New horse owners / medical plans

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Walt's Fault

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How many have their horses on some sort of insurance plan? I have been surprised by how many long time horse owners I talk to did not even know the option existed. We have our miniature horse, miniature donkey and 16hhTB on a Wellness Plan with our Vet. The first year is a little bit more because of a registration fee and we had them microchiped ($60 each). It includes farm visits, FEC and deworming paste, vaccines, dental work and numerous other things. Our last bill for 1 visit would have been over $1400 for our TB and donkey but because of the plan it was all inclusive and only cost us about $40 a month per horse. It is well worth the piece of mind having 24/7 access to a vet. I even paid for a wellness plan for a TB I used to lease just to make sure she got proper medical care when needed.
 

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Minimor

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$40 per month is affordable if you have 1 or 2. I currently have 17 so that would be $680 per month. Not happening--an occasional vet bill is far cheaper. Back in the day when we had around 40 horses, it would have been totally unrealistic. I could buy insurance for a couple but guaranteed the day I needed a vet it would be for a horse that wasn't insured. I have insurance coverage for things like death by dog attack, fire, wind, entrapment and such. That costs about $15 per year per horse.
 

Walt's Fault

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I agree it gets expensive for more then a few but most owners have only 1 or 2. We do have a friend with somewhere around 20 and he has a "group plan" that covers any of the horses for only the very basic like deworming and major medical so it is more affordable. We might be adopting a 2000lb Shire so we will probably drop the donkey from the plan due to how hardie they are.
 

LostandFound

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Most forms of insurance seem silly to me. Then again I can't imagine a routine visit for 2 animals being over $1400. I usually run about $300-400 for teeth, shots, coggins, worm plan ect, and that's 2 horses and a handful of sheep. Now if it covered the health certificates I need to get every time I show I might consider it. Otherwise I'm better off putting the money aside myself and skipping the huge profit for the insurance company.
 

Walt's Fault

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Yes it includes health certs whenever I need them. Also the $1400 is what was billed but I had $0 out of pocket. I pay about $1300 a year and it covers all 3, and covers almost everything. My point was that many owners, especially new ones don't know that Wellness plans exist and if you only have 1 or 2 minis it is a big piece of mind knowing that you can call a vet when you need without worrying about paying a farm visit fee and not having to rely on searching the internet and hoping you diagnose the problem correctly.
 

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When I got my first horse, a biggie, I also got horse insurance…. But I was a nervous wreck back then…… always worried if he was ok, worried if he sneezed, horses don’t sneeze!… and why is he laying down, horses don’t lay down!… Does he look wormy to you? Maybe he NEEDS another dose of wormer??…. And does it look like he cut his eyelid?… vet call!! ….Well, I was sick a whole bunch that year and didn’t make it out to the barn for a couple of weeks straight and I will always remember the barn manager, Francisco saying, “Riffics? He is fine. Riffics is just fine! Don’t worry about him, Riffics is fine.”

I renewed the second year too.… but then after that I figured out my horse was VERY healthy and haven’t insured him since. Now it’s… you limping sweet boy, did you twist something while you were running around like a CRAZY horse?? Tough it out, you’ll be ok… and you know what? This healthy boy is OK & SOOOO healthy and strong!! He’ll be 23 in April 🥰🥰

Now Thunder on the other hand… colicing for the 4th time, or was it the 5th? In less than a year… I can’t remember,… maybe he does need insurance? Hmmmm…. 🤔

Edited to add: A pic of course!
53F23C7C-EAC1-4BA4-8B61-808E6653919E.png
 
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LostandFound

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It is nice to know the option is available. It might be helpful to people that are interested if you offered the names of companies that offered it. But my guess is that most people who are going to google rather than vet aren't going to pay insurance premiums either. But I guess it depends on what your vets charge too. I could use the expensive vet, have lameness or breeding exams, all my health certs, and never go near $1300 a year for 3 horses. If a basic visit was costing me $1000 I could see it being much more useful.
 

