Get the Facts About Equine Insurance
If your horse were stolen, became seriously ill, or even worse, could you afford to
replace him or her with another horse of equal value? by markel Insurance Company
If your answer is no, equine insurance will help protect the time and money you have invested in your horse.
There are two basic types of equine insurance: all-risk mortality and theft insurance (mortality) and
medical/surgical insurance. Mortality insurance is a basic policy that will reimburse you for death, theft, or humane destruction of a covered horse.
Medical/surgical coverage is an optional coverage, called an endorsement, that you can add to your
mortality policy for an additional premium. Some insurers require a veterinarian to perform an exam; other companies waive the check-up for horses under a certain value. Medical/surgical coverage
reimburses you if your horse needs to be treated for an illness or injury.
What About Pre-Existing Conditions?
Some insurance companies require additional information from you or your veterinarian before deciding
if a pre-existing condition will be excluded from coverage. Many companies have seriously limited the
amount they will reimburse for medical/surgical treatment or care, as this coverage can be extremely
expensive for companies to offer. Carefully review your medical/surgical endorsement to determine
exactly what is required should an accident and/or illness occur and to be aware of what the company covers.
Isn’t all Insurance the Same?
Do all insurers offer pretty much the same equine coverage? No! Equine insurance has changed
drastically in the past few years, and it is critical that horse owners understand what their policy covers.
It’s important to read your mortality policy very carefully. Many different horses are insured every day,
and the insured values can range from $1,000 to $100,000. Before you insure your horse, determine
whether he or she is insured for agreed value versus fair market value or actual cash value coverage.
The differences are significant, and can greatly impact your ability to replace your horse with one of equal value.
Agreed value means that the insurer will pay the value of the horse that is stated on the policy, provided
the information is accurate. Fair market or actual cash value means that the insurer will pay the value of
the horse at the time of its death, or the value at the time when the disease or illness resulting in its death
is manifested. If the horse’s value has decreased due to an illness or injury or if its value was overstated
when it was originally insured, the insurer will pay the horse’s current value, which is often much less than the amount stated on the policy.
What about other equine insurance programs? What if you are a trainer, riding instructor, or farrier, or
you own a boarding, breeding, racing and training facility? In these instances, you can buy policies to
cover your liability, farm property, tack, and equipment. You can also buy a policy that covers you when other people’s horses are in your care, custody, and control.
The biggest mistake horse owners make is not shopping around! Take a moment to research what is
available to you in the insurance marketplace. You can find information on equine insurance in just
about every equine magazine and most definitely on the Internet. Finding an equine insurance agent may
also be helpful when you need assistance choosing the appropriate insurance policy to protect you, your horse, and your business.
The Company You Keep
Some horse owners choose an agent to help them purchase insurance; others choose to place
coverage directly with the insurance company. Either way, it’s important to do a bit of research about
an insurance company before you buy insurance. The best place to start is with A.M. Best Company,
an independent analyst that rates insurance companies based on their financial strength—which
translated simply means their ability to pay your covered claim. Most insurance agents will advise you
to choose a company that A.M. Best rates “A” or above. You can go to www.ambest.com to do your research.
Insuring your horse is an important decision, and one that will benefit both your finances and your peace of mind.
Markel Insurance Company, The Insurance Company with Horse Sense
At Markel, the Agricultural Division has been providing equine specific coverages for the horse
industry for over forty years! Markel is the only underwriting company that deals though an extensive
network of Equine Horse Insurance Specialists as well as directly with insureds. Our equine insurance
programs are the best in the market, and we can customize them to give you the right protection at the
right price. We’re rated “A” (Excellent) by A.M. Best and continue to be the proven long term market
leader whose products and services are endorsed by the following: American Quarter Horse Association, American Paint Horse Association, North American Riding for the Handicapped and
National Reining Horse Association.
Markel’s mortality policies are agreed value and include guaranteed renewal at no charge. We offer a
Hassle Free Mortality policy for most breeds/disciplines valued up to $30,000. A vet certificate is
required for values in excess of $30,000, if a horse falls outside of the Hassle Free program, or if a
horse has a pre-existing condition or prior health history abnormalities. (At Markel, a horse’s value is
established by its cash purchase price or stud fee.) A justification of value form (training, showing,
breeding history) needs to be completed for a horse that’s value is in excess of its purchase price.
Many of our employees were horse owners long before they became involved in the insurance industry
. They’re true horse people who represent the commitment that make the Markel difference. Our
horse-knowledgeable associates specialize in providing customers with prompt and courteous service,
all the way from quote to claim. You deal directly with the experts responsible for making the decisions!
Visit us at www.horseinsurance.com for all your equine insurance needs, or to purchase equine
mortality insurance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To speak to a Markel representative, contact the office at (888) 217-3658, Monday-Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm EST.
Contact: Our Friendly Staff
4600 Cox Road
Glenn Allen, Virginia 23060
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