Understanding Horse Mortality Insurance and Liability

The more you understand horse insurance, the better you will be able to protect your horse – and yourself. Consider this: if your horse became ill or injured and needed emergency surgery, would you be able to afford it? Worse yet, if he died suddenly, would you be able to afford to replace him? What if he accidentally injured someone due to your negligence and you got sued as a result – could you afford the medical payouts?

That’s where horse insurance comes into the picture. Think about the potential emotional and financial devastation that you could suffer if one of these situations occurred. Every horse owner should have equine insurance in order to protect themselves from these potential scenarios. Having a horse insurance policy could mean the difference between losing him and all your money or saving your horse and maintaining your finances.

Somewhat similar to human life insurance, horse mortality insurance covers the death of your horse caused by an accident, injury, or sickness. Some policies even cover theft of the horse. Eligible horses need to be healthy and insurable, which means those that are no younger than three to six months old and no older than 15 to 18 years. With health problems, underwriters could refuse to write policies.

Mortality premium rates for the majority of horses range from approximately 2.5% to 4% of the value of the horse, depending on its age, breed, and discipline. Horses that perform lower-risk sports usually have lower rates. The amount of money you will actually get should your horse die and your claim is approved by the insurance company will depend on how his value is stipulated in the policy. There are two ways of doing this:

Fair-market value / actual cash value – In this case, the insurance company has the right to look over the value of your horse at the time of loss. It should be noted that this method can be risky. For instance, if your horse experiences a bad show season when the policy takes effect, he could be worth less money.

Agreed value – For this method, you will be reimbursed for the value that was agreed upon when the policy was actually drafted up, as long as this value can be substantiated. Some insurance providers require that you prove your horse’s value at the beginning of the insurance policy, while others require that you prove that he reached the agreed-upon value some time during the term of the policy term.

Understanding horse mortality insurance is important so that you’re aware of exactly how you’ll be covered should the unthinkable happen.