Momentous Equine Insurance Gallops to Rehabilitate Neglected Horses in Southern California

When Katie Wright, of Apple Valley, California, rescued two neglected horses in late April, she wasn’t sure how she’d be able to afford their extensive vet bills and the food they so desperately needed. That’s why Momentous Insurance Brokerage’s Equine Specialty Practice decided to donate funds to aid her efforts.

Before: Najeem’s body was plagued by scars when Wright rescued him

Soon after rescuing the horses Wright contacted her friend Christine Courtland, an Account Executive at Momentous Insurance, about obtaining insurance for the horses. Courtland was able to provide a personal liability policy that included coverage for the horses. In other words, should the horses cause injury or damage to someone else, Katie’s family would have financial protection. Working together to secure this coverage, Courtland learned the full story of how her friend got involved with the horses.

Wright is the mother of four children, some of whom have special needs. She began taking them to a monthly equine event designed for children with disabilities. She realized firsthand the benefits the horses provided to the development of her children and began to look for a healthy horse to complement their therapy at home.

Before: Lady Whisper was hyper alert and nervous before being rescued

During her search, she found an ad for an Arabian named Najeem, who was abandoned when his owners moved. Upon meeting Najeem, she realized the severity of his mistreatment – he was lame in two legs, had brutal sand colic due to starvation, his body was riddled by scars and lacked at least 100 pounds of muscle. Najeem’s dire circumstances pulled on her heartstrings. When the individuals who placed the ad realized she was able to offer him hope, they advised her of another horse, Lady Whisper, who was also left on the foreclosed property. She was a sad case as well; extremely malnourished, sorely in need of care from a farrier (a specialist in equine hoof care), hyper alert and nervous and she had lacerations that were being attacked by flies.

According to a recent study conducted by the Wall Street Journal, more than one million U.S. properties are currently under foreclosure proceedings. Unfortunately, as many of these foreclosed-upon Americans face tough times, they find themselves unable to afford and properly care for their four-legged family members.  

After: Najeem today, looking healthy and ready to hit the trails

“The conditions they were kept in were deplorable,” explains Wright. “It was evident they had been neglected for a very long time. No one in my position could have walked away from them without regrets; we knew we needed to save them from their misery.”

Upon hearing Wright’s story, Momentous wanted to do more than ensure she had the proper insurance protection. Courtland discussed the need for care and supplies for these horses with President Diane Brinson and Equine Division Sales Executive Christina DiSalvo.

“We didn’t hesitate to help Katie with her cause,” affirmed DiSalvo, who has owned and ridden horses since the age of 6. “Our Equine Division is about more than just insurance, it’s about community and family. Our passion for horses and involvement in the horse world are the reasons we created this specialty practice.”

Momentous bigheartedly donated $1,000 from the Division’s operating budget, which has allowed Wright to buy enough quality hay to feed both of the horses for an entire year.

After: Lady Whisper now has boundless energy and loves to run

Momentous shared this story in their internal newsletter and Vice President of Personal Lines, Gilda Terry, was so moved that she decided to personally donate 1 month’s worth of hay to the Wright family.

Today, Wright is seeing vast improvements to their well-being. Najeem’s coat is gaining luster, he’s regaining weight and muscle tone and his sand colic has improved considerably. Lady Whisper now has a healthy coat, is nearing the appropriate weight, and has had all of her shots and farrier and dental care. Their physical progress has been accompanied by improved demeanors – it’s evident the horses are much healthier overall.

As Wright attests, “The generous donation has allowed for so many of their needs to be met. Not just the basics but the opportunity for them to receive the best care.”

Wright’s children have experienced developmental improvements as well and are flourishing thanks to Lady Whisper and Najeem.  

“With an autistic child, it is impossible to explain the benefits, “confirms Wright. “My seven year old, Charles, was not supposed to walk let alone sit up yet continues to make gains. Equine therapy is a blessing beyond measure. Untold joy is the best way to describe how he feels about riding.”

