What is Animal Mortality Insurance

Animal mortality insurance is a type of financial protection for businesses, governments or individuals that depend highly on one or more animals in their core operation. Farmers, zoos, aquariums and professional horse stables use animal mortality insurance, for example.

Animal mortality insurance functions similarly to other types of insurance in that the insurance company will cover claims based on specified events. These might include storms, hypothermia, traffic accidents, contaminated food or water, or accidental shootings.

BREAKING DOWN Animal Mortality Insurance

Animal mortality insurance protect policyholders from the cost of replacing an animal that dies, as well as from the anticipated profits that the deceased animal can no longer generate.

Businesses and government organizations value some animals very highly because of the cost and time of their training. This is the case for police dogs and services dogs, for example. These groups often purchase animal mortality insurance. 

Other animal mortality insurance contracts cover animals tied to income, such as show horses or pandas in zoos.

For farms and ranches, the insured animals themselves are commodities by which the business earn income, such as chickens on a poultry farm. A farmer uses animal mortality insurance to cover both the natural and accidental death of these animals, as well as injury, sickness, disease and theft.

Some animals won't qualify for mortality insurance if they have a pre-existing condition or are too old. Insurance premiums depend on the animal’s age, sex and value as determined by an appraiser. Some companies base the appraisal on the actual sales price of the animal.

Specialized Animal Mortality Insurance


Without animal mortality insurance, a livestock breeder could be ruined if several animals intended for sale or used for breeding suddenly died. Some general farm policies provide some limited coverage for animal loss due to certain causes, but animal mortality insurance can provide more specialized or broader coverage.

Blanket animal mortality insurance coverage is for large groups of animals, such as all of the animals on a farm up to a certain number. Conversely, some insurers offer narrowly defined coverage for specific types of animals or even for individual animals, such as a prize-winning horse.

Moreover, insurance companies offer some policies specific to certain types of animals. For example, some companies offer policies for specific types of cattle or horses.