Mary Phelps Speaks on Equine Insurance at the Florida Horse Owner's Seminar

Saturday, September 6, 2003


The Florida Horse Owners Seminar was presented September, 6, at Sea World, hosted by Dr. Erin Denny-Jones, DVM, and FEI Veterinarian, of Florida Equine Veterinary Services, Inc, in Clermont, Florida.

A full day of speakers provided an important range of subject and information to over 85 participants, who traveled from several counties throughout the state. Topics covered Trailer Side Emergency Care, Disaster Preparedness, presented by Dr, Jim Hamilton, Common Eye Emergency, presented by Dr. Dennis Brooks, The Colic Emergency and Neonatal Emergencies presented by Dr. Dana Zimmel, and Insuring Your Horse, presented by Mary Phelps, a Markel Equine Insurance Specialist.

"The information presented by the veterinarians, was incredibly valuable and informative," said Phelps, who was present for all the lectures. "I have worked with horses my entire life and learned so much, information which is critical for horse owners at all levels everywhere."

Dr. Jones is often the horse show vet at the Orlando Dressage Shows at The Clarcona Horsemen's Park, and is also spearheading the educational committee for the American Association for Equine Practitioners. She will be presenting a full report on the format and success of the Florida Horse Owners Seminar this November at the AAEP Meeting, to be held In New Orleans, November 21 - 25.

Veterinarians support the importance of having equine insurance, as they often see tragic cases where had their clients had coverage, their decisions would be so much easier to make. Dr. Zimmel told of a colic case that came into her clinic, where the client had to sell their trailer to pay for the surgery, and in spite of all their efforts, the horse died. "It's so cheap!" said Dr. Brooks, from the University of Gainesville. "I just don't understand why more people do not take advantage of equine insurance. I see cases weekly where had horse owners had coverage; it would have helped their situation enormously."

The nature of the equine insurance industry has changed dramatically in the past few years, and it is critical the consumer understands the differences in policies, as well as know the company, the insurer, who is protecting them. "Markel has been in this business for 40 years, and is committed to providing the finest services and coverages possible, for the long term." said Phelps. "What is most important is that they are a sound financial institution that stands behind their product, and pays their claims."

Equine Insurance is a contract, which is renewed on an annual basis. It is important that the horse owner understands fully their obligations to that contract, which is ultimately their obligation to their horse. "Having the opportunity to explain some of the key issues at this seminar, was an excellent opportunity to educate the participants, and the feedback was great." Phelps added.

Discussed in her talk was a list of commonly asked questions as well as taking the participants through her on-line interactive "Insurance Tour", which explains mortality coverages.

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