How Well Do You Know Your Equine Insurance Policy?
by Tracy L. Dopko, Certified Equine Appraiser
An insurance company is only as good as how they deal with a claim. Regardless of which insurance company you choose, make sure you know your policy inside and out! Is your horse insured for "agreed value" or "actual cash value" (fair market value)?
With agreed value, if your horse is insured for $10,000 and your horse dies, the insurance company will pay out $10,000, as long as there is proof of value. With actual cash value, you may be paying premiums on a $10,000 valuation 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, which is also known as fair market value. If the economy crashes, your horse was laid up with an injury at the time of death, 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 $10,000 and they have paid their premiums every year that they will get $10,000 if their horse dies. Unfortunately, no always true!
As well as knowing your policy inside and out, make sure to keep good records on your insured horses - including pictures, video and show records....and remember to continue to update them! We have done several very tough equine appraisal cases in which the owner did not have a single photo or video of their insured horse(s) that passed away, no show record, nothing....which makes it extremely tough to prove their value! And, if you feel 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. We do a lot of these...and it does work!