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Best Insurance for New Horse Owner

Hi there everyone I hope you all are doing well! My wonderful boyfriend recently purchased a horse for me to help make deployments a lot less painful and lonely and to have something to bond over and grow in together (I have ridden for about 8 years of my life, he has ridden one horse one time and fell in love with it and is eager to learn!). I’ve been over the moon with our new boy, he’s the most saintly OTTB in saddle and the new lead in the herd at the stable I board at. However, I have a lot of fears, one of which being colic to be specific, and medical emergencies to be general. I have leased horses before, but owning is an entirely new ballpark for me and to put it lightly I am both delighted and horrified. I’ve applied for quotes from a few different places, one of which being a lady with Kay Cassell Insurance and then I’ve applied to Broadstone as well. Both of which have coverage limited to his purchase price which at $3800 I’m not sure is enough to suffice for a medical emergency (at least not for colic should he need surgery). I’m not sure what to look at, where to look, what questions to ask, etc. I could really use some advice/guidance from those of you who have been in my shoes and have been overwhelmed by equine insurance and what I should jump at or shy away from. Any and all friendly advice is totally welcome and super appreciated! This is my first post on here in this community-although I have perused the conversations long before for advice on my boy-and I’m really eager to learn and grow with you all!

Try C. Jarvis Agency. They use a percentage of purchase price to set the mortality/theft insurance rate with basic colic coverage but you can add on extra colic insurance and major medical insurance in varying amounts, for example an extra $5,000 in colic coverage for $200. You can contact them here https://www.jarvisinsurance.com/serv…rance-coverage.

They are very nice to work with whether purchasing the policy or submitting a claim. I highly recommend them.

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There really are only about 5 major underwriters for equine insurance in the US, so I don’t think it will really matter what agency you use. They are all pretty much the same thing. You are unlikely to get a “bad rate” or a “good rate” from any agent.

I dropped insurance on my horses some time ago because it wasn’t worth it for me. So I don’t know if it is possible to get more coverage than that - I recall that it was changing some years ago. Essentially because it was bad business sense to insure a horse for more than it was worth.

Even when it was offered for horses in the <$5K range - it was expensive. And you also have to really decide whether you would put a horse through colic surgery, even if you could afford it. The post-surgical care and potential long-term issues are significant.

I am very much at peace with my decision that none of mine are candidates for colic surgery.

My suggestion would be to pick up the phone and call any one of the agents you listed (or above) and have them explain to you what the coverage includes, doesn’t include, and how the pricing is set.


I have placed my insurance through Broadstone for years now and they are very helpful, I second the suggestion to pick up the phone and call them and discuss. They are very knowledgeable and friendly.

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I can’t help you with insurance info but wanted to say your boyfriend is a keeper! What a nice guy. :slight_smile:


Another thought given the purchase price of your horse limiting the amount of coverage you can get, rather than buy insurance, start up a savings account and put what you’d spend on insurance into that account.

As S1969 noted also, colic surgery and post surgery care can get pricey (ask me how I know :ambivalence: ). In your own mind, think about how much you are willing to spend on your horse if some sort of medical emergency (and it doesn’t have to be limited to colic) arises.

Many years ago, my mare coliced. Did surgery with hubby’s (at the time blessing). First surgery already put me in the hole for more than what I paid for her. 36 hours later, did a second surgery :eek: plus 4 weeks in equine intensive care. :eek: :eek:

Surgery and anesthesia was hard on her. Recovery was very hard on her. Once we’d done the first surgery, the second surgery thought process was ‘in for a penny, in for a pound’. To this day, I think if I’d known how hard surgery and recovery would have been for her, I don’t think I’d ask her, or my pocket book, to go through it. She did live another 15 years after her surgery :encouragement:

Be thinking about your financial and emotion limits and know that insurance may not cover all the financial obligations. My mare was not insured and I know insurance wouldn’t have covered all her expenses. Once she’d had the history of colic, any subsequent insurance would have excluded colic.


First off, Kudos to the BF :encouragement:
To this BB, he’s a Keeper :yes:

Re: insurance
Depends a lot on your plans for this horse.
Will you be showing? If so, what discipline?
Will you be trailering often?