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$1300 a year is what your insurance is adding up to? That's a lot too. See, I didn't spend $1300 on vet calls this year. Nor last year, even for 17 horses. I gelded one last year, that's $200. Deworming--which I do myself. Vaccines--which I do myself. Dental work as needed--and that does not come to a lot. I agree with the poster who said that I'm further ahead to set the money aside in an emergency fund than to pay monthly insurance fees.
 

Walt's Fault

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The plan is through my vet. And yes to me a horse should be a horse! They know how th take care of themselves. The vets in my area, South of Ocala Fl., at least the ones I would trust quoted $750+ for gelding my mini. I called a few vets in North Carolina and it was $150-200. If I had a pasture horse or senior that was just grazing I would not have the plan. Our mini was 9 months old, malnourished and coliced several times the first few months. Our TB was 600lbs under weight, butchered hooves from a "farrier" and was in a trailer accident where the trailer came disconnected from the truck and rolled over in a ditch. Everybody's situation is different, their knowledge, confidence, understanding of equines. This was just supposed to inform people that my feel its worth paying for the piece of mind. I designed, built and flew custom aircraft for 38 years. I don't think I would ask my vet to do my job, I'm certainly not doing hers.
 

Dragon Hill

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Thanks for the information, Walt's Fault. I had forgotten such insurance was available. I imagine for some people it would be invaluable, to have peace of mind. Especially when finding a vet that will take payments is rare these days. Not everyone has enough money set aside, or a good line of credit, to cover every possible emergency, every single day of their animals life.
 
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This is new information for this novice! How do these plans for horses work? Do they pay the vets directly, reimburse the owner for money already paid out, or ?? And does the vet have to be "participating" like with us silly humans? Just thinking it might encourage my vet to actually call me back and/or come out. When I asked him to check a new pony's teeth he asked me why. When I told him she's new to me, seems to have issues keeping food in her mouth without dropping it everywhere, has chronic diarrhea he laughed and said "no." In prior years he would have jumped at the chance to do all of my animals' teeth. Now he hardly ever comes out to check out a new mama and foal, etc. I'm on my own and other vets won't cross over into his "territory". He did send in a fecal test on one of mine to check for a problem but I never got the results from the company and he doesn't seem to remember we even did this. Maybe this would give him incentive? Definitely going to do some research on this. Thanks for the information.
 

Walt's Fault

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Our Wellness Plan is directly through our Vet. We have the option of paying for the year (about $400 something each) or interest free monthly. There is no issues with billing and no paying upfront and waiting for reimbursements. My invoice shows everything done with an itemized bill and then (IWP) for Individual Wellness Plan and then the price without the plan and then $0 due. In the last 2 years the only thing not included was a prescription for the TB that is a special anti-inflammatory and still got a discount and a manufacturer rebate.. Besides each vet having a area around their home they have a Vet on call 25/7. A week after getting our TB he got hives really bad. I called the vet at 11 pm and was told what to do and then the next morning my vet came to check on him.
 

Willow Flats

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I have wondered about this type of insurance because I know a woman whose driving mini has required surgery for colic on two separate occasions. When he had the first one she told me the surgery cost $6000. She is a vet tech so not sure if she was given a discount.
 

Kelly

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I just looked into the smartpak colic insurance, known as ColiCare. It seems like it would be a really great program, unfortunately Thunder isn’t eligible. Here is the info pertaining to him….


“Chronic colic is defined as a horse experiencing 3 or more episodes of veterinarian-attended colic within any 12 month period.

Horses with chronic colic or colic/abdominal surgery unfortunately are permanently ineligible for the ColiCare program…”


 

Walt's Fault

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We knew about the insurance since we had it on a lease horse but had no idea that our vet came as far north as we are from them (almost 60 miles). When we got our first mini, Yazhi he coliced on his second day with us. We called 5 local vets and 3 told us minis are not worth the time or money and just put them down, 1 wanted $5k to even come out and the last wanted us to bring $1k in cash to his house
 

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We had been considering moving to Fl. I always hear it was horse central. Sounds like we can't afford it though.
 

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