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Protecting Your Equine Investment: The Advantages of Horse Medical Insurance

Horses are more than just pets; they are costly investments in money, time and energy. Therefore, it is important to protect your investment by purchasing full mortality and major medical coverage. Working with an independent insurance agent specializing in equine policies is the best way to ensure comprehensive coverage and competitive rates.

Loss of Use

You’ve made a major financial investment in your horse as a horse owner. The initial purchase price is just a down payment on ongoing expenses such as boarding, training, transportation, show fees, farriers and veterinarian costs. An injury or extended illness can add up quickly and leave you with a huge loss. You can protect yourself from these large losses with horse medical insurance by purchasing full mortality and major medical coverage. In addition, most policies include permanent loss of use coverage. This covers the horse if it becomes permanently unable to perform its insured activities. For this to be paid out, your vet must agree that the injury or illness means the horse can no longer compete or participate in the discipline for which it was insured. As with all types of insurance, you should research before buying a policy. Look for a company that has a good reputation and is financially sound. Also, make sure you understand their process for filing claims in the event of a crisis.

Loss of Earnings

Horse owners can also buy loss-of-use coverage on a full mortality policy, which reimburses the insured for a portion of their horse’s value if it becomes permanently unsound for its stated performance use. These policies are more costly and usually require a vet exam, radiographs (from the hocks to the knees), flexion tests, and a market comparison or clippings from classified ads to substantiate the horse’s current value.

Many full mortality and major medical/surgical policies include a personal accident section covering anyone who rides or handles your horse with your permission. This is important, especially if your equine business has teaching and competitions. Stallion infertility coverage is another add-on to some full mortality policies, which covers your investment if the stallion becomes permanently incapable of breeding due to an accident or illness. These policies can have yearly premiums as high as 3% of the insured horse’s value. 

Loss of Life

The time, energy and money invested in a horse can be devastating in the event of its death or theft. While nothing can replace emotional loss, protecting the value of a competitive show or breeding stock horses can be accomplished with mortality insurance. Full mortality policies normally protect against most causes of death, including natural disasters and accidents. They may also cover the cost of euthanasia.

Major medical and surgical coverage can be added to a basic mortality policy for an additional flat fee per year. It can include a deductible, and the details vary from company to company. An independent agent specializing in equine policies can help you understand the coverage options and rates available for your specific horses. They can also cut the jargon and explain the fine print, ultimately finding the right policies for your needs. Their knowledge and expertise help you find the coverage that best protects your investment.

Emergency Care

Major medical or surgical coverage reimburses most of the veterinary costs incurred as your horse is treated for an injury or illness. After a per-claim deductible, this coverage typically includes diagnostics, medications, surgery and postoperative care. Generally, alternative therapies such as acupuncture and magnetic therapy are excluded, but some companies review these on a case-by-case basis.

Many equine insurance policies include mortality coverage to protect your investment if your horse is killed or stolen. The annual rate is a predetermined percentage of your horse’s value, and you may choose from full or limited mortality coverage. Injuries occur frequently in the horse industry. A recent study found that horseback riding is the 3rd leading cause of personal injury in children. A competitive accident and health policy can help reduce expenses by chipping in when damage occurs. It can also help you avoid filing a claim under your standard general liability policy, which can result in higher premiums.

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