Archive for Animals
Animal Farms (Exotic)
Some businesses and individuals own farms dedicated to raising exotic breeds of animals or birds, such as bison, caribou, deer, llamas, and ostriches. These animals are exposed to a number of catastrophic hazards, such as floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and drought. Coverage can be arranged for both property and liability hazards. These types of animals have much higher values than cattle, sheep, or hogs.
Animal Mortality is life insurance on domestic animals, livestock, and zoological animals. It covers death from any cause that is not excluded as well as voluntary destruction of animals for humane reasons when certified by a veterinarian. See Bloodstock Insurance for coverage on horses, Livestock Mortality Insurance for coverage on other livestock, and Birds (Exotic) Insurance for coverage on birds such as parrots and ostriches.
Animal Rescue Organizations
Animal lovers band together in groups to help animals that may otherwise be euthanized. Activities include locating the animal through contacts with municipal and county animal shelters, arranging to transport it from the shelter to the organization, and finding appropriate foster care. Other activities include evaluating temperament, basic training, and health care including treating heartworm, spay and neuter. The organization then matches the animals with an adopter for a fee. The fee is to pay the organization’s costs and expenses. The organization also accepts donations. Groups are species specific. Dog rescue organizations are often breed-specific. These organizations are volunteer operations with limited property exposures but with significant general liability, employee dishonesty, and directors and officer’s exposures. There is an automobile exposure if the organization owns autos used to transport animals. There are also non-ownership exposures when volunteers transport animals on the organization’s behalf.
Animal ride concessions are popular attractions and can be found at permanent amusement parks, zoos, carnivals, shopping centers, and church, civic, and fund-raising bazaars. The primary underwriting concern is injuries to young children that arise when careless attendants are combined with untrained animals.
An animal shelter accepts an animal that is surrendered by its owner or captured by others. It is responsible to care for that animal in a humane manner. Some shelters provide only animal sanctuary while others prepare the animal for eventual adoption. Off-premises foster care exposures exist as do off-premises events that feature the animals in order to encourage donations and/or adoptions. There is a significant volunteer exposure.
Beekeepers have unique coverage needs. There are liability exposures for hives on premises but there are also significant exposures for hives that are located off premise. Some beekeepers are contract-pollinators that will place hives based on the pollination needs of a crop. Hives must be transported which can be a significant transportation exposure if carriers are used. When beekeepers transport their own hives there is exposure of swarming bees if an accident occurs. Larger beekeepers need umbrella and workers compensation coverage along with property coverage for the hives, bees and the extracting equipment.
Owners of valuable exotic birds have a theft, life, and health insurance plan available that is similar to animal mortality coverage written on livestock, zoological animals, and domestic pets. Coverage applies if the bird is stolen or dies. Coverage for veterinarians’ fees may be available. This coverage insures parrots, macaws, and even ostriches.
Bloodstock insurance is animal mortality coverage for horses. It is usually written on valuable racing horses, thoroughbreds, standardbreds, quarter horses, or prized show horses such as Arabians, palominos, and Tennessee walkers, It is available for both stallions and brood mares. Rates vary based on factors such as the horse’s age, use, value, sex, and the coverage provided. All insurers require a veterinarian’s certification that the animal is healthy and free of illness or disability.
Dangerous Dog Liability Insurance
Certain breeds of dogs are categorized as dangerous and are subject to stringent state or local regulations. Many standard homeowners markets exclude or restrict coverage for these breeds. Because certain regulations now require liability insurance coverage for these breeds, the owners are being forced to either relinquish their pets or not comply with the regulations. This coverage provides an alternative.
Kenneling operations offer more services than just short-term care of dogs, cats, and exotic animals that belong to others. Many provide grooming and stud services and some may also be breeders. Expanded services such as all-day play-time, remote control cameras for owners to observe their pets, and obedience training can increase the loss potential. These risks may be difficult to place in the standard market and must be underwritten by specialists.
Horse owners ride for pleasure, show, or competition. Personal lines homeowners coverage provides some coverage but often not enough for serious riders. Equestrian risks liability policies are available to bridge the gap in coverage. Workers compensation coverage may also be needed to cover persons employed part-time, temporarily, or on a limited-help basis to assist in boarding, training stables, racing, or other activities that involve pleasure and show horses.
Horse (Livestock) Major Medical and Surgery Insurance
This coverage is usually written as an endorsement to a livestock mortality policy. It covers veterinarian fees for surgery and major illnesses/diseases as defined for scheduled animals. Limits are usually on an aggregate per insured animal basis, subject to a deductible. Animals used for racing, those less than 30 days old, and those over 15 years of age may be excluded. A licensed veterinarian must perform the surgery and provide the medical treatment.
Horse and Carriage Risks
Horse-drawn carriage operators conduct rides through downtown hotel and theater districts and cater to tourists and business convention attendees. Liability coverage is available for carriages and sleds used in commercial livery businesses for touring or in special events such as weddings, after proms, or for convention tours. Underwriters are concerned about where carriages operate, the extent of lighting when operations are performed at night, and the routes used to get the horses from their stables to the operating area.
