Last Updated: June 10, 2022

Learn How to Secure Your Equestrian Business with Horse Insurance

TLTR: The best way to safeguard your investment in horses is through a quality horse insurance policy. This article provides information about how you can choose one and how it benefits you. 

Horses have been an essential part of human life in every culture across the world. It was certainly the case during the early days of the United States. Ever since those times, horses have primarily been used for riding and transportation, as well as farming and pulling carts. Likewise, horses are also utilized for racing and sports such as polo. 

A variety of risks are attendant with the diverse use of these beautiful animals. As a result, they are susceptible to various injuries and health issues which can jeopardize their life and your investment in them. In order to have financial protection in times of peril, it’s vital to have reliable horse insurance. 

In this blog

What is Horse Insurance?

Horse insurance is commonly also known as “Equine Insurance.” Contrary to popular belief, pet insurance or homeowners insurance policies do not cover horses. Therefore, to properly insure your horse, you need to purchase horse insurance or equine insurance. 

Horses are big business. As reported in Riding Magazine, the American Horse Council counts 1,013,745 horse owners owning or leasing farms that house 7,246,835 horses in the United States. The American Horse Council states that the equine industry contributed approximately $50 billion to the U.S. Economy. This reflects how important horses and the relevant industries are to the American people. 

To clarify, the term “horse insurance” covers a range of insurance policies that financially protect owners. They are safeguarded against things such as accidents, property damage, liability, medical cost, theft, unexpected death, and horses’ inability to serve their intended purpose. 

Therefore, in order to get the coverage you want, you may need to purchase more than one policy. 

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What does Horse Insurance Cover?

Policies include: 

Mortality Coverage

This is the most basic and common policy. It protects you from the financial costs of fatal accidents, illnesses, or diseases that may afflict your horse. The coverage also provides for removal of the remains and proper burial. 

While recently obtained horses can only be insured for the purchase amount, their insured value can increase over time. So, if a horse becomes more profitable through accumulated earnings, income through breeding, training, and so forth, its overall value can be adjusted.  

NOTE: Most importantly, the policy will not cover a horse that has died due to abuse or intentional neglect. 

Theft Coverage

This policy will cover the costs of search and rescue if your horse is stolen. It also provides coverage if your horse strays from your property and goes missing. 

If your horse is not found and recovered within 28 days of being stolen or going missing, you will be covered for the market value of the animal. 

Liability Coverage

Horse insurance can include a form of liability coverage against personal injury or property damage to the public due to the actions of your horse. There may be situations where guests, customers or outsiders who ride your horse are injured from a sudden fall, or they or their property may suffer damage due to a kick from the horse.  

In such cases, the policy will cover the relevant medical, repair, or legal costs. The coverage amount can differ depending on your insurer and where you’re located. Contact an agent to get the necessary details. 

Major Medical Coverage

The cost of equine veterinary care for injuries, illness, lameness and other serious issues can be very expensive.  

Major medical coverage has your back for this. This policy covers relevant medical treatment and surgical procedures. However, you are required to follow through with proper medical care for the coverage to take effect. 

For example, let’s say your horse strayed from your property somehow and is found with grave injuries from a predator attack. The animal is suffering and so you choose to euthanize it rather than put it through the stress of an operation. In this case, your insurer will not pay for the policy. But if the horse was insured and passes away despite medical attempts to save it, then your insurance company will pay out.  

The policy will, of course, also pay for associated medical costs if you choose not to euthanize the horse and it recovers. 

NOTE: This policy doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions and immunizations from the veterinarian. Also, eligible horses need to be between the ages of 31 days and 20 years.  

Loss of Use Coverage

Loss of use coverage is primarily for horses that take part in competitive performances such as racing, reining, or sports. The policy also covers stallions that are used for breeding. It’s not applicable if you use your horse for recreational or labor purposes.  

This policy will reimburse you if your horse will never be able to perform its intended purpose due to accident, illness or injury. The policy requires you to submit a veterinarian’s statement too.

This coverage is divided into two main categories: 

Limited loss coverage, also known as accidental loss coverage, financially covers you for a certain amount of your horse’s market value. This policy provides coverage if an accident injures your horse to the point where it isn’t able to perform its intended role. 

Full loss coverage covers your horse if it’s in unfavorable condition due to an accident, illness, injury or disease. It requires you to submit a veterinary exam, radiographs and medical reports in order to make a claim. Also, this policy will not cover the horse’s pre-existing conditions. 

NOTE: The percentage you receive in case of a loss of use claim can vary depending on your insurance carrier. If the amount ranges from 50% to 100% of the horse’s original value, the animal becomes the property of the insurance company.

Accident Sickness Disease (ASD)

This covers stallions, where the male horse is suffering from a disease or injury and is unable to breed as a result. You need to provide the insurer with proper medical proof that the horse is fertile and has settled mares in a minimum of one breeding session before the coverage kicks in.  

