Out of Work; Out of Money

The world of insurance as it pertains to equines can be a bit complicated for the average horse owner. Nowhere is this more true than with "loss of use" insurance. At the outset, it doesn't seem all that complicated. If your horse can no longer perform in the discipline stated in the policy, you receive a sum of money that has been established in advance. Unfortunately, it isn't quite that simple. What constitutes loss of use? Who decides? What if there is disagreement?

"It's kind of like opening a can of worms with loss of use insurance," says Kay Cassell of Kay Cassell Equine Insurance in Jonesborough, Tenn. "The insurance companies don't like to write the policies, so they make them very expensive."

Yet, says Richard Grossman, of Continental Bloodstock Agency in Lexington, Ky., it can be a good investment. "If you have a $100,000 horse that is performing at the Grand Prix level, the premium for loss of use isn't going to be that significant."

However, in order to add the loss of use endorsement, the horse owner must first have the animal covered for full mortality, which also includes surgical coverage.

Thus, to understand just what coverage is being obtained, the horse owner must first understand what is being covered by mortality with its surgical endorsement. This will vary company by company. Grossman explains what mortality insurance means when his firm is involved: "The livestock mortality policy is a life insurance policy for your horse, with the insured as a beneficiary. It is an 'all-risk' policy that will cover death from any cause, subject to certain exclusions which are stated in the policy. We will also pay you if your horse is stolen.

About the Author

Les Sellnow

Les Sellnow is a free-lance writer based near Riverton, Wyo. He specializes in articles on equine research, and operates a ranch where he raises horses and livestock. He has authored several fiction and non-fiction books, including Understanding Equine Lameness and Understanding The Young Horse, published by Eclipse Press and available at www.exclusivelyequine.com or by calling 800/582-5604.

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