How to Choose the Horse Medical Insurance Policy for Your Ranch

Choose the Horse Medical Insurance Policy

It would help if you were covered whether you have a single horse or an entire herd. If your horse colics, gets seriously injured or dies suddenly, the veterinary bills can be debilitating and drain your bank account.

Fortunately, several types of insurance policies are available to cover your losses. These include mortality (like life insurance for your horse), significant medical, loss of use, and liability.

Coverage Types

There are many different types of coverage for horses and equine animals. Choosing the right one is an important decision.

Whether you own a horse for work, breeding, or pleasure, a horse medical insurance policy can give you peace of mind knowing that you can afford the veterinary care your horse may need should he ever become injured, sick, or even die.

The best type of horse medical insurance depends on your specific needs and the value of your horse. However, primary medical and surgical insurance is generally an excellent choice for most ranches.

Your policy term covers diagnostics, medications, surgery, and postoperative care for illnesses or injuries. It can also include loss of use coverage, which pays a percentage of the insured value if your horse cannot perform in a particular discipline due to an injury or disease.


A horse medical insurance policy can help you pay for diagnosing and treating your horse’s illness or injury. However, policies vary in their limitations and exclusions.

For example, some equine insurance companies exclude routine care such as vaccinations and dental treatment, while others will not cover elective surgeries such as castration. Some companies will also not reimburse you for alternative therapies such as chiropractic or acupuncture.

Additionally, most equine insurance policies re-adjust their exclusions every year. If your horse had a lameness problem two years ago, you’ll likely not be covered under the policy you purchased this year.

In addition, many policies have notice provisions and time limits that require you to report any incident within a certain period. Please comply with these provisions to avoid your claim being denied.


Like human health insurance, horse medical policies are designed to reimburse owners for veterinary expenses in the event of an unexpected illness, injury, or accident. They also cover diagnostic procedures, medications, and veterinary clinic visits.

Generally speaking, these insurance plans are offered as add-ons to mortality policies for an additional premium. They are typically only available to horses with a specific minimum insured value, and they often exclude congenital disabilities and pre-existing conditions, elective surgeries, and dental procedures.

In addition, some policies impose time limits on treatment coverage for specific injuries or illnesses. Depending on the company, co-pays can range from $50 to $150.

When deciding which policy is best for your ranch, consider the horse’s use, age, sex, and breed. Then, ask the agency for a quote. It will be worth it to spend a little extra money and know that your horse is protected in the event of an unexpected incident.


Most equine medical insurance policies have deductibles, and they can vary widely. The best way to determine which deductible suits your ranch is to speak with an agent.

For example, suppose you want primary medical coverage but are concerned about the cost. In that case, some companies offer an overall premium reduction, which allows you to insure your horse for less than its actual value.

Then, you can add a significant medical endorsement, covering your horse’s diagnostics, medication, and surgery if needed.

However, if your budget isn’t set for primary medical insurance, you can consider a surgical-only policy covering only surgery and limited postoperative care. This option won’t cover routine vet bills, but it may be worth the money if your horse needs a life-saving operation that’s too expensive without the benefit of insurance.