Horse ranches need property, liability, and equine medical insurance. They also need a good emergency fund set aside for unexpected costs that might arise.
But, while there isn’t much that’s cheap about owning a horse, there are ways to cut costs.
Know Your Limits
When you own horses, whether they’re boarded on your property or in a professional facility, you need to take financial safety measures just like any other business. Horse owners purchase farm, stable, and ranch policies to protect their dwellings, personal property, equipment, livestock, tack, and other items from loss. Liability insurance is also an important consideration.
Most stables require owners to have a commercial policy for horse-related activities, including boarding, breeding, training, lessons, and camps. These policies often have specific recommendations that must be met to obtain coverage, such as posting barn rules and emergency numbers, requiring riders to sign waivers, and having the horse vaccination records.
Some stables choose to add mortality policies, which cover the cost of a horse’s death from a long list of causes. The price of a mortality policy is based on the horse’s estimated value, which the insurer may calculate, or a third party specializing in equine valuing.
Review Your Policy Every Year
Your horse is more than just a companion; it’s an investment. If an injury or illness occurs, it can be financially devastating to your ranch. Having the right horse ranch insurance can protect your farm from these risks.
Medical and surgical coverages can pay for veterinary care to treat your horse’s illnesses or injuries. Typically, the cost of treatment will be, at most, an annual limit, but the terms of these policies can vary widely.
Mortality coverage pays for the replacement value of your horse in cases where death is caused by a broad range of perils, including fire, explosion, lightning, animal or human destruction, transportation accidents, and theft. The value of your horse must be predetermined before the policy is issued and is based on four factors.
Another coverage option is loss of use, which covers a variety of circumstances where your horse cannot perform activities that provide financial income (such as racing). It’s available as an add-on to mortality policies.
Ask About Deductibles Or Special Perils Policies
When purchasing an equine policy, ask your insurance broker about deductible options. Often, the higher the deductible, the lower your premium will be.
Other equine insurance policies include animal mortality coverage, which covers death due to many perils, including theft. Another option is primary medical/surgical coverage that reimburses owners for veterinary costs for illnesses and injuries covered by the policy.
These additional equine insurance policies may add to your premiums, but they can help protect you financially if something happens. For example, if you are forced to retire an injured horse due to an accident or illness, limited loss coverage will reimburse you for a percentage of the horse’s market value.
Also, if you rent your horse property for events, a care, custody, and control liability policy is essential to your insurance coverage. It will cover your horse if injured or killed while caring for someone else.
Work With An Independent Agent
Working with an independent agent is one of the best ways to save money on horse ranch insurance. Independent agents aren’t tied to a specific company, so they can quickly help you get quotes and compare policies.
This flexibility also helps them find you the best value for your equine insurance policy. They’ll consider your needs and then find several options for you to review. They can also help you find any additional coverage that you may need.
In addition to saving you money on your equine insurance, an independent agent can provide invaluable assistance when it comes time to file claims or address other insurance issues. They can answer questions, explain policies in detail, and guide you through the sometimes complicated process of filing a claim. This extra support can make all the difference if something goes wrong. Plus, they’re local and invested in their community. It can add a personal touch that you may not get with more extensive, impersonal insurance agencies.