Equine medical insurance can be difficult to understand, especially due to the differences between equine insurance and other insurances you may be used to. Loss of use coverage, for example, can be a useful extension of other equine medical insurances such as mortality and major medical insurance. While no horse owner wants to think of a scenario where their horse suffers a career-ending injury, accident, or illness, loss of use coverage can help provide financial assistance with vet bills and any other expenses should something happen.
“Loss of use” for horses is considered on a case-by-case basis. For some horses, it may be specific to a competition level or discipline. For others, it could be a loss of fertility. Horse owners have several options when it comes to loss of use insurance. For example, an owner can insure their horse for “full loss of use,” which is designed to reimburse the horse owner for a predetermined percentage of their horses' value should the horse become permanently and completely unable to fulfill its intended use. For full loss of use coverage, a complete veterinary evaluation of the horse is generally required. Another option is the accidental loss of use coverage covering exclusively external accidental injuries such as a trailer accident resulting in injury to your horse.
Most equine insurance is adjusted within a certain extent to fit the horse it is covering; however, many factors may change the type of coverage that is obtainable for your horse, such as their discipline, age, and medical history. Due to the nature of loss of use coverage focusing on unexpected injury or illness, older horses may not be eligible for coverage. Additionally, a horse with a medical history of something like colic episodes may not be eligible for coverage that includes colic. The horse's value may also the impact of coverage available depending on the carrier company. The easiest way to value a horse is from a purchase, but it is possible to change the valuation of your horse over time with proof of successful training and showing.
Should you need to file for loss of use with your horse, you must file your claim as soon as possible. After filing for loss of use, a veterinarian will need to assess your horse to complete your claim and verify for your insurance company that your horse will, in fact, be permanently unable to complete its intended use. Then, the insurance company will reimburse you for the agreed-upon amount or percentage of your horses’ value. Should your horse regain some ability to fulfill another use or even their prior intended use, later on, they are not barred from doing so. However, it’s essential to consult with your veterinarian regarding what is safe for your horse to participate in.
The range of options and decisions to consider when thinking about equine insurance can be overwhelming. Still, every horse owner needs to understand and be aware of their full list of options, especially when purchasing a new horse. The decision to insure your horse for loss of use has the potential to be a valuable tool in the face of an unexpected accident involving your horse.
For seasoned and novice riders alike, it is always good to revisit the basics. Serving as the foundation for any eventer, the positions used on the cross-country course differ from those in the dressage or show jumping ring. The USEA tuned into five-time Olympian, three-time World Equestrian Games rider, two Pan-American Games rider, and USEA ECP certified coach Karen O'Connor as she walked coaches and students at the USEA ECP Symposium through the basic positions for effective cross-country riding.
The USEF's main phone number and fax number have changed. We wanted to notify you so you continue to get the support you need.
With the recent wrap-up of the 2023 Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) Symposium in Ocala, Florida, USEA Podcast Host Nicole Brown chats with ECP Faculty Members Jennifer Howlett Rousseau and Robin Walker about all things related to the ECP. From the USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels to the benefits of pursuing certification, selecting the best coach for you, recapping this year's Symposium, and more - this week's USEA podcast is the perfect educational tool for coaches and riders alike!
Time is precious. Time with your horse even more so. If one of your resolutions for the New Year is to spend more time in the saddle or more time enjoying the barn, you’ll want to implement these best practices to minimize stress and make the most of 2023.