For Horse Coverages
Mortality policies are available in all U.S. states
except Alaska and Hawaii.
If you own a horse, there are several types of insurance
coverages to consider. These frequently asked questions
will help you choose a policy that fits your needs.
1. What are the age limits for Full Mortality Coverage?
Your horse must be between the ages of 24 hours through 20 years to insure for Full Mortality. If your horse is age 21 or older, Named Perils coverage is available (see Coverages For Your Horse for more details).
2. Is it necessary to have a Veterinary
Certificate completed in order to insure my horse?
No, as long as your horse is sound and healthy and the insured value is $100,000 or less. For foals under 30 days old, a Foal Veterinary Certificate is required.
If you are renewing coverage, the same criteria apply.
3. I board my horse and the owners
of the barn told me they have coverage if anything happens to him, do I still need coverage?
They probably have what is called Care, Custody or Control coverage. This coverage is meant to protect them in the event that your horse is injured or killed and they are found negligent. It doesn't protect you if your horse is injured or dies in a manner unrelated to the boarding facility. For this reason, you should consider full mortality and medical coverage for your horse.
4. How much can I insure my horse
You can insure your horse for the fair market value or any lesser amount. Fair market value is the amount you could expect to receive if you were to sell your horse today. If you have recently purchased your horse, generally the purchase price is considered fair market value.
If your horse is not a recent purchase but has been in training or competing, then your horse's fair market value may have increased. A higher value can be requested pending underwriting approval; please see question #23 for more information.
5. What is the Free Colic Surgery
The Full Mortality policy automatically includes Free Colic Surgery coverage, providing the horse does not have a history of colic or digestive issues. The coverage limit is 60% of the insured value with a maximum of $3,000 (whichever is less), and there is no deductible. Coverage also includes $300 for emergency third party transportation. This coverage is used first in the case of a colic surgery, and any medical/surgical coverage you have is used after that.
6. What is Guaranteed Extension
Full Mortality policies include Guaranteed Extension coverage at no additional cost. This coverage provides that in the event of a condition occurring and reported during the policy period, mortality coverage will automatically continue for up to 12 months after the expiration date of the policy for that specific condition. For example, if your horse experienced laminitis during the policy period and you reported the condition promptly during the policy period, the mortality coverage is extended for up to 12 months after the expiration date of the policy in the event your horse dies as a result of laminitis.
Guaranteed Extension coverage does not require you to renew your policy for mortality coverage to continue for the reported condition.
7. What does Value Endorsement mean?
Full Mortality policies include a Value Endorsement. This coverage states that as long as your horse was worth its insured value at any time during the policy period, you will be paid the same amount in the event of an approved mortality claim. Other companies may write on an Actual Cash Value basis which means you would only be paid what your horse was worth at the time of death.
8. What does “fully earned” mean?
Some coverage options such as medical/surgical, Territorial Limits Including Transit or Third Party Liability may be fully earned. This means that in the event you cancel your policy, there is no return premium on these coverages.
Premiums are also fully earned in the event of a claim. This means that if you are paid for a loss on a horse, there is no return premium for the applicable coverage under which the claim was paid.
9. What coverage is available if
my horse gets sick or has an injury?
In addition to Full Mortality coverage, you may want to consider purchasing Major Medical/Surgical coverage for your horse to protect yourself if there are unexpected veterinary bills. This coverage will reimburse you for veterinary fees in the event your horse has an injury, lameness, illness, or disease. It provides coverage for diagnostics such as X-rays and ultrasounds, blood work, bone scans, medications, etc. as well as for many types of treatment.
Keep in mind that under the terms of your mortality policy, you are required to give proper care and attention to your horse. If your horse develops a serious problem such as EPM, colic, or has a fracture and the veterinarian believes your horse can be saved, you are expected to provide for that care. Humane destruction is covered under the mortality policy, but economic destruction is not. If you choose to put your horse down for financial reasons, the mortality coverage would not apply. Major Medical/Surgical coverage would help you with these veterinary expenses.
There are three Major Medical and Surgical plans available:
The Up to $7,500 Annual Aggregate Limit coverage offers a limit of a maximum of $7,500, (not to exceed the horse's insured mortality limit) subject to a $300 deductible per illness, injury or incident.
The $10,000 Annual Aggregate Limit offers a limit of $10,000, subject to a $300 deductible per illness, injury or incident.
The $15,000 Annual Aggregate Limit offers a limit of $15,000, subject to a $300 deductible per illness, injury, or incident.
