It’s that time of year again! Between the extravagant hats, mint juleps, and the thrill of betting on the right horse, it’s no wonder the Kentucky Derby has been described by Forbes1 as one of the nation’s “Greatest Bucket-list Sporting events.” Beyond the bustle and hype of the Kentucky Derby lies the simple joy of the event: a love for horses.

Equine lovers are known for their loyalty, dedication, and passion for the majestic animals. While they may not be able to curl up with you in bed like your typical house pet, horse lovers know that a horse is far more than an investment or means for a hobby; a horse is a part of your family.

My horse certainly isn’t an elite race horse or a thoroughbred stallion. Should I still get equine insurance?

Your horse represents years of effort, memories, and a companion through many of life’s milestones. Even horses whose existence contributes little to nothing in terms of income require maintenance, specialized care, and property upkeep at minimum.

Two basic forms of equine insurance exist: all-risk mortality and medical & surgical insurance.

All-risk mortality insurance covers costs in the event that your horse dies, requires euthanization, or is stolen. Typically, the insurance premium is based on the age of the horse at the time of insurance.

Medical and surgical insurance is usually only available in addition to all-risk mortality and theft insurance at an additional cost. Annual vet fees alone averaging nearly $500 per year2, none of which includes even the most minor emergency surgeries.

I take good care of my horse, so it probably won’t happen to me, right?

Unfortunately, no amount of vaccinations, routine medical care, or love can protect a horse from all serious injuries or illnesses. Besides old age, colic is the leading cause of death3 in horses. Colic can be the result of the changes in diet, adverse weather, concurrent infections, and stress, among other causes. While the severity of colic has a diverse range, cases that require emergency surgery can have total costs ranging between $5,000-$10,000.

Of the eight horses she has owned, three required use of her major medical equine insurance policy, shared Stephanie Ruff5, Master of Animal Sciences. She used the entirety of the policy on two of said horses.

The moral of my stories is that emergency situations are very expensive, and with them come big decisions,” explains Ruff. “If you don’t have a large emergency fund for such situations, to purchase an insurance policy. It gave me peace of mind knowing I could try to help my horse without worrying about the bulk of the cost.” 5

That peace of mind is our top priority at Penny Insurance. Our agents are committed to designing an equestrian policy program that caters specifically to your horse’s risks and exposures. To learn more about potential solutions, visit our Equine Insurance page, or call us to discuss your options.