plus the medical plan can cover all things colic as well. most carriers, although not all, have limitations on which medical plans they will offer, based on your horse's value. all plans have exclusions and limitations to the coverage itself, so it is important to shop around and compare details to make sure that you choose the plan and carrier that best meets your horse's specific needs.
although the mortality policy form includes coverage for colic surgery, the amount is limited. purchasing an additional colic coverage endorsement provides additional coverage for colic surgery, as well as other colic diagnoses and treatments. the coverage limits vary by carrier, but most carriers offer a $10,000 limit on this endorsement. it generally has a deductible and coinsurance as well.
most carriers also offer a surgical endorsement, which covers any necessary surgery due to injury or illness. it can be a great option for horses that are not eligible for medical coverage or when full medical coverage might be out of your budget. most carriers offer a $10,000 limit on this endorsement, with a deductible, and sometimes a coinsurance. like the medical endorsements, surgical is intended to cover sudden and unexpected illness or injury, so elective procedures, such as castration, are usually not covered. however, some carriers do offer an anesthesia coverage that can be applied regardless, in case your horse has issues with the anesthesia during the procedure.
Loss of Use
many carriers offer loss of use coverage as well, which is coverage for part of the mortality value of your horse if he is no longer able to do his job. because this is unfortunately all too common, there are several eligibility requirements. most carriers require horses to be valued at at least $25,000, although some require values of $100,000+. the horse must be young enough to qualify, which is typically under age 12, and pass a vet exam, usually with radiographs. you may also be required to carry medical coverage. if you have a loss of use claim, most carriers cover 50-70% of your horse's value. some carriers give you the option of keeping your horse if you take a lower payment. otherwise, the carrier takes possession of the horse and makes a determination about what should be done with it. most horse owners are not going to be willing to part with their beloved partners, even at the end of their riding careers, so this coverage really makes the most sense for high value horses that are a significant financial investment, because it can help mitigate some of the risk of that investment.
most carriers have a coverage area that includes the U.S. and Canada. If you are importing your horse from any other country and want him covered there and during shipping, or if you are showing or selling your horse abroad, you can add this endorsement to broaden the coverage area.
some carriers offer personal liability coverage for horse owners as an endorsement to their mortality policy. this can be less expensive than purchasing a stand alone policy. there are typically limit options of $500,000 or $1,000,000 per occurrence. note that trainers and other equine professionals typically would not be eligible for liability coverage on their horses through this endorsement, because your horse is part of your business and therefore should be covered by your general liability insurance policy.
the most common endorsements above are not all: there are many other endorsement options that you may want to consider, such as accident, sickness, or disease coverage for breeding stallions, prospective foal/barrenness coverage for broodmares in foal, and even coverage for frozen semen and embryos while stored or in transit. please contact us for more information!
the information contained herein is general information only. policies vary by state, carrier, type,
and insured, so this information might not be true for everyone.
please contact us to discuss your specific situation!