For more information, high-resolution photos or media inquiries, please contact Michelle Boyer at (818) 933-9865.

Horse owners: We’ve got an app for that!

By Christina G. DiSalvo, M.A.

Do you own a race horse or own a share of the next Triple Crown Winner?  We can equip you with the right policy to protect your assets and your equines.  You need liability protection whether your future stakes winner is stabled at the racetrack or a private facility.  Mortality insurance is also available for your race horse for when the unthinkable happens.  Don’t think it will be your horse? Neither did Fox Hill Farms when Eight Belles went down at the 2008 Kentucky Derby.

Starting a horse club for your barn or with a group of friends?  We will help you get the appropriate liability coverage in place, whether you do trail rides or are starting a new club in the AQHA or Arabian Horse Association.  You’ll need to have a certificate of insurance to provide a venue if you host off-site events. Or if you host the next 4th of July BBQ trail ride and want to invite more than just members, you’ll want to make sure that you are covered against that novice getting dumped when the horse you provided decides to make a mad dash back for the barn.

Purchasing a new horse? You want peace of mind while your new horse is in transit to your barn? Ease your worries with a Mortality and Major Medical policy.  The application process is simple and so is binding coverage. The horse is over $50,000. Not a problem.  You need a vet exam anyway to cross state lines and you probably wouldn’t sign the sales contract without confirming the horse is sound and in good health.  Well, we can use the same vet reports.

Are you a trainer or looking to make the jump from amateur to professional? You’ll need liability insurance to provide to the facility where you train your client’s horses or give lessons.  Let us be your professional advisors to get you the right protection the first time around.  

Turning your collection of tack into a money making business? Great! We’ll get the application started for your new tack store, whether straight retail, retail and consignment or consignment only.  You provide us with the inventory and projected profits while we do the rest. 

Whatever your equine insurance need, we can help or find a way. We know horses and we know insurance — giving you the advantage.  

Disclaimer: The above content is a general overview which is provided for discussion purposes only and is not in any way meant as providing recommendations or legal counsel. It is not intended to apply to each circumstance. Because the facts and circumstances of every matter differ and the terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations contained in insurance policies vary, you should review your policy carefully and seek any legal counsel that may be necessary or appropriate.  Momentous is not responsible for any losses or damage resulting from reliance on the information contained herein.  If you’d like to further discuss the topics raised here, please feel free to contact Christina DiSalvo at 818.933.2796 or cdisalvo@mmibi.com.

Tack Insurance: Don’t get tacked with the bill if something happens to your equipment!

By Christina DiSalvo

When people think about horse insurance, they generally think about insuring the horse itself, and the potential liability the horse may cause to others. And that’s usually as far as they go. They forget about a major asset in their equestrian lifestyle; the tack, from brushes to saddles and shipping boots.

Your Homeowners policy might cover your tack, but with limitations.  All personal property is subject to the covered perils, exclusions and deductible under a Homeowners policy.  If you don’t own a home or condo, and you don’t carry renter’s insurance, you don’t have any protection for your tack. 

If you’re like me, you’ve been collecting brushes, halters, bridles and even saddles for years.  Since it has been so long since you purchased that bridle or saddle, you’re probably not thinking about how much it would cost if they were ruined by mold (a Homeowners exclusion) or stolen. 

You’re probably thinking you could go down to the nearest tack store or tack consignment shop and pick up a replacement.  Well, saddles are running anywhere from $300 to $10,000. What type of saddle do you use? Does it fit your horse just right, and you too? Finding that right fit again will probably cost a lot more than $300.

Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones with a custom made saddle, custom to your horse and you.  It wasn’t a small thing to have that saddle commissioned.  Don’t be fooled thinking someone wouldn’t steal it because it’s custom or that your tack room is secure.  I’ve heard of robberies of CWD saddles from locked tack rooms in the past year, and the thieves have yet to be caught.  It’s hard to track down stolen tack because they don’t have microchips or serial numbers.

