by Susan
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Since the EHV-1 outburst in Europe as well as the United States, many people keep wondering how equine insurance works and what role it plays. They still wonder whether one can insure a horse even if it has been potentially exposed to the virus.

These questions have been addressed by Connaway Laura. And also by the president of an Equine Insurance agency and a grand Prix horse rider. She has also explained fully what all horse owners should know and expect from the insurance carriers in this critical time. And here we will give the answer about the equine herpes virus “CAN YOU INSURE A HORSE EHV OUTBREAK?”

In this article, we will give you answers to these questions that Laura Connaway gave to horse owners. And all that you need to know about insuring a horse during an EHV outbreak.

CAN YOU INSURE A HORSEAN EHV OUTBREAK? ehv equine herpes virus

Before we proceed, let us refresh your memory about what EHV is and the effects that it can have on your horse.

EHV (Equine Herpes Virus)

Equine Herpes Virus (EHV), which is also associated with EHV (Equine Herpes Virus Myeloencephalopathy. It is a neurologic disease or infection that is common in horses all over the world. When blood vessels in the spinal cord and brain are associated with the EHV infection. You will see the neurological signs in your horse. If it interferes with the supply of blood, then it can result in damage to the tissues. And some areas in the spinal cord and brain as they will begin to malfunction.

The effects of EHV-1

If a horse has been infected with EHV-1, it will exhibit about four manifestations. And this including neonatal death, respiratory disease, neurological form, and abortion. EHM is mainly being caused by EHV-1 neuropathogenic or mutant strains.


EHV-3 usually causes a venereal infection that is known as equine coital exanthema. This disease affects a horse’s external genitalia.


This one primarily affects young horses. It causes a kind of disease rarely associated with a neurological disease and uncommonly with abortion.

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Now, let us go back to our main topic of discussion; can you insure a horse during an EHV outbreak? Find the details below:

  • As a professional of equine insurance, how often do you get confronted with EHV (Equine Herpes Virus)?

So many EHV strains usually crop up regularly. For example, in the years 2006 and 2013, the United States recorded a significant rise in cases. There seems to be an uptick every 5 or 6 years. And also it often occurs when you keep horses in concentrated areas. Insurance carriers are closely following issues like the outbreaks of EHV, and they will eventually let us know the particular areas and time that it is happening in the country.

  • As a venue or barn owner, can special coverage be secured to keep themselves protected in case there is an outbreak on that property?

Certainly not! A venue or barn owner does not have special coverage to hold for such infectious diseases. If you own a horse, then your horse is brought to the venue or barn and will compete at the owner’s risk. So, it is left to the horse owner to ensure the safety of his/her horse.

  • What is the probability for insurance coverage to be issued by insurance carriers during an EHV outbreak?

All insurance carriers have their different view on it. Some of them are a little bit more reactive compared to others. Some carriers are currently being extra sensitive about the location and potential exposures of the horses, while others do not even care about that.

From the perspective of an insurance carrier and agency, we regularly go through dealing with the outbreak of infectious viruses, such as EHV-1. This is almost the same as dealing with extreme weather conditions/events. For instance, as weather warnings and category storms continue to occur unexpectedly. So, what insurance carriers will do is cover just what they have promised their present customers that they were going to cover. There is nothing that will change the way they deal with their current customers. Risk is often being limited by carriers as they avoid taking fresh customers during the storm’s path.

Therefore, if your horse/horses have once been in a location where there are EHV cases. Or the horse has already gotten exposed to the virus. There is every possibility that some particular carriers will refuse to expose themselves to newer risks. And thus, would not agree to issue any new coverage (insurance) for a designated period. But still, know that it all depends on each carrier.

  • If someone imports a horse from Europe when there is an outbreak of EHV, can it be covered by insurance?

It is a little bit trickier based on Europe’s current outbreak of EHV-1. This is constantly changing; it changes every day. So, I will advise you to discuss this with your personal insurance agency directly. They can help you to find the best possible option.

  • What factors that the insurance carriers usually consider as they get information about horse EHV outbreak?

As we bind the coverage, the carrier’s responsibility is to know the current location of the horse. Where the horse has gone, and what it has been doing. All these will help them to know how exposed the horse has been to EHV.

  • Are there any tips that you would like to give horse owners that are planning to insure their horse properly during a horse EHV outbreak?

Whether it is the horse an EHV outbreak that we are dealing with or not. So, it is necessary to ensure that a horse gets front-end insurance. What I mean is this; the horse owner should present the whole exposures and risks upfront to enable the carrier to know the exact risk that they are about to accept.

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