Thursday, November 21, 2013

Equine Insurance Isn't So Awesome After All

After a few phone calls today we may be pulling Wilbur out of pasture for a hot minute to get some additional diagnostic work done at Pioneer.

I'm not quite sure what I was expecting out of my equine insurance policy. I thought perhaps it was like a car insurance policy- you run into the side of your garage and your premium goes up but they still cover your bumper should you happen to do it again.

Not so with a horse, friends!

Wilbur came back from his July horse show a little sore in both front. We took him up to Pioneer to have some baseline x-rays and coffin joint injections. When he went back into work in late August it was clear that he was still sore- particularly on the front right.

I guess I was a little naive in assuming that should he still have issues after coming home from his break in March- that those diagnostics would be covered. Unfortunately the insurance coverage renews every year and the claims agency places an "exemption" on all pre-existing conditions. Since the vet did not determine an exact cause for the soundness issues- that exemption will essentially be his front legs. Meaning should he go back to work and end up lame (or worse) all medical will be out of pocket.
I actually feel a little bit blind-sided. I had thought that by dropping him into pasture that I was saving everyone a bit of time and money- hoping that he just needed rest. Our policy renews on December 3rd but we have an extra 30 days coverage on the policy.

I had a lovely chat with my vet, Natasha, today and she  recommended some additional x-rays and perhaps and MRI. Hopefully we can uncover the issue and get that exemption limited in scope.
So I think I'm making the best possible move by having further vetting rather than hedging my bets just on time off.
To my fair my insurance agent has been wonderful in walking me through how best to manage the policy to my advantage.
Fingers crossed! And on a totally selfish note- I'm excited to see my guy again in the new few weeks!


  1. The exemptions are awful. Simon's back right leg is exempt because of his hock fusing. This is why I opted for surgical only instead of major medical, because I have it as a disaster plan (aka colic) more so than treatment help.

    1. I may just switch to mortality only and do a colic care program through Smartpak- at least for a year and then enroll him somewhere else.
      I think the positive is that we might get to actually find out what's wrong and all the diagnostics will be covered (including a potential MRI)!

  2. I really want to get Henry insured but stuff like this scares me.. how do you get coverage when they won't cover the things you need?! :( And I have no idea what to get ha!

    Hope Wilber is back in the game soon!

    1. You know- in retrospect- I wish I would have asked more questions from the beginning! I feel like after this round of diagnostics, the claim process, and coverage for next year I will have a much better understanding of insurance!

  3. Sounds like a good'd hate to not be covered for a future suspensory or popped splint when your current problem is something in the hoof. Hopefully, something will show up nice and bright in the MRI! Mystery lameness is the worst lameness of all.