Equine Slobbers: Clover Fungus

August 10th, 2017

We want to share the following email with our readers regarding this fungus called Rhizoctonia.

Hi fellow horse owners and equine enthusiasts:

This certainly has been an unusual summer – weather wise. I want to alert you to a condition that your horses may (more…)

Farmowners Insurance: Property Claims Questions

July 20th, 2017

Farmowners insurance policyholders have many questions following a catastrophic event. Those that have been impacted by damage to their property no doubt feel overwhelmed by the loss and the confusion that follows. You may benefit from the kind of appropriate information that has come from questions asked by others who have endured a loss whether from wind, flood, fire or other disasters. (more…)

HORSE INSURANCE: West Nile Disease

July 10th, 2017

It’s that time of year – summer brings out those pesky mosquitos and dreaded carriers of West Nile disease. This is a viral disease that can cause illness or fatal encephalitis (inflammation of the brain and/or spinal cord) in horses through the bites of infected mosquitoes. The disease may not be evident until the death of the horse but some of the signs of illness include (more…)

Private Horse Owner’s Liability Risks

June 28th, 2017

An article published recently by Julie Fershtman, a renowned equine law attorney, depicted an interesting situation that bears sharing with our blog readers. We have written about private horse owner liability several times over the years. (more…)

Farmowners Insurance: Property Inspection

May 25th, 2017

When prospective clients visit your stable to inquire about boarding, training or riding instruction, they will get a favorable first impression when the property appears to be neat and well maintained. Are the stalls clean with ample bedding, fenced pastures for turnout, knowledgeable staff? (more…)

Horse Insurance: Medical & Surgical Claims

May 12th, 2017

Unfortunately, despite the best of care our horses are not entirely immune to accidents, injuries, or disease. A safe environment, routine veterinary and dental care, a good diet, avoiding stress; all contribute to maintaining a sound and healthy horse. It’s the unforeseen that we must deal with in the most appropriate way. Horse insurance may indeed be a wise investment.

We thought you might find it interesting to look at actual examples of recent medical and surgical claims paid by our insurance carriers. Note that the amount paid is after deductibles and co-pay provisions were deducted from the total cost of the veterinary treatment bills that were submitted.

• Cast in Stall:
Neck/Hock Injuries – $5,400
• Allergies – $1,000
• Tongue Wound – $2,500
• Eyes – Scratches, Infection – $1,200
• Gastric Ulcers – $1,800
• Fracture – $6,500
• Laceration – $4,890
• Sinusitis – $7,500***
• Tooth Decayed – $7,345
• Lameness – $9,033
• Testicle Blockage – $10,000***
• *Colic – Medical/Surgery – $8,027
• *Colic – **Free Endorsement – $3,500
Twist/Enlargement Surgery + $9,615 = $11,527 total for this med/surgical claim.

*Note – The cost of colic surgery can easily run into five figures if complications set in.
**The Free Colic Surgery Endorsement may be added to the mortality policy if the horse is eligible.
*** Policy Limits paid out.

The USDA’s National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) released the first report on 01/11/17 from its Equine 2015 study. The report is designed to provide participants, industry and animal-health officials with info on the country’s equine population. Participation in the study was conducted in 28 states based in part on the size or density of the state’s equine population. (It is estimated that the total number of equine in the US is 3,913.938!) The complete report is available at www.aphis.usda.gov/nahms. It is lengthy but of special interest were these highlights:
• For resident equids less than 1 year of age, conditions commonly attributed to cause of death were injury, wounds or trauma.
• For resident equids 1 to less than 20 years of age, conditions commonly attributed to cause of death was colic.

Most horse insurance policyholders do add medical whereas some opt for colic/surgical coverage only. Those who decline coverage may want to give all the available options a second thought before rejecting the added protection.

Equine Insurance: Be Prepared for Disasters

May 4th, 2017

This is brush fire season, tornado season and starting June 1st, it will be hurricane season. There isn’t any area of the United States that is immune from some type of natural disaster. What are your emergency preparedness plans? And are all of your equine insurance policies providing the coverage you may need?