Major Medical/Surgical coverage is available for horses between 31 days – 15 years; 16 – 20 years with underwriting approval.
When comparing medical coverages from different companies, ask to see the policy wording to determine what exactly is covered and more importantly, what is not covered.
You could also consider Surgical Only coverage for your horse. This option covers the actual cost of surgery, and for aftercare medical fees for up to 30 days equal to the cost of surgery. This coverage has a $5,000 annual limit and $0 deductible. Available for horses ages 31 days – 17 years; and 18 – 20 years with underwriting approval.
- For example, some companies limit how long they will provide coverage for a problem. Our company provides coverage for a problem for the entire policy period in which it occurred. This can be quite important if you are dealing with a serious condition like EPM where the medication and treatment is both lengthy and costly. Our coverage also includes a 30 day extension past the policy expiration date for major medical/surgical coverage.
- There may be sub-limits on conditions such as gastric ulcers or treatments such as shockwave or IRAP. Our coverage has no sub-limits.
- Some companies have built in exclusions for navicular, arthritis, or DJD. Our medical coverage does not exclude these conditions, provided they are not pre-existing to the policy term.
10. Do I really need Major Medical/Surgical
coverage, especially since the policy automatically
includes coverage for colic surgery?
The automatic colic surgery coverage included with the Full Mortality policy has a limit of $3,000 or less, depending on the insured value of your horse. Costs for colic surgery can vary greatly depending upon the severity of the colic, the area of the country in which you live, and if there are post-operative problems.
Adding Major Medical/Surgical or Surgical Only coverage provides you with a higher available limit for colic surgery as well as providing coverage for other health problems your horse might face. Although colic is many horse owners' worst fear, it is not the only expensive health problem that can occur. Lameness, EPM, and founder are just a few other problems that can be lengthy and expensive to treat. The Major Medical/Surgical coverage will help reimburse you for the diagnostics and treatment for problems such as these, as long as the conditions are not pre-existing.
11. Is there coverage available
for medical colics?
If you select any of the Major Medical/Surgical coverages, they provide you with reimbursement in the event of a medical or surgical colic along with providing coverage for other health conditions as described above.
If your primary concern is reimbursement if your horse experiences colic, you may want to select our Colic Medical and Surgical Coverage.
The Colic Medical/Surgical Coverage provides an annual limit of the lesser of $3,000 or sixty percent (60%) of the mortality limit of liability, for cost of medical and surgical colics, including aftercare, subject to a $300 deductible.
Colic remains the number one cause of death for horses, and is a leading cost in medical claims. Selecting this coverage will provide you with protection for both medical and surgical colics, and in the event your horse needs colic surgery, you will have a combined limit from the Colic Medical and Surgical Coverage and the Free Colic Surgery coverage of up to $6,000 for the medical and surgical costs.
12. Can I purchase more than one
You can mix and match from our five optional medical/surgical coverages. Pick one coverage, or several, however you cannot select duplicate coverages on any one horse (i.e., you cannot have two separate $10,000 Major Medical coverages on the same horse).
As veterinary costs continue to climb, consider purchasing more coverage to protect you in the event your horse has medical/surgical claims.
13. Are there any co-pays?
No, our medical/surgical coverages have no co-pays!
You only have the deductible to satisfy.
Please keep in mind that in most cases, payment must be made to your vet at the time of service, and you will be reimbursed for the claim less the deductible once invoices and vet reports are submitted to our claims company, National Equine Adjusting.
14. How do I get Loss of Use coverage?
Full Mortality plus Major Medical/Surgical coverage are required, and the horse must have a current competition record. Only the following disciplines are eligible:
-Show Horses – only classes such as English Pleasure, Hunt Seat, Hunter Under Saddle, Saddle Seat or All-Around (if the horse shows in at least one English use class)
-Driving – only horses showing in classes such as Fine Harness, English Pleasure, etc. Horses used for farm work, pleasure driving or combined driving are not eligible
The External Injury Only Loss of Use coverage is available for horses ages 2-17 years and does not require any additional Vet Certificate.
Full Loss of Use coverage is available for horses ages 2-12 years, and requires the submission of our Full Loss of Use Vet Certificate for coverage consideration. This exam includes a basic health exam as well as flexion tests and narratives of the required 18-20 X-rays. A drug screen taken at the time of the exam is also required for horses valued over $25,000.
Please contact us for more information if you are interested in either of these coverages, or review the specific policy wording on the Coverages For Your Horse page.
