Insurance of Thoroughbreds, Daily Racing Form, 1913-11-23


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INSURANCE OF THOROUGHBREDS. Insurance on thoroughbred race horses reaches into the millions every year. The action of August Belmont in recently taking out a policy pf 2;,000 on his prize winner Tracery, brings to light the enormous business that now exists on both sides of the Atlantic of insuring horses, many of them for big fortunes, against sickness and death. Mr. Helinouts step in taking out a policy of 2o,-OOi on his English thoroughbred Tracery is in line witli other American owners who, in the past, have nrotected themselves against loss with big insurance on their valued thoroughbreds. The insurance rating of a horse is determined by his worth, and in the ,lavs when racing was at its zenith here many prize winners were insured for a kings ransom. The "l-oat Sysonby was underwritten for 00,000, and The late James It. Keenc never hesitated to take out heavy policies on all his horses. Colin, Com-niando and other Kecne thoroughbreds were all insured in the nelghlwrliood of 00,000. Shortly before racing was suspended in New York in 1510 horse insurance was at its height. The business reached the tremendous total of about ,000,000 a year. Urokcrs were as busy as beach life savers on a holidav, for every horse had a value in those days and owners and trainers lost little time in taking out policies. With the suspension of the sport three vears ago, the bottom fell out of the thoroughbred Insurance business in this country. Like magic the values of thoroughbred horses dropped to compara-tivelv nothing. High-priced animals were a rarity and the insurance brokers practically shut up shop. The insuring or borsetiesh is a true barometer of the popularity of racing and with-the resumption ot the sport last spring the business quickly became active. In the opinion of Dan M. Quirk, a veteran horse insurance broker, policies are now taken out by American owners at the rate of about ,000,000 a vear. Said Mr. Quirk: "Naturally this business will steadilv Increase as the sport grows In popularity. It has been surprisingly good, however, when it Is considered that there was no racing for three years, with a subsequent fall in the values of thoroughbreds. Kvcn now there are but few horses of great worth in this country. Thoroughbreds worth 000 or 0,000 In the old days probably wouldnt fotch 0,000, and It has been this shrinkage of values that has depressed the Insurance on horses. In England the conditions arc just the reverse. Over there thev carry on horse insurance on a big scale. The business amounts to ,000,000 a year. You h?c." continued the well-known broker, "where we have one high-priced horse they have about 20 over in England. Because of constant racing each horse ha; a real value. A thoroughbreds wortli in the stud is much more there than it is here, and this causes a correspondingly higher increase in insurance." According to Mr. Quirk, owners underwrite policies 011 their nrize winners as a protection a-ainst mortality risks, but judging by the recent suffragette outrages on the Knglish tracks, the for-ei-n owners will lie forced to insert accident clauses in" the near future. The usual rate of premiums charged on policies is from 5 to 5 per cent., but owners deem It a sound business transaction as a protection against sickness and death of their star horses while In racing condition.

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