Equine insurance experts answer your questions about insuring Thoroughbreds for the breeding and auction realms.
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QUESTION: In the event that my insured horse is being transported to the clinic for a procedure, what are my responsibilities as a policyholder? Are any veterinary expenses covered under my full mortality, or all-risk mortality policy?
BRYCE BURTON: The conditions of a full mortality insurance policy require that the underwriters are notified immediately should an insured animal become ill or injured. The underwriters must also be notified prior to any surgery being performed, unless the surgery is an emergency life-saving procedure. Notifying your agent and/or underwriter is mandatory at the earliest possible time.
The most efficient way to notify the underwriter is to contact your equine insurance agent so they can pass along the necessary information.
Most full mortality policies contain a free Emergency Colic Surgery Endorsement up to a $5,000 limit per occurrence on horses 91 days of age through 18 years, with no prior history of colic issues. Beyond the Emergency Colic Surgery Endorsement, either a Major Medical Endorsement, Surgical Endorsement, or Racehorse Surgical Endorsement would have to be in place in order to qualify for coverage of veterinary expenses. Please see the previous article regarding Major Medical coverage here.
QUESTION: What do I need to do in the event that my insured horse is in a life-threatening situation?
BRYCE BURTON: In the event that an insured horse is facing a life-threatening situation, the policyholder should call their agent immediately. It’s always a good idea for an insured to have the agent’s after-hours number saved so that it’s accessible at all times.
It’s also beneficial to have the horse’s name, dam’s name, age, attending veterinarian’s contact, and care- taker’s contact on hand for the agent. The agent will then reach out to an emergency adjuster, who will take over from there. The adjuster will need to speak directly to the vet and/or caretaker of the horse regarding the situation in order to ensure that everyone is on the same page with respect to the horse’s health moving forward.
Bryce Burton is a property and liability specialist for Muirfield Insurance. He is from Frankfort, Ky., where
he grew up an avid race fan. His Thoroughbred racing fandom combined with a collegiate internship in the insurance industry, culminated in a start in the equine insurance field. Bryce has been with Muirfield Insurance since 2014, following his graduation from Transylvania University in Lexington.
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