Sunday, April 6, 2014

Insurance dilemma

Although I've only had to use it once (knock on wood) I've always felt good knowing that I had insurance covering Charlie in case he was seriously injured and required diagnostics or treatment. I've known friends who have had it, and those who haven't, and honestly I think it is worth the cost up front for the peace of mind of being able to do anything necessary if Charlie was injured or sick.

My policy through Markel was pretty good: at a cost of $488 for the year it included $5000 of medical/surgical coverage with a $375 deductible, as well as an additional $0 deductible $2500 of additional colic surgery coverage and $300,000 in personal liability coverage. The biggest bonus was that they were willing to insure Charlie for a set amount ($3500) despite the fact that I had no "technical" purchase price.

Last week, though, I got my policy renewal in the mail and was informed they will no longer offer medical/surgical coverage for horses valued at less than $5000, only mortality. Sorry, Charlie, but mortality reimbursement is the least of my concerns; I need insurance to help cover unexpected injuries, diagnoses, etc because I just don't have thousands of dollars laying around in case of an emergency.

Unfortunately no matter how much I think Charlie is worth, I didn't purchase him and Markel was one of the only companies left that was still willing to insure the lower-valued horses. I can't seem to find anyone else that will insure a horse that "technically" isn't worth anything. All of the other companies I've looked at also have a $5000 lower limit.

Anyone have any recommendations? Have you ever run into this or have any advice? I have until May to make a decision, but I really don't think it's worth continuing with the insurance unless I can figure out some way to vouch for his value to be increased to $5000 (which generally requires a show history - negative - and/or trainer evaluation) so I can get the medical/surgical coverage. I can at least get colic surgery coverage for relatively cheap by adding SmartGut to Charlie's monthly SmartPaks but I'm worried about all the other potential surgical and medical costs.

Feeling poor and frustrated.... :(

12 comments:

  1. I'm pretty sure you can get a written value assessment or something of the likes. Like maybe statement from professionals or records of training/ lesson to show value maybe? Interested to hear what you find out.

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    1. The tough part is I've so far just been training him on my own and despite my best intentions he hasn't showed with me yet (life kind of got in the way).

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  2. I insured Missy through Broadstone and they do-lower value horses...however Indid insure her for her purchase price (because, like you, I care less about mortality, more about the major medical). You can prove value with them with training/show record....

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    1. I hadn't heard of Broadstone before but you're the second one to mention them to me. I'm going to check them out for sure. Thanks!

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  3. I'm sure you can get some sort of trainer assessment value letter .He's co e so far and could easily fetch $5000, I'd say contact insurance and ask what they need as proof.

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  4. I have Fiction covered with $10,500 major medical, $2,500 soft tissue/blood work etc, $3000 colic surgery & $5000 mortality (i believe? I would have to double check) under Broadstone and I pay about $550 a year. They value him at $3000 right now, though I paid half of that to purchase him. Definitely contact them - they are super nice!

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    1. I will definitely check them out. Thanks!

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  5. All of the insurance companies that I have talked to want proof of the horses' value too :(

    Hope that you can figure something out!

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  6. You might be able to get something through the US associations, like USEF or USEA, not sure exactly but we can get it in Ontario through OEF.

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  7. I'm going through the same thing with Brantley. I really want some coverage for him, especially after Lucky. :( I'll have to look at some of these.

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  8. Wow...Great American was the first to do this and I couldn't believe it would be the industry trend, but it looks like it's going that way. I used to work in horse insurance and major medical is the loss leader, so it's not entirely surprising, but at the same time, it's offensive as a horse lover that they are essentially saying your horse is "not worth saving" if it's valued under $5,000. I think Great American's limit was even higher. Equisure is another major company and the one I used to work for. I don't know what their terms are now.

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  9. Contact Ark Insurance Agency. I received a quote from The Hartford for my filly who was not $5k for $481 yearly for major medical of $10k and full mortality at her $1k purchase price.

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