Insuring your Racehorse

Just as a home or a vehicle is seen as an insurable item for everyday members of the public, the horse racing industry sees horses as high value assets, and therefore owners and breeders are able to purchase insurance for their horses. Before choosing an insurance option for a racehorse, owners are advised to consult a professional equine insurance broker, who will be able to advise on the ideal coverage options.

Owners need to ensure that they are seeking advice from a trusted and qualified insurance agent. Veterinarians and other owners will probably be able to recommend someone, and word of mouth is the best advertising. Contacting an insurance rating company can also assist in finding an A+ agent. As owners are held solely responsible for the care of their horses, it is vital that owners are completely aware of the services that a company is prepared to offer and exactly what an insurance option will mean to them when the time comes to claim.

There are many insurance options for racehorses and it is always a good idea to look through them all, before committing to one. In the Restricted Perils option, the policy covers death of a horse, but only by means of transit accident, lightning, fire, wind and smoke; where as Full Mortality coverage covers everything in the Restricted Perils option with the addition of having to humanely destroy a horse due to illness or injury. However, to ensure that cruelty does not occur for financial gain, insurance companies require a full post mortem to be done on every horse during a mortality claim, within a certain time frame, and if a horse has been injured at the racetrack, no less than two veterinarians must be present to officially confirm that a horse has been humanely destroyed due to necessity (a horse being in severe untreatable pain or imminent death due to untreatable injuries). Fall of Hammer insurance covers an owner when purchasing a new racehorse. The full purchase price will be insured. Major Medical insurance assists owners with surgical and veterinarian costs, while the Surgical Policy covers only a certain number of surgeries per year. Other options to look into include Accident, Sickness and Disease, Congenital Infertility, Stallion Availability, Barrenness, Prospective Foal, General Liability and Workman’s Compensation.

A horse is insured according to value, sex, age and intended use. For instance racehorses are a greater risk than breeding stock, as they stand a bigger chance of injury. Insurance agents will determine the value of a horse by looking at its bloodline, price paid for the horse, other fees and current career values. Insurance is essential in the world of horse racing, as the sport is expensive and unpredictable. Having insurance also protects owners financially from all possible losses that could be suffered. Without horses, there will be no racing, and the strict rules and procedures followed by insurance companies forces owners to ensure that their horses are well taken care of, as their claims hang in the balance if investigations prove neglect. So, in effect, equine insurance agents protect both the racehorse and owner.