BLOG: Mortality & Medical/Surgical Insurance
You and your equine dressage partner share an irreplaceable bond to which you are invested not only physically and emotionally, but also financially. While mortality insurance will never suppress the grief of losing your beloved horse, it is intended to help lessen the financial burden.
Premium rates are based on three main factors: age, primary use, and purchase price (insured value). The insured value of your horse becomes the basis for your mortality coverage limit. Please keep in mind that this scenario is only true if your insurance carrier provides what is known as “Agreed Value” mortality coverage. If your horse is a new purchase, any transportation costs incurred can often be incorporated into the insured value of the horse. Generally speaking, a 3% rate is applied for Dressage horses that are between 91 days – 15 years old. Horses that fall outside of that age bracket may be subject to increased rates. As a horse’s values can continuously fluctuate, showing experience and additional training can be used to increase your horse’s insured value over time.
The most common endorsement to a mortality policy is Medical/Surgical coverage. Often times, this is a clients reasoning for purchasing the mortality policy in the first place. With this coverage in place, the insurance company will pay “necessary, reasonable, and customary veterinary fees incurred by you as a direct result of surgical or medical treatment…” It is common practice to see deductibles and co-pays in place for this coverage as it holds a horse owner accountable for ensuring that the incurred veterinary fees and for diagnostics and treatment are necessitated for a particular ailment.
Final note: not all insurance companies or coverage are created equally, so do your homework! It is important to place your insurance coverage with a reputable company that has experience in this arena; a strong financial background will ensure adequate policy servicing and proper claims handling. I would be happy to personally discuss coverage in further detail with anyone interested.
Kaitlyn Naughton, AFIS
Markel Horse & Farm Insurance Specialist
AA Dressage Rider
USDF Bronze Medalist