She fell from a horse, broke her neck and is still teaching herself to walk again – but a Vancouver Island woman says the biggest blow might’ve come when her insurance company denied a claim she desperately needs.

Katie Muller, a young mother, was initially paralyzed from the armpits down in a devastating trail ride accident in November 2014

“I ended up falling, and I guess I landed on my back and slid and hit my head on a tree, which gave me a compound fracture and broke my neck,” she recalled Friday.

But she miraculously began to regain some mobility, drawing strength from the fact that she was financially protected – or so she thought.

Muller had purchased an insurance policy from the Horse Council of BC, a not-for-profit association “representing the interests of the equine industry,” according to its website.

“In the policy it says there’s a $30,000 payout for people with a permanent and catastrophic injury,” she said. “Which you’d think this is, but apparently I don’t qualify.”

The council uses an insurance broker called Capri Insurance, which contracts out work to another company called SSQ Financial Group.

On Thursday, Muller received an email from SSQ denying her claim.

“Based on the medical records received, the injury does not meet the policy benefit and therefore we are unable to consider this claim for coverage,” the email reads.

The accident left Muller without the full use of her arms and legs, and she’s only able to walk small distances with a walker.

But she said her life-altering disability is just shy of what the insurance company deems worthy of a payout, because it only pays for permanent total disabilities.

Muller said you only have to look to see she’ll never be the same.

“I can walk, but I’m in the body of a 90 year old,” she said.

In a statement, Capri Insurance said it is looking into Muller’s case and will stand by its client.

“We always advocate strongly on behalf of our clients and Katie will be no exception,” it said.

She also has thousands of advocates on Facebook. A post detailing Katie’s journey through physiotherapy up until her claim denial has been shared more than 2,500 times on the social media site. 



Dear Horse Council BC, I bought into your policy in 2014. I owned a horse and I was in a lesson program, so of course...

Posted by Metamorphosis of Katie on Thursday, November 26, 2015