Frequently asked questions about horse mortality insurance

  • Are alternative therapies covered?

    No, most equine insurance policies do not cover alternative therapies. If you have a question about a specific treatment you are considering, please contact our office.

  • Do insurers offer pretty much the same equine coverage?

    No, and that is why it is important to read and understand your policy. One significant difference between mortality policies is agreed value versus fair market value or actual cash value coverage. Agreed value means that the insurer will pay the value of the horse that is stated on the policy, provided the information is accurate. Market or cash value means that the insurer will pay the value of the horse at the time of its death or the value at the time when the disease or illness resulting in its death is manifested. If the horse's value has decreased due to an illness or injury or if its value was overstated when it was originally insured, the insurer will pay the lesser of the value stated on the policy and the current market value. Markel's mortality policy includes agreed value coverage. It is important that the purchase price, stud fee and show records provided to the agent/insurer are accurately documented.

  • Does Markel cover treatment for lameness?

    Yes, with the exception of navicular syndrome, arthritis, and degenerative joint disease. Also, we do not pay for injections of synovial fluid stimulators and/or replacers including, but not limited to, corticosteroids, Adequan, Hyaluronic Acid, Legend and any associated/related treatments.
  • Does my policy cover diagnostics?

    Yes, we pay either a percentage or a sublimit of diagnostics for covered conditions. Refer to your individual policy.
  • Does the policy cover medications?

    Yes. The policy does cover medications. Some medications and/or treatments must have certain veterinary diagnostic tests done in order to be eligible for coverage (Ex. Gastrogard, Marquis). Please contact us if you have any specific questions about the condition for which your horse may be tested or treated.
  • Is there a time limit for sending in my bills?

    The policy requires that you submit the vet report and the bills within 90 days after the onset of your horse’s treatment.
  • Is there coverage available to help pay for medical care of my horse?

    Yes. Most of our equine policies have medical/surgical endorsements available. Learn more about optional coverages that can be added to your horse mortality policy.
  • I've invested a lot of emotion, time and money in my horse. What kind of coverage will protect my financial investment?

    Owning a horse is a financial investment you can afford to protect. Learn more about our All Risk Mortality & Theft coverage.
  • How does Markel handle emergencies after hours?

    We are available after hours for emergency situations and can be reached by calling 800-446-7925. Our on-call representatives are ready to assist you 24/7.
  • My horse's policy excludes colic. How are exclusions determined?

    Information provided from the declaration of health, vet certificate, and claim history is used by the insurer to evaluate any pre-existing health conditions of the horse. Markel requires additional information from the insured or their veterinarian before deciding if colic is covered or if pre-existing exclusion is required. Based on circumstances, the exclusion may be reviewed during the policy period or at the policy expiration.
  • My policy is due to renew in the near future and my horse is still being treated for a medical condition. Does my coverage for related treament end when the policy expires?

    No. Your Medical/Surgical coverage extends for a period of 90 days past the policy’s expiration date for conditions that onset during the policy period AND that are  reported as required by the policy. Therefore, coverage for related treatment will extend for an additional 90 days. Any covered charges will be paid up to the limits of the expiring policy.
  • Should my veterinarian bill me or Markel for services rendered?

    The bills should be directed to you. You may have a deductible or co-pay that is your responsibility, or the bill may include charges that the policy does not cover.  Payments for covered charges will be issued promptly in the name of the policyholder.
  • What does the term "life threatening" mean?

    The term "life threatening" is to emphasize that elective, voluntary or maintenance expenses (such as vaccinations, worming, teeth floating, castrations/spaying, etc... are not reimbursed and stresses the need to notify Markel if a veterinarian's treatment is required for any reason.

    Our medical/surgical coverage provides reimbursement for medical and surgical expenses (including miscellaneous extras) resulting from a covered illness, injury or condition that does not pre-exist the coverage effective date.

    Markel handles all claims directly with our insured in a straightforward manner. Our claims staff can be reached 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. They are not only employees, but true horse people who understand first-hand the importance of prompt attention to your horse. We are proud of our reputation for excellent customer service.

  • What is guaranteed renewal?

    The Guaranteed Renewal Endorsement provides you an additional year of mortality coverage with no exclusion should the horse become ill or injured during the policy period.
  • What is the difference between an insurance agent and an insurance company?

    The nature of the equine insurance industry has changed dramatically in the past few years, and it is critical that consumers understand the differences in policies. They should also know the company - the insurer - who is protecting them.

    An insurance agent must be authorized by an insurer to solicit insurance and depending on the authority granted by the insurer, may negotiate and bind insurance coverage. The insurer underwrites and binds insurance coverage for an insured in order to indemnify their losses and provide them benefits subject to all the terms of the insurance policy.
  • When is it necessary to report a claim?

    It is necessary to report a medical or surgical condition as soon as possible or immediately in the event of your horse’s death. If the horse is hospitalized, the policy requires we be notified within 24 hours of admission. This is very important, as the sooner we get the information, the better we can serve you. Your Claims Examiner will guide you through the claims process and explain your coverage so you can fully understand the policy benefits. The policy does not cover expenses incurred more than 60 days prior to your notice. Veterinary travel fees are also excluded.
  • Why do I have to answer so many questions to insure my horse?

    An insurer needs a completed application to underwrite, rate, and issue an insurance policy with the horse’s correct value and coverages as requested by the insured. This is particularly necessary when a company is insuring a horse for its agreed value and it is providing medical coverage. Markel does not require a vet certificate for horses valued under $50,000 and with no pre-existing health conditions. Horses greater than $50,000 in value, and any horse with a pre-existing condition or prior health history abnormality, will require a vet certificate. At Markel, a horse's value is established by its cash purchase price or stud fee. A substantiation of value form needs to be completed for a horse that's value is in excess of its purchase price. It is important that the purchase price, stud fee and show records be accurately documented.
  • Why do I need to notify the insurer if my horse is treated for a minor condition?

    It is a standard condition of all mortality policies and medical/surgical endorsements that the insurer be notified in the event of any illness, disease, lameness, injury, accident or physical disability to the horse. This is required because minor treatments can lead to more serious and sometimes life-threatening conditions. Failure to immediately notify us may adversely affect coverage under the policy. 
  • How can I insure my tack?

    Tack may be covered on a farm policy. However, in some states coverage may be added to your Mortality policy. Please contact your Markel representative for more information.
  • Are the cost for necropsy and burial expenses covered under my Mortality policy?

    No, coverage is not included in your standard Mortality policy. You may purchase our Equine Essentials Enhancement where this coverage is available for an additional premium.