So, now that I’ve made you reconsider that combo lock on your tack room door, you are asking what can you do if it were to happen to you?  Simple, you can get a scheduled tack insurance policy.  Here’s how:

  1. Make a list of all your equipment from your smallest items (hoof pick) to larger items (saddle(s)).
  2. List the price to replace the item (this works for the brushes, wraps, shipping boots, etc.) or the purchase price (best for saddles, bridles, harnesses, driving carriage, etc.)
  3. Call your insurance agent and ask for a quote.

You have taken care of insuring your horse and yourself (with the Private Horse Owner Liability policy), now it’s time to take care of the rest of the items that make it possible to enjoy your equestrian life.

Disclaimer: The above content is a general overview which is provided for discussion purposes only and is not in any way meant as providing recommendations or legal counsel. It is not intended to apply to each circumstance. Because the facts and circumstances of every matter differ and the terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations contained in insurance policies vary, you should review your policy carefully and seek any legal counsel that may be necessary or appropriate.  Momentous is not responsible for any losses or damage resulting from reliance on the information contained herein.   If you would like to further discuss the issues raised here, you may contact Christina DiSalvo by phone 818-933-2700 or email: cdisalvo@mmibi.com.

Momentous Discusses the Company’s Newly Launched Equine Division in Risk & Insurance Magazine

David Toth, Momentous Insurance Brokerage

Momentous Insurance Brokerage’s newly launched Equine Division is profiled in the April 2012 issue of Risk & Insurance magazine. In Cyril Tuohy’s monthly “Brokers” column, which identifies people, ideas and trends shaping the brokerage community, David Toth, discusses how they organized existing equine business into this new dedicated unit, their expertise with horses and equine-related businesses, and how the new specialty practice fits in with their existing insurance programs, including the high net worth market.

To read the full article and learn more about the company’s equine practice, including current market trends within the niche, please click here.

 About Risk & Insurance Magazine

Risk & Insurance® provides business executives and insurance professionals with the insight, information and strategies they need to mitigate challenging business risks. They keep their readers current on a wide variety of business risks and mitigation strategies — from insurance, employee benefits and alternative risk transfer to emerging risks and the strategies for addressing them.

About Momentous Insurance Brokerage

Momentous Insurance Brokerage is a top 100 firm in the United States (Top 25 for Personal Lines in the U.S.) and is dedicated to providing the highest caliber of insurance and risk management consultation. With over 130 professionals including 4 full time claims staff, Momentous is one of the largest firms Los Angeles County. They specialize in designing insurance programs for High Net Worth individuals, Film and TV productions, Music and Touring companies and artists, Life, Health, Disability and Employee Benefits, and Commercial Risks of all varieties.

For more information, please contact Michelle Boyer at (818) 933-9865.

Momentous’ Equine Specialty Practice Takes Part in Premier Equine Event

Christina DiSalvo (L) at the Equine Specialty Practice exhibit booth, where they offered free consultations and quotes

Momentous Insurance Brokerage’s Equine Specialty Practice took part in the Horse Expo Pomona, which was held February 2 – 4 at the Fairplex in Pomona, California. The expo is a premier equine event for horse people in North America that attracts over 60,000 visitors a year. At their exhibit booth, Christina DiSalvo offered onsite insurance consultations, complimentary quotes, and conducted daily raffle prize drawings.

The Equine Specialty Practice, which is a dedicated business unit that was launched on January 1, 2012, provides insurance solutions for horse-related

businesses and private horse owners. Products include but are not limited to private equine liability, equine mortality, commercial equine liability, and farm and ranch protection.

For more information about the Equine Specialty Practice or the services they provide, please send an email to equine@mmibi.com or call (818) 933-2700.

Equine Insurance is for Anyone Who Owns a Horse

By Christina G. DiSalvo, M.A.

Q: Horse Insurance!? What’s that and what does it cover?

