Equine insurance experts answer your questions about insuring Thoroughbreds for the breeding and auction realms. Email us at [email protected] if you have a question for an insurer.
QUESTION: I've just bought a 2-year-old at auction. How do you recommend I cover my new purchase?
BRYCE BURTON: First of all, congratulations on your new purchase! Your first step is going to be to reach out to your agent in order to obtain a quote on your 2-year-old. The agent will come back with the most comprehensive coverage that they can find at the lowest possible premium rate. You'll need to keep in mind that the rate you are being given on your 2-year-old is a racing/training rate, which will be higher than a breeding, yearling, or at grass rate that you may have received in the past.
Once you've notified your agent that you approve of the presented Full Mortality quote, he/she will instruct the company to bind coverage and issue the policy. Because the colt or filly was purchased at auction, the insurance carriers will not require that a veterinary certificate be completed on the horse, as the hip page showing that the horse went through the ring will be sufficient.
QUESTION: Are premiums for 2-year-olds typically affected by previous sales results (such as a pinhooked yearling) or whether a horse has been scratched from a previous sale?
BRYCE BURTON: Your Full Mortality policy will in no way be affected by your new 2-year-old's past sales results. The only thing that will affect your new policy will be the purchase price of the colt or filly, as that will set the value on the new policy.
Generally speaking, the underwriters will use the purchase price from that sale until there's a reason to adjust the value down the road. This could come as a result of the horse's first race results, if the horse has been training extremely well, or a change within the family that may justify an increase. Increases and decreases can be made within the Full Mortality policy period, with additional and return premiums being charged on a pro-rata basis.
Bryce Burton is a property and liability specialist for Muirfield Insurance. He is from Frankfort, Ky., where he grew up an avid race fan. His Thoroughbred racing fandom combined with a collegiate internship in the insurance industry, culminated in a start in the equine insurance field. Bryce has been with Muirfield Insurance since 2014, following his graduation from Transylvania University in Lexington.
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