The EMO Agency, Inc., specializes in providing you with the information you need to make informed decisions about your insurance requirements. In this Frequently Asked Questions section, we've compiled some of the most commonly asked questions regarding equine, liability and farm insurance.
To discover more information about insurance and health care topics, please visit our "On The Go With EMO" newsletter archive for a treasure trove of articles and tips.
Understanding Your Equine Insurance Policy
Question: What is my horse's current market value and how do I establish that number?
Answer: The current market value of your horse is the price you paid for him if you recently purchased the horse, or the number can be determined based on his training and show record. If you have any questions regarding your horse's value, please contact your insurance agent who can help you work out a fair market value.
Q: What is the difference between an insurance agent and an insurance adjuster/underwriter?
A: An agent works for an insurance agency that represents insurance companies. An underwriter works for the insurance company and assesses the risks. An adjustor is employed by the insurance company to adjust claims.
Q: What is an exclusion?
A: If your horse has incurred an injury or illness in the past and you seek to insure him, the insurance underwriter may exclude those pre-existing conditions on a new insurance policy.
Q: We have recently added a small herd of beef cattle to our growing collection of farm animals. Are we able to insure them through EMO as we do our horses and farm?
A: Yes, EMO offers livestock insurance for beef and dairy cattle. We have also insured many other types of animals, including ostriches and llamas! So, if you continue to add other animals to your farm community, please give your agent a call to discuss the available coverages for the different types of livestock on your property.
Using your equine insurance policy
Q: When do I need to call my insurance agent?
A: If your horse requires veterinary care--other than routine vaccinations, wellness exams, health certificates, etc.--you should notify your insurance agent. Minor problems can turn into major issues, and if that happens your horse might not be covered if the initial injury wasn't reported in a timely fashion.
Q: What are the steps I need to take if my horse is injured?
A: In an emergency or with a serious injury, always call your veterinarian first, then contact your insurance agent.
Q: How does the process work? Do I submit each bill for the insurance company to pay?
A: No, this is one of the major differences between human and equine medical insurance. Once your horse's treatment is finished, you'll submit all of the bills that you already paid, and the insurance adjuster will apply the deductible and reimburse you set amounts for treatments, medications, diagnostics and other covered expenses.
Each type of service, i.e., diagnostics, treatments, call fees, have different levels of coverage and limits, so make sure to read your policy thoroughly and contact your insurance agent if you have further questions.
Q: What are the steps I need to take if my horse dies?
A: In the event of the death of your horse, contact your insurance agent promptly. Do not dispose of your horse's body until your agent or the insurance adjuster provides you with permission.
Q: I'm not sure how a deductible works for my horse's major medical policy. Is it a one-time, annual payment or do I pay a deductible each time I file a claim?
A: Deductibles for human medical insurance and equine medical insurance are different. Unlike human insurance, there's no annual deductible you must reach to receive reimbursement. Each claim is treated individually, and a deductible applies. The amount of the deductible varies with the different underwriters.
Q: If I pay a deductible for each injury or illness, why are pre-existing conditions excluded when I renew?
A: Humans live a lot longer than horses and we pay much more on an annual basis for insurance. On average, a horse owner keeps and insures a horse for three years, so the insurance companies can't collect enough money on the premiums to make up for any long-term loss. All policies have a limit on the amount of coverage per incident and per horse.
Therefore, equine major medical insurance has a deductible per injury or illness and also excludes pre-existing conditions in order to keep the major medical insurance affordable. That's why you'll pay upwards of $10,000 per year for human medical insurance and often under $500 for equine major medical coverage.
understanding your liability Policy
Q: I've been asked to add the facility where I teach freelance lessons as an "additional insured" to my liability policy. What does this mean?
A: Asking a professional to add a facility where they teach as an additional insured to a liability policy is a common request. In fact, it often goes hand-in-hand with the facility owner requesting a Certificate of Insurance as well.
When you add the facility as an additional insured, your insurance policy will then protect that entity with the same coverages you're afforded. It's important to understand that when you endorse an additional insured on your policy, whether an individual or facility, that you are taking on that liability, and any legal defense or judgments against them could potentially transfer to you and your insurance company.
Also remember that any additional insured added will share your policy limits, so be sure to understand how the per occurrence limit and aggregate limit of coverage would be affected.
Before adding an additional insured to your insurance policy, it's wise to seek guidance from your insurance agent to be sure that you understand the nuances of adding an additional insured and to determine if you should adjust your policy limits.