With a focus on tornadoes, consider this – on average, there’s only about 13 minutes between when the Warning is issued and when the tornado strikes ground. 2017 could be one of the most active in recent history. As of May 1st, 567 tornadoes have been confirmed which is almost 100 more than average.

Regardless of how active the season may be, play it safe and be ready for any severe weather event. Have your emergency plans in place. It is clearly essential to protecting life and property. The following 25 tips are offered as reminders:

Before a Disaster:
• Survey your property for the best location to confine each animal.
• Have an evacuation plan to relocate animals if necessary. (Write down the route and alternate routes to fairgrounds, other farms, race tracks and humane societies that can provide shelter.) List the animals evacuated and where they go.
• Have a current list of all the horses on the property. Include essential records, care instructions and owner contact information.
• Maintain an inventory of horse and farm equipment as well as your household contents.
• Alternate water and power sources should be identified. Plan for power outages.
• Portable radios, flashlights, extra batteries, portable generators are all good to have on hand; and your fully charged handheld communication devices.
• Keep first-aid/emergency kits stocked – for horses and for humans.
• Have a list of all resources with phone numbers for your vet, feed & essential suppliers, horse hauler, insurance agents and company claims department.
• Have a list all emergency telephone numbers (fire, police, vet, clinics, hospitals, ambulance, and poison control). Make many copies and have them available at various locations on the property.
• Make sure your local fire department knows your exact location. Arrange for a visit so they are better prepared to react to your needs when required.
• Assign job descriptions to staff/caretakers/volunteers on who does what and calls whom.
• Conduct emergency drills. Keep vehicle gas tanks full.
• Have enough water/feed for 72 hours. Secure it before the disaster occurs.
• Make sure all horses are identified with halters or neck straps and possible splint boots or bandages with information on the horse inside. Spray paint names or I.D. on horses left out to weather the storm.
• Make sure you have adequate insurance to protect against a variety of perils and losses.
• Plan, plan, plan and write it down!

After a Disaster:
• Call all owners regarding the disaster, even if there is no damage or injury.
• Check all the fencing and check pastures and gates for any sharp objects.
• Look for unsafe conditions such as downed power lines, the smell of gas and unstable structural conditions.
• Be aware of wild animals and snakes.
• If horses are lost, contact local farms, veterinarians and humane societies.
• Be cautious in approaching animals that have gone through a disaster as they may be frightened and unruly.
• Check with your vet and Department of Agriculture for information about possible disease outbreaks.
• Inventory all horses and examine them for injuries.
• Check all feed and supplies for needed replacement.

Search online information and resources specific to your area. Do not hesitate to call your equine insurance agent anytime to review coverage.

Farmowners Insurance: Theft of Farm Equipment & Tack

April 27th, 2017

When protecting our health, our horses, our liability or property with appropriate insurance, the goal is the same – guard against a costly loss. Add prevention of theft to your check lists. What can we learn from the victims who have had tack stolen? Take a moment to review tips for safe guarding your tack and farm equipment from thieves. (more…)

Horse Mortality Insurance Topic – Lyme Disease

April 19th, 2017

Experts are predicting an outbreak of Lyme disease this year that will be unprecedented in scope. Blame the increase on factors such as the increased number of mice, the surge in deer population and climate change. Add to that, fewer foxes, hawks and owls to eat the mice. And it has been said that “ticks love mice…an individual mouse might have 50, 60 even 100 ticks covering its ears and face”! (more…)

HORSE INSURANCE Topic-Routine Health Care

April 5th, 2017

One of the general conditions in a horse insurance policy is that the insured shall at all times provide proper care and attention for each animal that is insured. Compliance with all of the policy conditions is essential. Aside from this aspect, insured or not, horse ownership carries with it a big responsibility. Neglecting the care of your horse can be very costly. (more…)