Back in July, when Raglan and I had our one year anniversary together, I realized that Raglan is going to be with me for a very long time. Now that I’m certain that Raglan is a permanent fixture in my life, I’ve been finding ways to give him the opportunity to grow even stronger, happier, and well-rounded. He’s not a scrawny project anymore, he’s my giant beefcake partner 💗
Obviously I made a huge investment when I ordered our custom Prestige saddle, but there are some smaller ways that I’ve been shelling out a little extra cash to improve his quality of life, too. I tacked on turnout service to his board bill, started buying him a more expensive complete feed, and enrolled us in weekly semi-private lessons. Add that together and it’s an extra $200 a month that I’ve been spending on Raglan.
One of the most important investments I’ve made is to put an insurance policy on Raglan.
After experiencing the terror of having a barnmate’s horse pass away from choke complications in March, I started thinking. The possibility that I could be put in a position where I have to choose between swallowing a $10,000+ debt and watching Raglan suffer is unbearable. It’s literally my worst nightmare. There’s no doubt that I would have come out of the situation emotionally and financially wrecked.
It’s common to insure things that are important to us—car insurance, health insurance, homeowners insurance, etc. Horse insurance, on the other hand, isn’t quite so common. Partially because there’s a misconception that only super expensive five+ figure horses should be insured, but also because a lot of people don’t understand how horse insurance works.
When you purchase insurance for your horse, you’re paying for two different parts: mortality insurance and major medical insurance. Mortality insurance is the amount of money that you’re paid if your horse suddenly passes away. Major medical insurance is how much the company will pay towards emergency vet bills per year. You cannot purchase major medical insurance without a mortality policy—and insurance companies limit how much major medical coverage you can have based on your mortality insurance. For example, if your horse has $5,000 dollars of mortality insurance, then you can have up to (but not over) $5,000 of major medical coverage on them, as well.
What’s covered by my major medical insurance? Pretty much everything except routine vet care (like shots, teeth, etc.). Lameness evaluations are covered. Scoping for and treating ulcers is covered. Imaging (MRI, ultrasound, etc.) is covered. Stitches and antibiotics are covered. Any trouble that Raglan could possibly get himself into, my insurance covers—goodbye surprise vet bills!
Raglan is insured with $7,500 of mortality insurance and $7,500 major medical coverage. He also gets an extra $3,000 of major medical coverage that’s specifically for colic incidents, which brings his total colic coverage up to $10,500. That covers most, if not all, of colic surgery and post-operative care.
So how much do I pay for all of those perks? The cost of horse insurance differs depending on coverage amount and the horse’s age/discipline. For Raglan, a six-year-old jumper/eventer, I pay ~$630 a year for my policy. Divide that out and it’s a little over $50 a month—less than I pay for my car insurance.
On the fence about horse insurance? I went back and forth for a while, but what finally convinced me was doing the math. If I pay $630 a year for the next 10 years, that’s $6,300. What is the chance that in the next decade Raglan, my high energy troublemaker Thoroughbred, doesn’t somehow manage to rack up $6,300 of vet bills? It only takes one major illness or injury for that insurance to pay for itself.