It is a question all horse owners are familiar with: To insure or not to insure? Unfortunately in the horse community there is still no solid answer. While some horse owners believe that insurance is an invaluable piece of protection, others believe it to be just another gimmick. In Dressage Today‘s article: Insuring Your Horse: Is It Worth the Peace of Mind? In this piece they have examples of both how insurance can be worthless or priceless. One of the stories that they shared in this article is about how a woman purchased a young gelding, from Europe without seeing him first. She had, luckily, bought shipping and mortality insurance. The story goes on to tell how the horse was found to have a fatal disease and had to be put to sleep. However, this woman had purchased insurance and was able to be completely reimbursed for the total amount of money she had spent since the purchase of the horse.
On Dressage Today’s Facebook page they asked their readers to way in about how they felt on the issue of insurance. The reactions varied quite a bit. Some riders firmly believed that insurance is necessary, while others thought it was just a useless bit of fluff. As by Laura Law King “My insurance seemed to have exclusions on everything that happened to my horse, so we’re uninsured now.” However, other readers commented that “My insurance paid for two surgeries for my Hanoverian gelding, OCD in both stifles and back surgery. He is now in full work and sound. Saved me thousands.” This goes to show that insurance can be both beneficial and hindering.
Insurance is essential. I know the because when my horse was young he had impaction colic and needed emergency surgery. This would have cost his owner about $30,000 if she had not had insurance; with insurance it cost her about an average deductible of $1,500. I know that if my horses owner had not had insurance that he would be dead now.
On the other hand, now that my horse has had colic surgery, he is now uninsurable. Most insurance companies will not issuer a horse that has any form of pre-existing gastric problems. As a result I now face having to pay out of pocket for all of his medical expenses. The down side to this is that without insurance I am faced with the prospect of having to compromise my horse’s health care because I simply do not have enough money to pay for everything he needs.
In the end the choice to issuer your horse is a wise one if you are able to meet the requirements.