Regardless of who you go with, make sure you know your policy inside and out! Will your horse be insured for “agreed value” or “actual cash value” (fair market value)? With agreed value, if your horse is insured for $10,000 and the horse dies, the insurance will pay out $10,000 as long as there is proof of value. With actual cash value, you may be paying premiums on $10,000 for 5 years, but if your horse dies, the insurance company will only pay out what your horse is worth at the time of death (fair market value). If the economy tanks, etc., and the fair market value is only $4,000, that is unfortunately all you will get.
Most horse owners are under the impression that if they insured their horse for $20,000 and they’ve paid their premiums every year that they will get $20,000 if they die. Unfortunately, no always true! Unfortunately, I find some insurance brokers don’t always explain the type of policy you are purchasing.
There honestly is nothing wrong with purchasing an actual cash value insurance policy. That’s what I have in place for two of my horses. That being said, I’ve been very careful to only insure them for what they are worth (haven’t inflated the value) and I have kept excellent records for each horse, including current videos, photos, show results, etc.
Regardless of the insurance company you choose, please, please, please make sure to keep good records on your insured horses - including pictures, video and show records…and remember to continue to update them! I’ve done several very tough equine appraisal cases in which the owner didn’t have a single photo or video of their insured horses that passed away, no show record, nothing…which makes it extremely tough to prove their value! And, if you feel like the insurance company is giving you the run around, and you truly believe your horse is worth more, get your own independent equine appraisal done and present it to the insurance company. I do a lot of these…and it does work!
I’ve written an article in regards to the ins and outs of equine insurance and explains things like Major Medical and “Loss of Use”: www.equineappraisers.com/howwelldoyouknowyourpolicy.html