A: Horse Insurance is a specialty product created specifically for the needs of people who own, train and work with horses. There are two main types of coverage for individuals:

1. Liability (when your horse injures someone or causes damage to someone’s property and you are sued) and

2. Mortality (payment to you if your horse dies, or gets sick or injured).

If you make a living from a horse related business, you need commercial coverage, which is a whole separate ball of wax. Let’s dive into the two main coverages.

Liability

Horses present a greater liability risk than most people realize. Most Homeowners policies either don’t cover horses at all, or they only cover a horse in the same way they’d cover a dog. Insuring a horse the way you would a dog is like trying to insure a yacht like a Mini Cooper. Besides, you don’t want to hear the words, “your homeowners policy doesn’t cover this sort of loss” from your insurance carrier after your horse just destroyed your neighbor’s newly installed $500,000 stained glass window that was inconveniently facing your horse’s paddock. Your best bet is to buy the policy that is specific to the risks associated with horses.

Mortality

Horses do more than accidentally damage property or injure people. They get sick and injured too. Mortality with Major Medical, Surgical and Loss of Use endorsements provide monetary support in the event of an unforeseen loss. Whether you own a backyard pony or the next Triple Crown winner, your horse can get sick, injured or even die, and you could be left holding that vet bill or be financially unable to get back on track.

  • Mortality insurance is similar to a life insurance policy. It pays at the time of death of the horse*. The value of the policy is determined by the value of the horse. There is no deductible and you pay your premium annually. Most carriers provide Mortality coverage for a horse from 30 days old up to the age of 20 years old.
  • Major Medical, Surgical and Loss of Use are endorsements that can be added to the Mortality policy. The Major Medical pays for that unforeseen visit from the vet or a trip to the vet hospital (transportation costs not included). It’s not like regular health insurance; it won’t pay for routine care. Some carriers will allow you to add Surgical costs on to your Major Medical to give you a boost in coverage, or it can be added on in lieu of Major Medical. For example, if your horse needs to have colic surgery, the out of pocket could be $10,000. This policy would pay those costs in exchange for a modest annual premium.
  • Loss of Use is an endorsement for those athletic horses that have a specific purpose (i.e. Hunters/Jumpers/Eventers and Dressage). If the horse is injured and can no longer participate in their sport, this endorsement would pay. Please note, this is not available for racehorses.

There are many reasons to insure horses or to insure against the damage or injury your horse can do. There isn’t a single reason not to buy insurance, especially when you can buy $1 million in liability for $250 a year and $5,000 Mortality & $10,000 in Major Medical policy for $575 a year**.

*Conditions and restrictions apply.

**Prices vary by carrier and coverage.

About the Author: Christina has been in the insurance industry since 2001, specializing in Personal Lines insurance, including Homeowners, Auto, Earthquake, Personal Liability Umbrellas and Personal Article Floaters. In addition, Christina has proficient knowledge of Equine Insurance, including Equine Mortality and Major Medical Insurance, Private Horse Owner Liability; Commercial Liability and Farm Ranch operations. She joins Momentous to focus exclusively on the insurance needs for horse owners, trainers, and all other equine businesses. Christina is a licensed Property & Casualty Broker and Notary Public. She holds a Masters of Arts in English Literature and Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University, Northridge. In her spare time, Christina enjoys showing her beautiful Friesian Arabian cross horse, Papillon Noir. (pictured)

Disclaimer: The above content is a general overview which is provided for discussion purposes only and is not in any way meant as providing recommendations or legal counsel. It is not intended to apply to each circumstance. Because the facts and circumstances of every matter differ and the terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations contained in insurance policies vary, you should review your policy carefully and seek any legal counsel that may be necessary or appropriate. Momentous is not responsible for any losses or damage resulting from reliance on the information contained herein. If you would like to further discuss the issues raised here, you may contact Christina G. DiSalvo by phone 818.933.2796 or email:cdisalvo@mmibi.com