Posted 06-Sep-2023 13:11:36
Category: Broadstone Equine

Equine Insurance Coverages for Race Horses

Occasionally our office receives inquiries as to whether or not we can help insure race horses, and since the types and availability of coverage for race horses is very different from what we consider pleasure, sport and show horses, we thought the subject deserves its own blog.

At Broadstone we can currently offer (as of September 2023) coverage for Thoroughbred race horses with at least one company that we work with, but we do not insure other breeds of race horses (such as Quarter Horses, Standardbreds, or Arabians).

Horses Racing or in Race Training

Coverages that are available to Thoroughbred horses actively racing or in race training are General Equine Mortality (life insurance) and potentially a Surgical Only endorsement.

Rates for General Equine Mortality coverage for Thoroughbred horses (yearlings or older) used for racing or in race training begin at approximately 6.5% of the insured value. So, for example, the annual Mortality premium for a horse insured at a $20,000 value would be $1,300 ($20,000 * 6.5%). This Mortality policy typically includes at no charge up to $5,000 of Emergency Colic Surgery coverage (depending on the insurance company offering coverage), providing the horse does not have a history of colic or other gastrointestinal issues, and otherwise meets underwriting guidelines.

Surgical Only is a type of equine health insurance that responds for only covered expenses related to life saving surgery performed under general anesthesia. The more comprehensive Medical/Surgical type of endorsement, which would respond for covered medical expenses for health issues that do not require surgery, in addition to covered expenses for surgery, is typically not available for race horses.

The Surgical Only coverage is not available as a standalone policy. It must be attached as an endorsement to an Equine Mortality insurance policy. Also, currently the coverage is typically only available for horses at a certain age and value. The company we would likely place coverage with only offers it for Thoroughbred race horses ages 2-5 years. Annual coverage limits available would be $5,000 or $7,500, depending on the horse’s insured value. Currently, for horses at an insured value of $20,000 to $39,999 only the $5,000 limit would be available. For those insured for $40,000 or more, both limits would be available. No Surgical Only coverage would be available for those insured at less than $20,000.

Typically, the Surgical Only endorsement reimburses for up a percentage (usually around 80%) of covered expenses, and has exclusions for elective or cosmetic procedures, including, but not limited to, routine castration, bone chip, bone cyst, osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) lesion removal, caslicks operation or nerving, including any complications arising from any elective or voluntary surgical procedure. Also, pre-existing or congenital defects are not covered, nor are any surgical procedures directly or indirectly related to joint injections is excluded. This is not a complete list of exclusions. You would want to review with the complete coverage wording for all details.

The Surgical Only coverage premiums are typically $250/year for the $5,000 limit and $300/year for the $7,500 limit (depending on the state), and the per surgical procedure deductible is usually $250 for the $5,000 limit and $300 for the $7,500 limit.

Breeding Stallions & Broodmares

Rates for General Equine Mortality insurance for Thoroughbred stallions or mares ages 2-14 used for Breeding, with the intention to produce racing stock, usually begin at approximately 3.25% of the insured value. These horses may be eligible for the more comprehensive Medical/Surgical coverage, as well as the Surgical Only coverage described above.

There is also a type of stallion infertility coverage, typically called Stallion Accident, Sickness & Disease (AS&D), that is intended to respond in the event a proven breeding stallion (one that has at least one crop of foals on the ground) can no longer get mares in foal due to a covered Accident, Sickness or Disease. The rate for this coverage is typically around 0.4% of the insured value.

The rates, premiums, deductibles, etc. have been included in this Blog are an approximation only. For an actual quote, our office would need the complete details on specific horses.

The Paperwork

To insure any Thoroughbred used for racing or in race training, the equine insurance company requires a completed Application and current completed Veterinary Certificate. In addition, if the horse is not a recent purchase, they will require substantiation of the value requested, which could be racing performance records as well as training or breeding records. For the Stallion AS&D coverage, a separate veterinary report specific to breeding may be required.

Liability Coverage

Currently we work with one company that will provide Liability coverage for race horse owners. Underwriting would need to provide a quote, which requires a completed application, which our office will be happy to provide.


For more information on horse  insurance coverages, please check out our other Blog entries, and visit our PROTECT YOUR HORSE  and FAQ pages. To find the Applications and other required paperwork as fillable PDFs, click on the FORMS page.


**These blogs are for basic information purposes only, and do not constitute advice from Broadstone Equine Insurance Agency, a division of Marshall and Sterling Insurance, or its affiliates. Contact our office directly at 888-687-8555 or to contact an agent for complete and current information regarding all coverages.