These coverages are for owners of stables or farms who board horses for others. The horses may be available for only their owners to ride or may be rented to others to ride. Some stables provide stud and breeding services. Coverage provided for these operations includes care, custody, and control coverage on the breeder’s behalf and other coverages to protect its liability with respect to the horses being bred.
Farms that specialize in raising show or race horses have significant livestock and liability exposures. In addition, horse farms that provide boarding and breeding activities or the ones that offer training and instruction have unique liability and property exposures. Property coverage applies to barns, stables, tack, other equipment, and farm machinery. Commercial general liability insurance covers various exposures connected with horses.
K-9 (Canine) Mortality
Canine Mortality is life insurance for service, therapy, police/detection dogs and other similar type working dogs. Financial loss and veterinary expenses related to the canine’s injury, long-time disability or death is covered when due to natural, accidental, or on-the-job causes. Proven theft coverage is included but only with documentation that the canine is chipped. Coverage territory is within the continental U.S. and Canada with temporary coverage extensions available.
It may be difficult to place coverage on truckers that transport livestock from farms to feedlots or the marketplace. Special precautions are necessary to assure that the animals have enough room and ventilation to survive long trips. Additional care is needed with respect to loading and unloading.
This is life insurance coverage on livestock that consists primarily of cattle, hogs, and goats. It indemnifies the insured for loss due to the animal’s death from natural causes, fire, lightning, accident, acts of God, acts of men other than the owner or employees, and necessary destruction of animals for humane purposes. Different coverage approaches apply to horses and poultry.
Livestock: Auction Market Form
This special livestock insurance coverage form insures a livestock auction marketâ€™s owner for loss or damage to livestock consigned to the market. Coverage begins at the shipping point and ends when the livestock is unloaded. Some forms also cover animals to be auctioned from the time they enter the auction marketâ€™s premises until they are sold. A few coverage forms go so far as to cover sold livestock until they are delivered to their purchaser’s premises or final destination.
Livestock: Commercial Feedlot Reporting Form
This is a named peril livestock insurance coverage form for commercial feedlots. It is usually written on a monthly reporting basis. Coverage begins when the livestock reaches the feedlot. Many standard carriers have problems with this exposure because of the potentially heavy concentration of values, as well as the problems of values when livestock values go down.
Pet Accident and Health Insurance
Pet accident and health insurance programs cover most veterinary medical treatment and/or hospitalization for illness or injury to pets. The most common pets are cats and dogs but other family pets can also be covered. Age limitations may apply, and some treatments and illnesses are excluded. A maximum per year limit applies, based on the coverage purchased.
Pet Care Providers
Pet Grooming Liability
Pet grooming liability insurance is similar to the malpractice coverage provided to beauticians and barbers for human hairdressing treatments except that injury is to animals and not humans. It applies to owners and operators of pet grooming businesses and to businesses that groom, clip nails or hair, or dock tails of cats and dogs. Many companies that offer this coverage write it on a package basis that includes malpractice or professional liability for injury that results from professional grooming, clipping, trimming, shampooing, nail clipping, and other services. This package also covers general liability premises coverage for hazards not related to professional services.
Pet Medical Providers
Pet Mortality Insurance
Pet mortality insurance covers loss of a pet by death from specified causes of loss and normally only during the active years of the petâ€™s life. The same carriers that provide pet accident and health insurance may offer this coverage.
Pet Service Providers
This coverage protects poultry farmers, feed mills, and financial institutions for their investment in large flocks of poultry raised as broilers, breeders, or egg layers. Coverage is usually written on an “all risks” basis using coverage forms and policies designed for the poultry industry. Coverage usually includes death caused by climatic conditions, such as temperature and humidity, on the grower’s premises or in transit. Some policies also include contamination coverage.
Saddle Animal Liability
There are many prospects for this specialty coverage such as riding academies, resort hotels and motels, equestrian camps, riding stables and clubs, horse shows, and fairs. While coverage for saddle animals is part of the CGL, it is typically excluded by endorsement when an exposure is revealed. This coverage is tailored to the specific needs of the entity that purchases it, which can be beyond that which would have been available under a CGL such as participant liability, products, premises, and others.
These operations can be very large and generic or small and customized. All are labor intensive and involve significant workers compensation exposures from cuts, carpel tunnel, and disease. The slaughterhouse may own the meat it produces or others may own the meat and the slaughterhouse only processes it. Housekeeping, sanitation, and regularly testing the meat are primary underwriting considerations.
This coverage protects veterinarians from claims for damages that result from alleged malpractice, errors or omissions in the rendering or the failure to render professional veterinary services. Underwriting and pricing is based on the services provided and the types of animals involved. Coverage applies to employed veterinarians, partners, and individual veterinarians.
Zoos and Zoological Societies
Zoos can be very large and diverse or very small and specialized. They may be open to the general public or limited to only researchers. The consistency is that wild animals are kept in a controlled environment in which they are cared for by human handlers. The entities may be governmental, for profit or not-for-profit entities. Risks include walk-through and drive-through zoos, wildlife refuges, parks, and aquariums. Coverages available include commercial general liability, property, commercial automobile, business income, inland marine, workers compensation, crime, food-borne illness, excess/umbrella liability, and professional liability. Animal mortality coverage may be available on a stand-alone basis.