Veterinary fees incurred when a horse has an injury, illness or disease continue to increase as a result of advances in medical technology, diagnostic procedures and the cost of treatment. Over time, companies have had to adjust by increasing major medical premiums, raising deductibles and implementing co-pay provisions to offset declining results in their loss ratio.
New Guidelines for Major Medical Insurance
A new round of revised choices is set to take effect September 1st (while some are effective immediately). Expect further increases in medical premiums and increased deductibles. In addition, more eligibility limitations will go into effect, especially on lower valued animals. Eligibility restriction will generally hinge on the insured value of the horse.
Surgical Insurance – A Popular Option
Surgical insurance continues to be a popular option and a wise selection for those horses that may not be eligible for major medical. Coverage varies depending on the carrier. Presently, for example, a $10,000 limit is available as well as a $10,000 colic endorsement. Also, most companies include Emergency Colic Surgery coverage in the mortality policy at no extra charge. (We are reminded that when horse insurance first became available, surgical was the only option and was limited to $5,000 – there was no major medical coverage! Refer to our Blog #37 for a historical perspective.)
Two major companies (that we are aware of) have recently withdrawn from this market; they will no longer offer any insurance on horses. Blue Bridle presently represents several carriers and all have announced new restrictions, eligibility changes and cost increases. Watch for these announcements to show up in your horse’s renewal notice, when applicable.
You are urged to contact your agent with any questions and to discuss your best coverage options.