We all consider first aid kits, veterinary availability, and access to a horse trailer to be components of a preparedness program for a major equine emergency. Ability to finance a major medical crisis is not often considered until the actual situation is confronted. An uncomplicated colic surgery and hospital after-care averages $5000; the financial burden is tremendous. Large veterinary bills can also be incurred with mayor trauma, pneumonia, pleuritis, and complicated orthopedic problems just to name a few.
Purchasing major medical insurance for your horse is one way to prepare for these emergencies. The policies typically come with choices of $5000, $7500, or $10,000 payout per incident with an deductible of between $250 and $500 per incident. The insurer also requires the owner to take a mortality insurance policy on the horse as a companion to the major medical coverage. A typical annual premium for $5000 mortality and $5000 major medical is $450.
Major medical insurers will cover horses up to 15 years of age, but most companies will extend surgical coverage to 18 or 19 years of age. “Surgical only” insurance is less expensive annually than major medical coverage.
There are several companies offering equine major medical insurance and there are equine insurance brokers in our area that can help the horse owner select the best policy. Check the phone directory under “Insurance” or call the clinic.
The addition of this insurance to your equine emergency preparedness program can give real peace of mind if a serious medical problem confronts your horse.