Back in the Day (early 90s), I was able to increase mortality for my Hunter to 3X his purchase price.
Coverage was based on his show record & statement from my trainer.

My agent at the time was savvy enough to get DH & I the most economical rate for our horses.
He based it on statistics.
We both had dropped to showing only occasionally - maybe 6 shows a year, if that.
So he covered my TB as a Pleasure Horse & DH’s TWH as an Eventer.
Statistics favored those breeds in those disciplines :wink:
How many TBs are Pleasure only?
How many TWHs are Eventing?
For the handful of shows - Dressage & low level Events - we did, coverage sufficed.

In all cases, a colic rider would have had to be added to the policy.
We chose not to. Nor did we have Major Medical.
We considered the mortality more as “replacement cost” coverage.

Unless you have an eye to competing heavily, you might be better off just banking an amount monthly to cover routine and emergency health costs for this horse.

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Thank you so much everyone for your input!! This has really helped me clear my mind and think about what I would need. I never really put much thought into Post-Op, I’ve just been so scared about my boy getting sick and me being helpless that I never really thought much about his potential lowered quality of life afterwards and the tons of money I likely won’t have to continue care. It really put things into perspective about looking not only at the road to care but the road after it as well. I think we will probably opt to try an insurance company out, but we’ll be putting some money from each check away as a backup to insurance if need be. The only reason why I am a bit scared to not have insurance is I’m a college student with 2 (going on 3!) jobs and my boyfriend is active duty in the military so my worst fear is that he will be deployed when tragedy strikes and I won’t have the money to make ends meet to give our horse the vet care he may need. Insurance to us is more of peace of mind, if we don’t use it for a few years, that’s okay by us, but knowing I’ll at least have something to fall back on if our big guy is in trouble and I can’t afford it alone would make a world of a difference.You all rock, thank you tons and my boyfriend is incredibly grateful of the kind things you have said!

I’m an agent at Broadstone so hopefully you got the quote you requested! We try to put a lot of information in our quotes but please please please if you have any questions or confusion about anything - CALL US! :slight_smile: We love going over everything on the phone - it’s so much easier to explain things. All of us at Broadstone are horse people and we get where you are coming from and what your needs might be! :slight_smile:

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Ahhh that’s so awesome, there was a ton of info in the quote and it was incredibly straightforward! I am leaning more towards Broadstone due to how kind and very professional the correspondence I’ve had with them has been. Thank you tons!! I greatly appreciate it!!


I use Broadstone and I’m happy with their services. I am always confused when I renew and they walk me thru it again.

i do wonder if putting your horse on a supplement from Smartpak with the free colic insurance might be something that would give you piece of mind along with insurance?

not every colic requires surgery, but if it does as others sated it’s expensive!

This is very interesting as I’m looking to switch to a new insurance underwriter. I have Great American but they’ve been very difficult to work with in spite of the fact that I’ve paid over $8k in premiums with no claims until now ($3k)… I have been thinking also of what 2DogsFarm mentions above: If I had saved 8k, I’d still be 5k ahead of the game! I also have my horse on SmartPak colicare. I’m getting another horse this fall and I really need to take another look at the overall situation. I’ve been asking friends outside my barn for their opinions; it’s true that there are only a handful of carriers now, but my agent just places everyone with GA, so it’s time to start shopping again! Thanks for this!

Liberty Mutual!

I’m in the self-insure category myself (my horse is worth more to me then he is on paper, lol) but if colic is your primary concern you can look into Smartpak’s Colicare program - if you use one of the supplements and your horse colics you get up to $10k in coverage. https://www.smartpakequine.com/content/ColiCare

Markel Insurance has been phenomenal to work with - my gelding is 22 days post colic surgery and I can’t say enough good things about my agent. He checks in to see how we are both doing, and answers any questions I may have. Claims are filed quickly and I was reimbursed a week of so after I submitted my paperwork. I think I’m $1000 out of pocket after a $15K procedure, which doesn’t seem too bad, all things considering.

if you’re worried about colic surgery specifically, look into something like SmartPak’s Colic Care program. I don’t have experience with it myself but I’ve heard others say it was good for them and their horses!