Do I really need to get my horse insured?

As the cost-of-living continues to rise and dominate news headlines, horse owners and riders alike are feeling added pressure to make their bank balance stretch further than ever before. When you’re feeling the pinch, thoughts turn to cutting costs and where you can save money.

As the cost of veterinary treatment rises, so do insurance premiums. Shearwater Insurance explains why that monthly direct debit for your horse insurance is still as important as ever to have in place for piece of mind.

Why have horse insurance?

Owning a horse is a huge financial commitment, not only in the initial purchase but the ongoing costs of care as well. However, it can be the unforeseen costs that quickly spiral out of control and cause significant stress and worry for owners. Having horse insurance is a way of limiting your financial burden should your horse or pony suffer an illness or injury.

What does horse insurance cover?

Different insurers will offer a different range of policies with different levels of cover and different key benefits. Getting a policy that suits your own individual needs and personal situation is key.

Whether you are looking for a policy with all the bells and whistles or one that is more restricted, and whether you are looking to cover your family pony or an Olympic hopeful, having horse insurance in place can offer peace of mind and ease the burden in a stressful situation.

What is commonly covered in a policy?

Mortality

Mortality insurance provides cover should the worst happen and your horse either dies or needs to be destroyed due to an accident, illness or disease. Owners could receive a pay-out that equates to the insured value or market value of the horse and can receive financial compensation for disposal and removal costs.

Theft and straying

No owner wants to think about the situation where their horse is stolen. Insurance for theft and straying can provide financial support for trying to locate your horse, and if not found within a certain time frame it could also pay the sum insured or market value of the horse.

Loss of use

This is possibly one of the most debated elements of a horse insurance policy, with many people questioning what constitutes loss of use and whether it is worth it. Permanent loss of use is an optional extra and will provide cover should your horse no longer be used for the activities you insured it for. An agreed sum will be paid by the insurer with the aim that another horse can be procured for that value.

Veterinary fees

This is the most common reason for owners wanting to insure their horses — cover for vet fees. This can be covered for investigative actions should your horse suffer a loss of performance or become lame for a reason that is not immediately obvious.

Vet fees cover can also be limited to accidental and external injury, such as being kicked by another horse, or an external injury caused by hitting a cross-country fence.

Depending on the policy selected, insurance for vet’s fees can be offered, typically up to £7,500, with additional top ups for life-saving surgery also available. This can include alternative treatments, livery charges while at the vets and transportation costs to and from surgery.

Always read your policy in full, including the small print, before you commit to it so that you know exactly what is and what isn’t covered.

What is co-insurance?

As the cost of veterinary treatment rises, so do insurance premiums. One of the newer, and more popular, routes to limiting your insurance premium has been for insurers to offer co-insurance alongside an excess.

Co-insurance means that an owner will pay an agreed percentage of any claim, in addition to the excess. This limits the insurers exposure, but also continues to protect the owner. Co-insurance is typically 10-20% of any claim.

Why should I use a broker to arrange my horse insurance?

A specialist equestrian insurance broker will have access to a range of horse insurance policies to suit a variety of client’s needs. They will act on behalf of the client to secure the best possible pricing on a policy, and should a claim arise they are on hand to support the client in the claims process.

Of course, many insurance providers also offer instant quotes via their websites too, so you can do your research first.

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