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Equine Insurance

I recently purchased a performance horse who is just getting over a medical issue, and I really want to insure her. What insurance companies do you all use and would recommend or advise against using? Also, how much should I expect to pay if I want her at least $10,000 insured for major medical (including surgeries) and about $5,000 for mortality insurance (or if it needs to, it can be equal to the major medical)? Does anybody use Markel Insurance? If so, would you recommend it?

I mentioned she had a medical condition, however this is her first issue ever medically which just arose this past March and she is already almost over it. With that noted, I am sure that would raise her premium how much should I expect to add to a “healthy” horse. She was cleared by our vet in June to go back to all normal activity (riding, showing, etc.).

I don’t know if this is relevant but she is a reining horse and she competes about 5-6 times per year.


Great American Insurance…Fabulous !!
Mine was insured as a Show horse because he would indeed be shown over fences and other people would be riding him.
And I insured him for his purchase price + 5 thousand.

Bear in mind you might want to be choosy about what to claim because the company can and will declare exemptions over a certain number of claims.
Because of his extensive show record, I was most concerned with his legs, but the emergency stay in the out of state clinic for a lousy colic (5 days, no surgery) was my only claim on him. Out of pocket on that was less than $300.

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Most companies will not allow you to have more in medical coverage than the insured value of the horse and also have a minimum value that they require. Try checking with companies who use Hartford - I believe that they offer medical options to go along with lower mortality values.


I have Hallmark and have been extremely happy with them At the time I switched from Markel to Hallmark both were quite similar in their coverage, but Hallmark came out slightly ahead so that’s when I made the switch. I only have mortality on my horse currently so not sure if the coverage is the same. The discipline you declare can have some effect on the premiums - so a horse competing in eventing might have a slightly higher premium than those in say H/J and the level you say you compete at. A low level eventer may have a lower premium that a GP jumper.

For your needs premium would probably be between 500-700 per year / age is also a factor. Depending on the nature of your horses medical problem - that may or may not be excluded from future claims. Depending on coverage amount you may or may not need vet exam, but you may want to include so no exclusions will be made - again depending on medical issue.


We had several, Markel one that was very good.

If you are a reiner, several insurance companies have tables at reining shows and advertise in reining circles.
You could check with them.
Ask your trainers which ones they had good experiences with.

Check out www.broadstoneequine.com - I work there and we have a lot of reining clients!

PM me if you have specific questions.

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I have used Hallmark for over 10 years and 3 different horses and they have been wonderful to deal with. Your premium won’t be raised due to a medical/lameness issue but that problem will likely be excluded for coverage in your policy. If I remember correctly the cost of mortality insurance is somewhere around 3% of a horses agreed value (at least for dressage horses), and then major medical for 10k is probably another $450 or more.

I have used Jarvis for years and have been very pleased with their service and support.

Markel is a fine carrier, as are others mentioned here. Please note, that some people are recommending insurance brokers not carriers; nothing wrong with specialty brokers, but really there are a fairly limited number of carriers out there. I recommend using a broker unless you are comfortable dealing directly with an insurance company in the event of a claim.

One thing to consider is the horse’s prior veterinary issue. You are going to have to declare it on your application. In all likelihood there will be an exclusion related to that issue on the major medical. Whatever you do, please disclose the issue because if you don’t, then you could end up voiding your policy. Insurance carriers do look for “pre-existing conditions” or veterinary history that is not listed on your application.

As someone else posted, the ratio of mortality to major medical coverage limits has changed over the year. Gone are the days when you could have minimal mortality and maximum major medical.

When I did my search for insurance via COTH, the majority of posters (at that time) seemed to favor Markel, Hallmark and Broadstone - I excluded brokers and went straight to the websites of my top 3 picks (which were above). My 2 claims with Hallmark were handled great - and honestly, when you’re there at the vet surgery clinic at midnight, an emotional wreck because your horse is about to undergo surgery with an unknown, possibly dire, prognosis, the voice, demeanor, professionalism and sympathy/understanding means a great deal.

I recently used Jennifer Oliver and loved her.

Jennifer Oliver
Equine Insurance Specialist

She helped me find great coverage. Give her a call or email and she can talk you through it.

Not much to add but…

^“Costco muffins”? :lol::lol::lol::lol: I’m hungry now!

I think I have almost the exact coverage you are looking for through Ark (I think thats the name). I haven’t had to submit a claim yet so I honestly don’t know how they are… in general they have been pleasant to deal with for re-enrolling, etc.

I have XL Specialty placed through Broadstone, and am unfortunately in the middle of the claims process. After initially trying to deny my claim based on erroneous background facts a vet student put in a vet report, they quickly reversed that decision when I politely pointed out the actual facts they had documentation of in the underwriting file. And once they accepted responsibility for the claim, they have been very easy to deal with and have paid without question. My claims rep could not be nicer to deal with. Years ago I had good experiences with Great American and the Hartford also, but there are differences in coverage so be sure to compare apples to apples on their coverage points – I did a spreadsheet to compare lol. XL Specialty had a lower bade premium plus some optional coverage that appealed to me, so it was the best fit and I’ve been happy with them.

I am a Broadstone customer and have been very satisfied

I use Kaplow. Knock on wood I’ve never had to use their mortality policy, but I’ve used major medical and it was such an easy experience. They also worked with me on keeping my older mare insured for full value past when others turned me away.

My premiums for mid five figure mortality + 10K major medical on my show horse is <$2K annually, and I split it into four payments. They also have farm insurance and general livestock coverage.


the claimed value of your horse will exclude some carriers. Insurance policies are now structured like human insurance with deductables and co-pays. Also, any previous injusry will be exluded in the underwriting process. Also be sure that you understand colic insurance vs surgical insurance. My policy is up for renewal for one pleasure horse and one under $15k show horse, Major Med/Surgical/Mortality $ 1700 a year.

I also recommend Jennifer. She found my policy at Praetorian Insurance. They have a $300 deductible and then 100% cover almost everything, including imaging. I’m PMing you specific costs.

Me too! I switched from Broadstone/XL this year. Broadstone has always been great, but the insurance choices this year were not very good. Praetorian had better coverage at a lower price. But I haven’t had to file any claims yet (knock on wood!), so I don’t know how easy they will be to work with on a claim.

@kcmel they are pretty easy to get reimbursement from- just a tad slow. They reimbursed about 2.5k for my horse last year, even covered shockwave treatement !