The Ins and Outs of Livestock Insurance

Determining The Need

The financial investment involved in today's equine and camelid industries can be staggering. The need for insurance coverage of your valuable equine, alpaca or llama is determined by the financial interest that you, as owner, has in any animal, from the moment it is born or acquired. The breeding, raising, training and showing of animals represents a considerable financial commitment.  Loss due to death, illness or non-performance can be devastating.  In the case of an unfortunate event, proper insurance coverage can help keep you looking ahead and focused on your business goals.

The insurable value of your animal is its purchase paid price.   Such insurable value may be further increased when prize winnings, performance level, and value of your animal offspring justify the increases.  Sentiment, replacement cost, and loss of profits are not part of insurable value.  Requests for increases in value must be accompanied by substantive information and, in some cases, a veterinarian's certificate.  An offer of purchase, unless accepted, is not sufficient to prove an increase in value.

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Livestock mortality insurance is a form of term life insurance for an animal.  That's why any animal, in order to be insured, must be sound and in good health on the effective date of the policy.  A veterinarian's health certificate, attesting to the animal's condition, is often required to be submitted with the application.   In addition, the application must include the name, age, gender, registration number and intended use of the animal.  Applications must be signed by the owner or authorized representative.

Wilkins Livestock Insurers, Inc. full mortality coverage insures your animals against death as well as theft. This coverage includes humane euthanization, which might result from an accident or illness.   Rates for coverage vary according to the age and species of the animal.

Before your insurance coverage goes into force, your completed application, together with a veterinary certificate, if required, must be received and approved.  No policy is issued for a term of more than one year.  Coverage begins and expires at noon on the dates specified in the policy.  Policies may be written for a shorter term and annual policies, able to be cancelled by the insured, are on a short rate basis.  Animals may be added or deleted from existing policies during the policy term for a prorated rate.  Each animal added must comply with coverage requirements. 

Wilkins Livestock Insurers, Inc. will notify you of the current policy expiration and forward a renewal application to you well in advance of the date of expiry.  Before renewal of the insurance coverage can be effected, a new application and current veterinarian's certificate may be required.  It is important to stay abreast of any changes or requirements to avoid lapses in coverage.

The insured shall, at all times, provide proper care and attention for each animal insured.  In the event of any illness, disease, lameness, injury, accident, or physical disability whatsoever, the insured shall immediately (at his own expense) employ a veterinarian to administer proper care and use every possible means to save the life of the animal.  The insured shall immediately give notice to Wilkins Livestock Insurers, Inc., at which time a 24/7 case representative contact number will be given to you, along with your policy coverages.  
NOTE: A mortality policy covers death and theft only.  It does not cover major or minor injuries, depreciation in value, loss of profits, nor failure of an animal to perform the duties for which it is kept, employed, or intended (i.e. loss of use).

Livestock Insurance Policies may not be transferred from one insured to another unless approved and endorsed by Wilkins Livestock Insurers, Inc.  Coverage may not be switched from one animal to another unless approved by request, and that request is accompanied by an application and all normal coverage requirements are met.

An oversight on your part can potentially cause your insurance claim to be denied.   Livestock mortality insurance policies require that the owner do two things when an insured animal is stolen, dies, becomes ill or suffers injury:

1.  Promptly provide the best veterinarian services available.

2.  Give immediate notice to Wilkins Livestock Insurers, Inc.

The insurance company is not liable for:


1.   More than the amount for which the animal is insured, nor for more than its actual cash value at the time it sustained the injury or illness that caused the loss, whichever is less.

2.   The death of an insured animal, if such animal was used for any purpose other than stated in the application.

3.   Death, directly or indirectly caused by, happening through, or in consequence of :

A) Any surgical operation, unless conducted by a qualified veterinarian and certified by him to have been necessitated solely by accident, disease, or illness, and to have been carried out in an attempt to preserve the animal's life.

B) Inoculation, unless conducted by a qualified veterinarian or experienced personnel directed and certified by him to have been of prophylactic nature or necessitated by accident, illness, or disease.

4.   Loss caused by or resulting directly from the carelessness, neglect, abuse or willful or malicious injury by the insured, or by the insured's agent, employees, or bailees (except bailees for hire) when acting in collusion with the insured or resulting from any fraudulent, dishonest, or criminal act or omission done by or at the investigation of the insured or any employee or any others havi
ng the care, custody, or control of the animal, including independent contractors when acting in collusion with the insured.

5.   The destruction of any animal or animals by reason of such animal having contracted or been exposed to any contagious or communicable disease, whether such destruction be by the order of any government or otherwise.

6.   Confiscation or nationalization or requisition or destruction by, or under the order of, any government or public or local authority, or any person or body having jurisdiction in the matter.


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