Sometimes all that separates a horse from life-saving treatment vs. euthanasia is economics: If a horse owner doesn’t have the money to provide treatment, often the only humane option left is to put the horse down. It’s a terrible decision to make, putting a beloved horse down because the funds aren’t there to save it. Fortunately, this situation can be avoided through equine health insurance.

Equine health insurance is available in two forms: major medical or surgical. Major medical covers veterinary treatment, medication, and surgery due to accident, injury, or illness. Surgical insurance only covers emergency or necessary surgery in a veterinary clinic. Neither covers for routine care (worming, vaccinations, etc.), pre-existing conditions, or degenerative conditions.

To acquire either major medical or surgical coverage, one also is required to carry mortality insurance on the horse. Mortality covers the value of the horse due to death from accident, illness, disease, and usually loss due to theft.

Beth Britton, an agent with Blue Bridle Insurance Company, says colic surgery is the biggest concern of horse owners. She adds, "We also see large medical bills for ongoing lameness treatments."

Other common maladies for which claims are filed include lacerations, strains, founder, laminitis, respiratory infections, eye injuries, and EPM (equine protozoal myeloencephalitis). "We’re seeing more and more EPM," notes Barbara Kirby, vice-president, Agri-Risk Services. "The co