+27 (21) 554 KUDA or +27 (21) 554 5832

Types Of Insurance for Race Horses

What types of cover are available?


Bloodstock Mortality Insurance

Bloodstock mortality insurance is the most common type of insurance purchased by horse owners.

Mortality coverage is similar to human life insurance and is for the value of the horse, should it die. The policy will insure the horse for 100% of its insured value.

Premiums range dependent on the discipline in which the horse participates and are based on a percentage of the horse’s value, which is determined by its original purchase price, training, and performance records.

Bloodstock mortality insurance policies also cover humane destruction of the animal in cases of mortal injury or disease.


Lifesaving Surgery Insurance

Lifesaving surgery insurance is another type of insurance to consider. Any surgery required to save the life of the horse is covered to the maximum value of R50 000 per event plus a 7 day stay in hospital.

It is very important to note that the amount of cover provided differs significantly between different providers. “Per event” means that this could happen more than once during a 12 month period and your horse would be covered each and every time.

As a horse lover, one never wants the decision of whether surgery should be performed to be a financial one i.e. Can I afford the operation? The life saving surgery option allows you to make your decision based on whether or not your horse actually needs the surgery or not.


Public Liability Insurance

If your horse kicks or bites someone and you want to avoid paying high litigation costs, you may consider obtaining Public liability insurance. This type of insurance protects you should your horse cause damage or injury to a member of the public.

This option provides R1 000 000.00 cover per event. “Per event” means that this could happen more than once during a 12 month period and your horse would be covered each and every time. The cost of this is a mere R20 per month or R200 per year.


How do you decide between all these different insurances?

Find a reputable insurance company and a good bloodstock insurance agent. This person will know the value of your horse and assess what types of insurance are needed. Make sure you have your agent explain the costs and benefits of each insurance policy, and get your price quotes and coverage information in writing. Also, talk with fellow horse owners, get agent and company references. Choose a company that understands your needs and can talk to you about your horse with insight and understanding.


How much insurance does your horse need?

A rather sophisticated actuarial formula is used to calculate value and risks for bloodstock insurance. In principle, it operates much like human life insurance underwriting. Basically, an bloodstock insurance premium is based on the value of a horse. Other factors include the horse’s age and intended uses. Jumpers and eventers may be more costly to insure than dressage horses. Racehorses and reining horses can demand higher-ticket policies than trail horses. Speak to your insurance company about bespoke insurance for your particular situation specially if you are insuring a fair number of horses or horses of high value.Life saving surgery insurance protects the owner from massive surgical and hospitalisation expenses. If your horse should suddenly require colic or life-saving surgery, you would be relieved to have medical insurance available for these costly procedures.


How much will it cost to insure your horse?

The only way to get an accurate answer to this question is to fill out the appropriate form from an insurance company and request a quote. Premiums vary depending on the breed and age of the horse, its value, its use, etc. Extended coverages may be available for surgery & medical coverage, as well as loss of use, infertility, or named perils. Shorter term insurance is also available in special cases i.e. when a horse is being taken on trial, leased for a shorter term than a year, is in transit from one centre to another, etc.


Here are some questions you will need to ask the prospective insurance company before you decide to take out insurance from that company:

What is the oldest age at which I can insure my horse?
At what age can my horse be insured? Can foals be covered?
If my horse has been treated for colic, can it be insured?
If my horse has required colic surgery, can it be insured?
Is my horse covered during transport?
Can I get Life Saving Surgery or Public Liability coverages by themselves?
Are there any uses/disciplines which do not qualify for coverage?
What do I need to do to get immediate insurance coverage for my horse?
I purchased my horse a couple of years ago. Now that I have put some training into him, how do I determine my horse's value today?
Is there a specific time limit for reporting a claim under my policy?
How am I paid for major medical claims?
How do I make a claim?
What if I need to report a claim after hours?
What kinds of questions should I be expected to answer when I am applying for an insurance policy?
What will the insurance company require from you?

In conclusion, a savvy horse owner will consider all possibilities before signing an insurance contract. If you have any questions, ask your insurance carrier upfront. By buying health insurance for your horse, you will have the reassurance that, should something happen, your horse will be taken care of and you will be protected from high medical fees.