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What is horse insurance?
A horse certainly isn’t an inexpensive animal to purchase and look after. Not only that but trying to work out what type of horse insurance you need can also prove confusing and time-consuming for many horse owners or riders. For a start, there are so many add-on horse-related insurance policies out there! Hopefully, this guide will make the whole process much easier for you.
First up, the majority of horse insurance policies will provide cover for ‘death, theft or straying,’ but that’s it really. For a policy that covers more than just ‘the basics’ you will definitely need to tailor one specifically for you. Most horse owners worry about medical bills, for instance, and this is definitely an add-on you will want to consider.
You will also have to think about the equipment you need to enjoy riding your horse, as well as any injury you could potentially cause another individual (or their property) with your horse. Then there is the equipment you need to ride your horse, and how you choose to house him or her. As we mentioned earlier, a lot of money is involved in having a horse & insurance becomes legally required when you use your horse commercially for example in a riding school.
Different insurance policies
Standard horse insurance
This can be taken out from when your horse is just 21 days of age. It covers you if your horse/pony is stolen, strays and disappears, or dies. You will receive market value for the horse in the event of any of these incidences occurring.
Vets fees insurance
A policy that covers both illness and injury and will often take into account complementary medicines as well. It’s worth noting that regular injections for illnesses such as flu and tetanus won’t be covered by this, and neither will any pre-existing medical conditions.
Dental insurance cover
Like medical bills, dental bills for horses can also prove costly.
With this cover compensation for any injury or damage, you cause another while with your horse, will be paid for from your insurance. It also includes legal costs if it ends up in court. This cover can be either for named riders or anyone riding/handling the horse at the time of the accident.
Personal accident cover
Pays out if you or any other rider is injured while riding or handling the horse.
Saddlery and tack insurance
Pays for the repair of these items should they be damaged; also replacement if stolen.
Permanent loss of use
If a horse can no longer permanently work (e.g. pulling a cart or racing) due to illness or an injury, then this type of policy can payout up to 100% of the amount it is insured for.
If you don’t own the horse but do ride it then it makes sense to have insurance should you, the horse or a third party get injured while you’re riding it. It could also cover emergency vet fees if needed while you’re out riding.
Veteran horse insurance
Cover for older horses (usually after 17 years). This will obviously be more expensive since the likelihood of the horse falling ill or becoming injured is higher.
Horsebox and trailer cover
This type of cover is based on how many stalls the former has and whether or not it’s been converted (i.e. it isn’t factory standard). Regards trailer insurance this should be accompanied by breakdown cover and public liability insurance.
Tips on getting cheap horse insurance
- Always compare quotes by asking at least three different companies what they can offer you.
- Loss of use coverage is extremely expensive since it will pay out up to 100% of the value of your horse. Without this, you’ll see a big drop in the cost of your insurance premiums.
- If you have more than one horse then it can be less expensive to put them all on the one multi-horse insurance policy, rather than take out an individual cover for each. Doing this could save you up to 10% on the cost of your insurance overall.
- Another discount (up to 40%) can be gained by taking out your insurance policy online.
- Take out a higher excess and benefit from less expensive premiums. Just make sure you can pay it should you actually have to make a claim on your horse or equine insurance.
- Paying your horse insurance in one go, rather than every month can also save you money since there is no interest to pay.
Do I need to show vet certificates?
This depends on how much cover you’re looking for. You may also need certificates for when you come to make a claim.
How young can a horse be for it to be insured?
Even a day old foal to a mature horse can be insured, provided the owner can produce a vets report declaring it to be healthy. You’ll also need to get an IGG Test done.
Am I insured for taking part in riding or dressage competitions with my horse?
Yes, provided you let your insurance company know in advance that you intended to do this.
I am Type One diabetic. Will I have to declare this to my insurance company?
It’s also advisable to let your insurance company know of any physical (or mental) conditions which could affect your horse riding or handling ability.
I’ve been told I have to protect my tack and saddle. What’s the best way to do that?
Simply keep it locked away when not in use, rather than hanging on a stable door. Make sure the stable has a five-bolt lock and the windows secured too.
If my horse dies during an operation and it’s caused by the anaesthetic rather than an illness, will my insurance still pay out?
Yes, presuming the anaesthetic was necessary for the operation and you told your insurance company it was happening beforehand. It’s different for an emergency operation of course since you yourself wouldn’t have notice of this.