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Important information regarding insurance

Insurance – are you covered?


Getting a new horse is always an exciting prospect; however, regular livery fees, farriery, lessons and vets fees can soon mount up. To ease any unexpected extra bills, taking out an insurance policy can prove invaluable.


Like any insurance cover, there are many companies providing a multitude of different options to be considered. Some companies initially appear expensive as they include all the optional extras and once you remove any that are not required, the package price can become more appealing. Other companies offer a more basic package and then you add in the extra cover that you specifically require. 


There are many factors such as age, breed, discipline and value of horse that affect the price of your policy premium. Additionally, when looking at a new horse which is to be insured for a high value, it is worth checking if your insurance company requires a 5 stage vetting certificate or any additional information such as x-rays.  From the start of the policy, there is normally a 14-day period where you are unable to make any claims and can cancel the policy if required.


Types of insurance policy

We would advise that any horse should have public liability, or third party insurance in the event they get loose and cause damage to someone or something else.  Public liability cover tends to be standard on most policies. 


In addition, you can insure for vets’ fees for external, visible injury only and/or vets fees for illness.  Cover for injury alone will usually only cover for claims with external evidence of that injury, such as a cut; cover for colic and lameness is usually provided in policies for illness and injury.  As with choosing any insurance policy, attention to the small print and an understanding that more comprehensive policies have higher premiums is vital! 

It is important to note that policies for the older horse are usually provided once the horse or pony is around 20 years old.  These are similar to those policies for injury alone, meaning you are often not covered for illness such as colic, Cushing’s or arthritis.


Regardless of level of cover, most policies allow you to claim for one year from the onset of your horse or pony’s injury or illness, assuming you continue to pay your premiums. You are liable for an initial excess payment, which is usually around £145-£250 and then, assuming they accept the claim, they will cover the remainder of your vet bills, up to the limit of the policy.  Most policies cover up to £5000 per incident although it is important to be aware there is individual variation depending on the company and the policy chosen.  ‘High excess policies’ often have a £500 excess and will provide reduced cover; commonly allowing £3000 per veterinary incident. Some policies implement a percentage excess whereby you pay your initial excess and then a percentage of future invoices during the year.


Lifelong policies

Recently, some insurance companies have introduced lifelong policies which have higher annual limits and continued cover for the life of the horse.  These can be very beneficial in some instances and help budget for continued needs. 



If you need to make a claim at some point, the stress of this can be reduced if you know

exactly what your policy covers for, particularly in an emergency situation. Careful checking of the small print is a time consuming but worthwhile exercise before purchasing a policy!  Knowing you have the correct cover certainly puts your mind to rest should anything happen. Things to look out for are:

  • What is excluded – this can be anything from previous problems noted in the horse’s history or picked up on a vetting certificate, no matter how minor.

  • Extras such as paying for vet approved feed supplements and sedation can come in handy should your horse need to be on box rest!

  • Some policies exclude dental cover unless annual dental examinations are completed.  Dental claims can become expensive so ensuring annual dental work is completed reduces the likelihood of a claim being refused.

  • Some policies have dental cover but with a reduced limit; sadly equine dental work is often in excess of £450 which is commonly cited by companies

  • Cover for livery or transport if your horse needs to be admitted to a hospital

  • Complimentary therapies such as remedial farriery work, physiotherapy, chiropractors etc.

  • Loss of use is an expensive addition to a policy; however, it will pay out a percentage of the horse’s value should they be unable to work at the level they were insured for

  • Loss of animal is the term used if your horse is euthanased due to an accident or illness

  • Euthanasia completed ‘on humane grounds’ is a very narrow criteria and prior to euthanasing a horse or pony, it is advisable to contact your insurance company if it is possible to

  • Theft or straying – different policies have different criteria to meet before accepting a claim of this nature


Over the past 20 years, horse insurance policies seem to have maintained a £5000 cover per veterinary claim; however, the cost of novel medications and new diagnostics such as MRI and CT scans has increased significantly.  Appropriate insurance cover provides a wonderful sense of security to horse owners but please read the small print carefully before committing to a specific policy, and query any limitations or exclusions if you are unsure.


Processing fee

We have recently introduced an insurance processing fee of £25 to cover the administration of these claims.  If you would prefer to undertake the claims process yourself, please inform our team.


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