Coverage When it Counts
Author: Alex Taft
Our horses are our lives. We spend countless hours tailoring training programs to their needs and revolving our schedules around what is best for them. And in addition to them being members of our family, they are often the reason we can put food on our tables and gas in our tanks.
We do our best to protect them in whatever way we can, but if your horse colicked and needed surgery today, could you afford it? If your dead broke horse spooked and injured a child, could you front the legal fees involved? What if one of your most promising prospects died unexpectedly…could you replace him?
While it’s uncomfortable to imagine, accidents happen whether your horse is bubble wrapped or not, and you need to be ready when misfortune inevitably rolls into your ranch. Equine insurance and equine-related liability insurance are services that have grown in popularity over the years, especially in high-stakes sports like cutting and reined cow horse.
Scott Chartier, of Justin Insurance, has been involved with the cutting industry throughout his life, so he understands the needs of cutters. • Photo by Ted Petit Photography
“Horses are a huge investment, regardless of the purchase price," said Scott Chartier, of Justin Insurance. "You have to also take into consideration the amount you spend on training and maintenance. The number one claim we see and most costly, is colic. It is something you can never really predict or know the outcome of. If you go buy a brand-new vehicle, you are most likely going to insure it with full coverage. I don’t know why you wouldn’t do the same with a horse that you do with your car, truck, ranch or home.”
You'll want to think about equine insurance before it's too late. • Photo by Megan Parks Photography
Some insurance providers like Justin Insurance have been around for decades and are able to tailor coverage plans to an individual’s unique needs. Whether you are an owner, breeder, trainer or trail rider, insurers can accommodate your herd.
“We have different options depending on the amount of horses you have,” Scott said. “Just because you have a $100,000 horse does not mean you have to insure him for that. You could even decide to get the medical coverage for an unexpected lameness or surgery.”
Even less discussed is the idea of liability insurance to protect yourself from the legal fees that would come after a horse injures someone. As we all know, horses are massive, unpredictable animals, and anything could happen at any time. Having liability insurance could help give you peace of mind and save you from being put in a bind after an accident.
“Say your horse is at a show and kicks someone; you are potentially liable,” Scott said. “People don’t think about the liability aspect. If someone were to get hurt, the liability coverage is important when there is a lawsuit. Are you in a position where if catastrophe happens, you could take care of it?"
Care, custody and control insurance is another type of coverage that has increased in popularity amongst cutters, as trainers frequently manage the horses and property of others. This type of policy would remove indemnification of the trainer when the property (horses or otherwise) of others is placed in the care of the trainer. This type of coverage can be especially valuable when someone is hauling client horses from show to show.
Care, custody and control insurance should not be overlooked.
For more information on Justin Insurance, click here!