Unlimited access >

Insurance for the 20-year-old horse - Your recommendations, please

Yesterday, I received notice from Equine Insurance Center that they are no longer willing to offer coverage for one of my horses, as she will attain age 20 during the next year. (I believe the policy was underwritten by Praetorian.) I have three other much younger horses insured with them and all are up for renewal.

If you have a 20-year-old or older horse that is insured, whom do you use and are you happy with their coverage? I am willing to move all four horses to the new insurer if necessary or if the prices are better. Thanks in advance!

1 Like

Markel should insure your horse. They normally charge more after 17 but as far as I know, she is not a limiting factor.
Reach out to agent, Karen Shedlauskas


Read the actual policy before buying. Agents are commissioned sales people, they don’t write the policy or authorize payment. Thats the underwriters job, research the underwriters, not the sales agent.

Most of the senior horse policies are surgical only with a low lifetime cap. Read the policy before buying it.

I learned that when my horse aged out of eligibility and I did not read the actual policy. Trusted what the agent told me Bought and paid for another year not realizing horse aged out the second month into the term. Fortunately I did eventually read the actual policy and agent researched it then said they had made a mistake, horse aged out on its actual birthday, not the beginning of the following year, was not eligible and I was due a refund.

Even that would have been NBD had it not taken 8 months and contacting the state insurance board to get the around 1k check.

Read the underwriters actual policy, not the agents sales pitch.


Try Hallmark. They have a market through 20 years old, though that is the oldest age for full mortality with any current carrier.

1 Like

I have no experience with ASPCA Pet Health Insurance but they have a horse insurance says it has coverage for older horses that is limited to Colic and Accident coverage. Also this available only in certain states.

1 Like

I’m now self-insuring, Basically, I put the money I would have paid for a premium in savings. The old man is 22 and hasn’t been insured for a couple of years now. My other horse was dropped because of past claims. My agent did suggest Markel who she does not work with.


I recommend her only because she’s a personal friend and goes above and beyond to explain your actual policy, even if it means you not going with Markel because it doesn’t fit your needs - not just sell you a policy.
But yes, as a rule of thumb, you need to do your own research.

1 Like

I also self-insure my 16 year-old. In addition to the premium, I also put the money I would have had to pay for a deductible into savings.


Think, if you have a senior horse? Should senior horse present with a colic requiring surgical intervention, do you want to put horse through heavy sedation and long recovery?

Work that out ahead of time. Maybe you don’t need to carry a limited policy with a low lifetime cap, exclusions and high out of pocket expectations? Maybe an emergency fund makes more sense?

The Senior horse policies I looked at had a 10k lifetime cap… :roll_eyes:


Karen S is my agent as well and has been nothing but forthcoming with information.

1 Like

10K will not get you through a surgical colic in my area. Not even close.

My BO knows that if Feronia has colic and it can’t be managed at home, I’d put her down. BO has a mare with the same rule, which makes it easier.

1 Like

I have a 21 yr old mare, same instructions. She’s been retired for 5-6 years, and a history of “issues” and I think the only thing a insurance company might cover would be her ears, lol. Fortunately I’m not generally a believer in insurance…
That all said, the above mare presented with discomfort and other colic-like symptoms some years ago. Said “no bus trip to the clinic”. She was diagnosed with Enteritis, and by the time we got through several days of fluids and antibiotics, it cost almost as much as her prior (2) colic surgeries. :roll_eyes:


1 Like

I have the same ‘rule’ as quietann and 2tempe for my 21 yo. I have self-insured since she was 3 yo. Luckily, thus far she has treated me well with regards to vet bills. She is well, and sound and rideable but I won’t put her through colic surgery. Yes, even medical treatment adds up pretty fast but I currently can cover it.
She currently has a broken tooth that may need some surgery but so far, so good with leaving it alone. I take her in for a re-check next month.

For years I had a healthy dedicated savings account for my critters and moving banks, retiring and such, it got incorporated into my other accounts but I am working on re-establishing my critter account. I got really turned off on insurance with my and my friend’s experience. It just seemed like a money sink that I got no return from. Seems like they always found a way to weasel out of paying.


1 Like

I decided to self insure when I realized loss of use meant they would take my horse….

1 Like

Loss of use is not included in the basic mortality and major medical policies unless you ask and pay for it to be added. Plus agree to let the underwriter define “loss of use” and decide what to do with your former horse. Most people don’t want it once they read and understand the policy.

Might surprise some that owners of high end competition horses often choose to self insure. Even minimum coverage is based on the value of the horse and its just too expensive year after year…even for “rich people” .

1 Like