Equine Insurance used to be uncommon. Something that was there for the extremely valuable racehorses and top level sport horses and breeding stallions.
Times have certainly changed and equine insurance has grown and expanded to now include the everyday equine.
Often your horse is part of your family, your baby. You spend hours upon hours with your horses – feeding, grooming, riding and making sure they are safe and healthy.
The stresses brought upon you when your beloved equine family member is ill or injured can be extreme. That stress comes in multiple forms including emotional stress and financial burden.
It makes sense to do what you can to ease that stress should these bad situations arise, doesn’t it?
What does Equine Insurance cover?
There are often a few different types of cover available. Generally the cheapest and most basic cover is for death due to illness, injury or disease.
The most popular type of equine insurance people take out covers the horse for reasonable veterinary costs due to an illness or injury. This type of cover is obviously very handy to help relieve that financial burden you may feel when your horse is hurt or unwell!
Another cover available is loss of use. This is for a situation where a horse may sustain an injury (or illness) that prevents it from doing what it previously used for. An example would be a show jumper that sustains a tendon injury and is unable to jump again.
There are other things that may or may not be included in your equine insurance including disposal costs should your horse pass away or need to be euthanaised, death as a result of surgery conducted by a veterinarian (such as a gelding surgery), theft, travel costs and more.
If you own a horse stud it would be beneficial to find a company and policy that will cover your stallion for infertility, and your mares and foals during pregnancy and foaling.
Each insurance company has different policies, benefits, exclusions and conditions. It pays to do your homework. Read the policy wordings, talk to trusted equine friends and professionals and talk to the prospective insurance provider!
Generally they will be more than happy to discuss with you and answer questions – remember, they want your business!
Do you need equine insurance?
Lets put the emotions aside for a moment. It doesn’t matter what the purchase price of your horse was – they are a major financial investment.
The hay, the hard feed, the farrier, worming, routine vet visits and the list goes on. The upkeep and maintenance required to own a horse is a large cost. Generally, people want to protect their investments.
The question to ask yourself is, what would you do if your equine friend passed away or had to be euthanised? Would you want to purchase a new equine friend?
Remember we are putting emotions aside here.
You may not want a new horse right away, but after some time has passed, will you want a new equine family member to love and spend time with?
Would you have funds readily available to purchase a new horse suitable for your chosen discipline or use?
Lets move on to another scenario. Perhaps your horse sustains a massive injury – a large wound involving a joint. Costs for something like that can sky rocket quickly.
Between the initial vet visit and the required aftercare visits, perhaps anesthetic and joint flushing is required, bandaging for months on end, you can see how the costs can add up. This vet bill would quickly reach many thousands of dollars.
Would this be a large financial strain on you?
Perhaps your horse is colicking. Could you afford colic surgery and the aftercare costs?
Your answers from the questions above should help frame your answer to the first question – do you need equine insurance?
I’ve got insurance for my horse – now what?
You’ve done your research and have found and taken out an insurance policy that you are happy with for your equine friend. Great!
Make sure that you ready the policy wording and understand the terms and conditions of the policy. It pays to re-read the policy on occasion. I recommend re-reading at renewal time.
You may pick up on things you didn’t notice previously, the policy may have changed, or perhaps there are some new optional benefits available to you that weren’t around when you first took out the cover!
Don’t be afraid to ask you insurance provider questions if there is something you want more information on or don’t understand. It is important to be informed and stay up to date.
Now that we mention staying up to date… Keep your policy up to date! As you do more training and attend more shows your horse’s value may increase. Make sure to speak to your insurance providers about increasing your horses cover as and when needed.
Speak to your insurance provider when/if something happens to your horse. They need to be kept in the loop about injuries and illnesses your horse may have suffered during the insurance period, even if you don’t end up having to make a claim for them.
At the end of the day it is your decision whether you take out an insurance policy to cover your equine family member, but it does pay to ask yourself the right questions and be informed.
If you are interested in reading more about equine insurance and my own personal experience, you can check out this post on my blog site.
Happy horsing my friends! Xx
I am a horse enthusiast, OTTB owner, showing and dressage rider and the creator and writer of the In Stable Condition blog. I also worked in the insurance industry for over four years so do have a little inside experience on this topic! If you want to learn more about me and follow my journey check out my blog and Instagram.