15. I've heard that if a Loss of Use claim is paid, the company can take the horse, is this true?
There is a provision in the Loss of Use coverage wording that gives the company the authority to take possession of a horse in the event a Loss of Use claim is paid. This is not a common occurrence but is necessary to prevent fraud.
16. Is there any type of infertility coverage for my breeding stallion?
You can add the Stallion Infertility for Accident, Sickness and Disease coverage to your mortality policy. This coverage helps protect you in the event your proven breeding stallion is permanently unable to get mares in foal as the result of an accident, sickness or disease. Only stallions who have completed their first season of breeding with mares confirmed in foal are eligible.
17. Can I get Medical or Surgical coverage without Mortality coverage?
No. The Full Mortality coverage is the actual policy. Medical or Surgical coverages are additional options which can be added to the Full Mortality policy.
18. What happens if my horse develops a health problem or lameness during the policy? Will the company renew the coverage?
In the majority of cases, the company will offer renewal with an exclusion for the specific problem depending on its severity.
Remember that you still have mortality coverage for a reported condition under the Guaranteed Extension for an additional 12 months following the policy expiration date.
19. Why would I need liability coverage for my horse?
If your horse injures a third party or damages their property, you could be faced with a lawsuit. Even if the lawsuit is frivolous and you were not at fault, you can still be sued and it can be costly to defend yourself. Many horse owners assume they have coverage for their equestrian activities under their homeowner's policy, but you should check with your agent. Ask for written confirmation and make sure coverage applies if you take your horse off your property to a horse show, trail ride, etc.
Equine Third Party Liability Coverage is available as an addition to your mortality policy. This coverage provides an annual aggregate limit of $25,000.
You might also want to consider a separate Equine Personal Liability policy which offers limits of $300,000, $500,000, or $1 million for up to five horses with the ability to add additional horses.
20. I board my horse, so I don't need liability coverage, right?
Actually, you do. If your horse got loose and caused a car accident, both the stable owner and you as the horse owner would likely be sued. Equine Personal Liability coverage will help protect you.
21. What documents are required to insure my horse?
For a new purchase, please submit the Equine Mortality Application and a copy of the pre-purchase exam report (if one was performed in the last 14 months). If you are requesting a value higher than the initial purchase price, please submit justification of value as well. We do not require you to send coggins, photos, appraisals, etc. A Veterinary Certificate is required for horses valued over $100,000, and a Foal Veterinary Certificate is required for foals under 30 days old.
22. Can I renew my policy by phone?
An application is required to renew your policy each year, as underwriting must have written confirmation from you that all of the information is correct. Renewal applications can be submitted a maximum of 30 days prior to the policy expiration date, and are available on the Forms page of the website. Applications can be submitted to us by email, fax or mail; the original copy is not required.
23. How do I increase the insured value of my horse after I have a policy?
If you have owned the horse for a minimum 3-6 months, value increases can be requested during the current policy term. Please submit a Statement of Health form along with any of the following: show records (including results/size of classes), USEF/breed registration number, letter from your trainer stating the reasons for the increase in value, summary of training expenses, winnings, and/or breeding history. Once we receive this information, we can ask underwriting to approve the increase in value and the additional premium is pro-rated through the end of the existing policy. Value increases can also be requested at renewal if you prefer.
24. What are my payment options?
You can pay by personal check, money order, or credit card. Payment plans are also available for a one-time fee.
You can also make payments online through our website (policy number is not required). Just click on the "Make A Payment" button.
If you are on a payment plan and wish to pay the policy off early, you may do so with no penalty.
25. What if I cancel my policy?
If you cancel your policy, the mortality premium and Loss of Use premium is returned on a pro-rated basis.
Other coverages such as Medical/Surgical and Territorial Limits Including Transit may be fully earned, so there is no return premium on these coverages.
Premiums are fully earned in the event of a claim.
26. How can I request cancelation of my policy?
Requests must be made in writing, either by email, fax or mail or by clicking the “Request A Policy Change” page. If the horse was sold more than 90 days prior to your cancelation request, a copy of the Bill of Sale is also required to make the cancelation effective on the date of sale.
Cancelations are processed within 7-10 days of receiving requests, and any refund is issued the same way the policy was originally paid for (i.e. credit card vs. check).
27. Do I need to make changes to my policy if I will be leasing my horse out?
You can name the lessee on the policy if you would like, but are not required by the company to do so.
28. Do I need to notify Hallmark if my horse will be traveling or changing barns?
No, the only address we keep on file is your current home address. The policies are designed to follow your horse within the United States (lower 48 states) and/or Canada.
Please contact us immediately if your home address or email address changes.