Substantial Changes to Horse Insurance Are Good for All
Source: Acera Insurance (formerly CapriCMW)
The horse industry is changing. Horse welfare has become an everyday concern; veterinary medicine has advanced substantially; and the costs of horse ownership have risen. So, it’s time for the horse insurance industry to change, too.
With over 45 years in the insurance business, Acera Insurance (formerly CapriCMW) understands their clients’ changing needs. As of July 1, 2021, they began offering a dramatically updated EquiCare Mortality and Medical insurance product in line with what horse owners and riders are looking for. The EquiCare policy includes life insurance for horses plus coverage for unexpected veterinarian expenses, but today’s horse industry is very different from yesteryear, and the new EquiCare Mortality and Medical insurance reflects those changes.
For example, the revamped policy rewards horse owners who provide routine veterinary care to their horses with substantially lower premiums. That means if your horse receives regular wellness checks, dental work, vaccinations, and other routine care, you will pay less to insure your horse — a boon to horse owners who already do everything they can to keep their horses sound and healthy.
Co-insurance options — whereby the horse owner and insurer share veterinary bills — are available, too. For example, an insurance plan with a 20 percent co-insurance clause means that the horse owner will pay 20 percent of a veterinary bill, while the insurance company pays the other 80 percent. Co-insurance plans are common in small animal insurance programs, so it only makes sense for them to be offered for horse care, as well.
Limits on the maximum amount that the insurer will pay have also increased. Horse owners can now purchase medical/surgical plans as part of their EquiCare policy with annual limits from $2,500 to $15,000, which simply reflect the higher cost of veterinary care today. Not only that, horse owners now have more flexibility in how they spend their pot of insurance money. Previously, plans stipulated that the insurer would pay a predetermined percentage of the cost for diagnostic work-ups and 100 percent of the costs for covered veterinary treatments. With the updated EquiCare plan, horse owners can choose to spend more money on diagnostic work, which is often where funds are needed.
Finally, as more horses are competing and leading productive lives into their late teens, the maximum age for mortality (life) insurance coverage has been increased from 17 to 20.
These are all big changes in how horses are insured. We asked Mike King to explain what they mean for horse owners and riders seeking the best way to insure their horses. He’s a partner at the organization and their National Manager of Equine Programs, and has been discussing insurance and risk-reducing tactics with horse industry clients across Canada for almost 30 years.
King says the revamped EquiCare Mortality and Medical insurance policy is a direct response to customers’ requests over the last few years, to recognize their active participation in the management of the horse. He explains that basic mortality insurance for sport horses was first available about 45 years ago — and was then expanded to include extensions for colic-related vet expenses. Those medical extensions eventually developed into broad medical coverage for unexpected veterinary expenses, and that’s pretty much what has been available for many years. However, those insurance policies don’t reflect the realities of today’s horses and the needs of their owners. King says that with horses now competitive into their twenties and equine veterinarians offering a plethora of methods to treat injuries or illness, policies need to adapt.
With all those facts in mind, Acera revised their EquiCare Mortality and Medical insurance policy to reflect the insurance needs of today’s horse owners, and reward those who provide good care to their animals.
King says, “If you can demonstrate that you are a proactive and engaged horse owner, work with a veterinarian and farrier on a regular basis, are working with a trainer who understands and respects your horse’s limitations, and are a member of your Provincial/Territorial Equine Sports Organization, then you’re going to get the most favourable rates and get the most out of your insurance policy.”
Now that’s an insurance policy that horse owners can appreciate - one that reflects the costly reality of owning horses, acknowledges the current reality of owning horses, and recognizes the benefits of informed horse welfare.