Insuring Your Driving Horse or Pony - It's Affordable and Makes Sense

Saturday, October 9, 2021
Posted by Mary Phelps - A Markel Equine Insurance Specialist Since 2003



Just think of all you have invested in your driving horse or pony. The training, care, travel to shows, are just a part of what you are spending above and beyond the purchase price. I know because I live it. As the owner of four FEI Competiton Driving ponies, and an equine insurance agent for over 30 years, I know the many things that can happen during life with our equines.

Life can turn on a dime. A trailer accident, barn fire, virus or colic, can end a dream and set you back financially. I have had these calls. At least I knew I could provide some comfort for my clients and friends with the coverage and protection Markel provides. 

While equine mortality insurance can’t diminish the grief of losing a horse, it can help to soften the economic impact. We offer several flexible coverage options because we know that horses (and their owners) are unique. 

We Make it Easy

Our equine mortality coverages are more reasonable than most people think, and your basic mortality coverage with Markel includes up to $5,000 (depending on your state) of emergency colic surgery. 

All-risk mortality and theft is a comprehensive policy that reimburses the horse owner for the death, theft, and humane destruction of a covered horse. Our policies are agreed value with full mortality and theft, with the option of specified perils coverage as well.

Are You a Trainer - Do You Board Horses?

If you have horses in your care, custody, and control on your property, you are better served and your liability is better protected if you require horses in your care to be insured. Keep that information handy should there be an emergency. An important requirement for all mortality policies is as follows;  If a veterinarian is called for an issue other than routine care, it is part of the terms of your policy to report any issues with the company your equine is insured with.

I have had several calls over the years of people having not been made aware of this by their agent, only to find out their coverage no longer applied. 

Coverage highlights:

  • 24 hours/7 days a week claims service

  • No vet certificate required for horses valued under $50,000 and with no pre-existing health conditions. *In the US or Canada.  **Horses overseas are required to have a vet exam - regardless of the value.

  • Medical/Surgical and surgical only plans

  • Emergency colic surgery expense ($2,500 limit) added at no additional charge with additional buy up options

  • Private horse owner liability coverage can be added for an additional charge

  • 90-day extension clause

  • Guaranteed renewal coverage added at no additional charge

  • Optional coverages for an additional premium to include:

  • Transit - Overseas

  • Prospective foal – certain restrictions apply

  • Stallion infertility

  • Limited permanent disability  

All of the following endorsements are optional and can be added to your equine mortality insurance policy provided you meet the necessary requirements and pay the additional premium.

Certain exclusions apply

Major Medical & Surgical

Major medical & surgical is available when purchasing a mortality policy.  This coverage reimburses the veterinarian's fees for surgery, major illness and disease.  We will pay reasonable and customary charges necessitated by accident, injury or illness for your insured horse.  We offer several options and limits to choose from. This coverage is provided for clients as a means to help with the costly expenses of medical surgical treatments due to accident, sickness or injury.


Should your insured horse require surgery, this equine health insurance endorsement will cover the costs.  We will pay reasonable and customary charges for surgical treatment necessitated by accident, injury or illness.  We offer surgical limits up to $10,000, with a very low deductible. 


If your horse becomes totally and permanently incapable of fulfilling the functions for which it is used, as stated on your equine mortality insurance policy, as a result of a sudden, accidental and external injury, which occurs during the policy term but its condition does not necessitate destruction for humane reasons, you may suffer a financial loss.  Specific details available upon request. 


Coverage for importing or exporting your horse internationally by air.  Specific details available upon request.


  Also known as "Named Perils" or "Restricted Perils" covers a horse for death, theft or humane destruction caused by specified perils listed in the policy, including but not limited to fire, lightning, earthquakes, electrocution, drowning, transit risks and attack by wild animals. It is important to note a specified perils policy does not cover your horse for death due to illness or disease.  Horses from 91 days through 25 years old.

Mortality Insurance Forms:

Mortality Application

Download Application
Vet Exam - This is required for horses that fall into the following guidelines:
  • Horses value is greater than $50,000
  • Horse is between 24 hours and 30 days old, or 16 years through 18 years old
  • Horse is currently outside of the US or Canada
  • Horse has any pre-existing conditions or has had any significant health issues over the past 5 years. 
Download Vet Certification
DOH - Declaration of Health form - This is for clients that are either increasing the value of a horse or adding major medical/surgical coverage to their policy mid-term.

Download Declaration of Health Form
JOV - Justification of Value form - Required if the value requested is greater than the original purchase price of the horse and/or the horse has been owned form more than 2 years. 

Download Justification of Value Form
JOV Leased Horses - This is to be completed for any horse being leased to or by someone.

Download Justification of Leased Horses Form

This document is intended for general information purposes only, and should not be construed as advice or opinions on any specific facts or circumstances. The content of this document is made available on an “as is” basis, without warranty of any kind. This document can’t be assumed to contain every acceptable safety and compliance procedures or that additional procedures might not be appropriate under the circumstances. Markel does not guarantee that this information is or can be relied on for compliance with any law or regulation, assurance against preventable losses, or freedom from legal liability. This publication is not intended to be legal, underwriting, or any other type of professional advice. Persons requiring advice should consult an independent adviser.  Markel does not guarantee any particular outcome and makes no commitment to update any information herein, or remove any items that are no longer accurate or complete. Furthermore, Markel does not assume any liability to any person or organization for loss or damage caused by or resulting from any reliance placed on that content.
*Markel Specialty is a business division of Markel Service, Incorporated, the underwriting  manager for the Markel affiliated insurance companies. © 2022 Markel Service, Incorporated. All rights reserved.