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.... :(