If the horse ends up being infertile due to an accident or injury, then the policy will financially reimburse you for the horse’s insured value. 

NOTE: This coverage is also known as loss of fertility policy.

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Exclusions For Horse Insurance

There are a few exclusions you need to consider when purchasing horse insurance. Some of the more common exclusions are: 

Pre-existing medical conditions: The policy won’t cover your horse if it’s already suffering from some sort of sickness or medical condition before you decide to insure it. 

Age of your horse: Generally, most insurers will limit full coverage for a horse up to 19 years. 

Hospital admittance: There can be instances where a policy might not cover the cost of hospitalization of your horse for an injury or illness. For example, if the horse is injured due to your own actions, then you will not receive coverage. 

Vaccinations: Some policies and insurers can deny coverage if your horse isn’t properly vaccinated or dewormed. 

14-day exclusion: A majority of policies will not cover any losses from death, injuries, or illness sustained by the horse during the initial 14 days of getting the coverage. 

Exclusions can vary depending on your insurer. You should consult with an insurance agent to get the necessary details regarding the exclusions for your coverage. 

How Much Does It Cost to Insure a Horse?

The cost of horse insurance is based on a variety of factors such as:

Age

As your horse ages, it becomes more prone to getting sick and injured. This can increase the cost of your coverage. 

Activities

The risk involved in the specific activities your horse takes part in can affect the price of your coverage. For example, riding and farming can be seen as low risk in comparison with competitive racing or hunting. 

Additional Coverage

Your standard horse insurance will cover injuries, illness, theft, and the death of your horse. But sometimes that might not be enough. You might have to take on extra coverage for costs associated with liability, veterinary fees, or surgery. These will raise your insurance costs, but ultimately can save you a lot of money should the need arise. 

Note: According to Equus Magazine, you would generally pay around 2.5% to 4% of your horse’s value as your annual premium. Insurance companies can set this amount at around $150 to $250. 

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Best Horse Insurance Companies for 2021

The following insurance companies are some of the best equine insurance providers based on a certain criterion.

Company Relevant For Pros Cons
Hartford Customizable

-Business insurance available

-Add-ons

-24/7 claims service

-No online quotes or features

-Available through local agents only

Hallmark Show horses

-Guaranteed coverage as horse ages

-Free colic surgery coverage

-Coverage starts 24 hours after purchase

-Coverage limits on equine medical surgery

-Can only insure for horse’s market value

-Veterinary certificate required for high value horses

Allen Financial Insurance Group Race horses

-Offers $1 million in property or loss of use coverage

-In-house claims support

-Very experienced in equine industry

-No online quotes

-Doesn’t sell coverage directly

Markel Breeders

-Special coverage for breeders

-Covers horse trainers and instructors

-Specializes in different horse breeds

-No online quotes

-Aimed towards equestrian businesses and farmers

Broadstone Pet Horses

-Sufficient horse insurance expertise

-Linked with A-ranked horse insurance providers

-No group trip extended coverage

-Insures only horses aged 18-20 years

In Conclusion,

Getting horse insurance can be a tricky process. Given the coverage options and exclusions there are bound to be things you might miss. And to top it off, there are different specialized insurance providers that cater to specific needs based on how a horse is utilized by its owners. Its best to consult with a local insurance agent who can guide you to the coverage options that best suit you. 

Did you like this insurance blog? Feel free to reach out to us and explore more of our articles. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What should I consider while choosing horse insurance?

Horses engender risk from various things from illness to the horse to damage to a building that houses the animal. As an owner you should consider the following: 

  • Liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage to others. 
  • Mortality coverage that can be customized for specific situations relevant to you. 
  • Annual or short-term coverage for events, fund-raisers, meetings and such. 

Is there anything else to consider while selecting a horse insurance policy?

With any type of insurance there are always different things to consider which depend on your situation. For your horse insurance it is best to mull over the following: 

  • Daily health care of your horse: If you take care of your horse regularly and maintain its health to avoid injury, illness or loss, you’re fulfilling all the necessary policy requirements in advance. 
  • Long term health of your horse: Insuring your horse at a young age will provide good financial back up if and when it suffers a medical condition or injury as it gets older. 
  • Veterinary fees: Standard horse insurance doesn’t cover any vet fees, so it’s best to add it as an extra coverage 
  • Price & Coverage: Horse insurance has a fair number of conditions and exclusion for you to consider which can affect your price and the coverage you receive. It’s always best to be aware of your own financial situation, requirements and what insurers are offering. 
  • Consultation: There are a variety of options to choose from and exclusions to consider, and you might have a hard time deciding which policies best suit your needs. It’s always a good idea to consult with an insurance expert and get the necessary guidance. 
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