Horse Insurance: Buying

Now that your eyes are well and thoroughly glazed over, it's time to finally buy your insurance.

the theme this week is 'kissable noses'

When you contact a company to purchase insurance for your horse, they are usually not the ones actually writing it. Companies like Hallmark and Broadstone are agents, and they're the middle man who coordinates binding policies and claims handling so the big insurance company doesn't have to.

a stretch nose :*

Certain agents will contact multiple companies and get multiple quotes so you don't have to price hunt. Other agents will bind same day (which is useful if you're buying a horse and want it covered when  you put it on the trailer). Sometimes the agents handle the claims, while others use a third party administrator (TPA) to do their claims handling.

It helps to ask around when choosing an agent, especially as they can differ by location. If you talk to multiple agents they can come back with similar, even identical, quotes. That's because they're all talking to the same insurance companies, and they're each trying to get your business (and a commission!) Find out what people's claim handling experience was if you can.

a flutter nose!!

Here are some helpful questions to ask when trying to decide which company is the right fit for you.

  • Are there any sublimits?
  • Is there coinsurance?
  • What will my deductible be?
  • Are there any exclusions?
  • If you make a claim (for example, have a minor colic episode), when will that part of the horse have coverage again? Will he be ineligible for colic surgery for a year from the episode? Or for a year from when the policy expires?
  • What do you require to make a mortality claim?
  • What proof is needed to show an increase in value?
From there you can make decisions about buying up your insurance to get rid of coinsurance or exclusions, altering your deductible, or changing your limits. Ask questions and read your policy. That's the easiest way to prevent surprises or getting stuck with a bill you weren't planning on paying.

Some insurance companies will ask for information about your horse before writing it. If you just bought him, they require your pre-purchase exam. You can either send them the vet's report or have your vet fill out the form provided by the agency. For some companies this is still optional, but more and more it's becoming mandatory.

a gracia nose

In some instances, you will get denied coverage. This could be because your horse is twenty years old, or has had three colic surgeries. Occasionally horses are just too risky. There are insurance companies out there that are willing to write risky horses, but you'll pay for it.

Once you've selected an agency and picked the winning quote, you'll pay your premium and the insurance company will send you a binder, or proof of insurance. It's a good idea to keep a copy of this somewhere, I just keep it saved in a folder in my email. The final policy the company sends will have all the information and details about what's covered, not covered, important phone numbers and the dates your policy is effective for.

a shetland nose!

And that's it! Your horse is insured and your investment (and heart) is protected. Now pray you never need to use it!

my favorite nose.

Comments

  1. I've never actually heard of a case where a treated part of a horse becomes insurable again. It's always like "everything except for that leg because of the suspensory," or colic or whatnot. I don't have personal experience though, so maybe I'm understanding wrong? Or are there companies that will insure previously treated parts of a horse?

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  2. I've had insurance on P since the day I bought him (3+ years ago) and finally used it for the first time this year on ulcer treatment. My dressage trainer said that if they're re-scoped and found clear, they won't exclude it the next year, but I couldn't find ANYTHING like that in my policy, so I'm just waiting for that exclusion to hit next May. Ugh.

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  3. After 6 months of training and showing rated in hand I convinced my insurance company that Dante was worth double his purchase price. Thankfully I did it before all the fires because that would have been tragic.

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