Horse owner insurance
Protect your horse, protect your pocketbook. Time to CYA if you own a horse!
- There’s a definite abundance of lists and advice about what you need for horses. The usual grooming supplies, the tack and halters and saddle pads, the fancy sport boots and leg wraps from here to the moon and back.
- But what about the stuff that can come in handy – but is often overlooked until you absolutely need it?
Please enjoy this delightful stock photo of a made-up insurance policy that says nothing.
Insurance for horse owners
- This is absolutely optional, and you never know when you may need it. Vet bills can come fast and hard, and can hit your wallet equally fast and hard.
- Insurance can start as early as signing the paperwork if you are transporting your new horse by sea, by air, or by land. A lot can happen during transport, and you’ll want your horse covered before he gets on a trailer headed your way.
- You may want to consider mortality insurance. This coverage applies to your horse’s death due to an accident, illness, or disease. Of course there are stipulations, which should be clarified in the policy. Some mortality insurance also covers theft of your horse, and some even cover colic emergencies or surgery in select cases. If your horse travels internationally, you may need to expand your horse’s coverage to include other countries.
- Major medical is another type of insurance to think about. These policies cover medical costs for injuries, sickness, lameness, disease, etc. It works in a similar fashion to our own medical insurance, with deductibles and payout maximums.
- Major medical can also include surgical insurance, for use in cases of general anesthesia. You may also be able to have a separate policy for surgical coverage alone.
- Some insurance plans offer loss of use coverage, which covers part of your horse’s worth if he is unable to perform his job for a specified reason.
- If you are leasing a horse, you and the horse’s owner will need to specify who is responsible for what bills and expenses. If you are leasing, it might benefit you to have your butt covered with some major medical if that’s part of the agreement.
- As with any insurance policy, read the fine print and know the procedures for filing a claim.
You also need a way to transport your horse.
- Let’s zip through some scenarios. You don’t have a rig, so you need to have one available in case of an emergency. Many areas have horse ambulance services that are available at all times of day or night.
- These services are typically separate from hauling services, which accommodate local to long-distance horse transport needs. Most of these will easily and quickly get tied up in large evacuations, so have a plan if your go-to transport is not available.
- If your barn has loose arrangements for getting all of the horses loaded for evacuation, do better and clearly spell out whose horse goes in what trailer and what your responsibilities are financially and logistically.
- If you own a trailer, it’s always nice to have a roadside assistance plan. Most roadside assistant plans DO NOT cover horse trailers and will not be able to help you in your horse trailer. There are specialty roadside assistant plans, like US Rider, that cover your rig, trailer, and any vehicle you are driving. Some plans also help find and deliver veterinary care to your rig if needed.
And what about a little CYA for you?
- One more topic – equine liability insurance. If your precious little angel horse hurts someone or something, you are responsible (usually). You are at risk of being sued, and equine liability insurance may cover legal costs and claims against you. Sure, someone might have seen a sign somewhere about the inherent risk or signed a hold harmless agreement, but you can still get sued and end up losing your shirt. Your literal shirt. And everything else you own if you forgo this type of insurance.
Are you covered?