The old saying “buy once and buy right”, is very true for insurance:

  • There are cheap policies out there but they can cause issues both at renewal and during the insured period. 
  • Unfortunately veterinary care can be expensive.  The average cost of a wound to a leg can range from several hundred to a couple of grand depending on what structures are affected.
  • Checking the small print at renewal is really important, we have come across people who have ended up paying a percentage of the total bill recently due to not reading the change to terms and conditions.
 The monthly payments for insurance can be expensive but there are ways of reducing the cost.  
  • Paying a higher insurance excess.
  • Insuring for what you are currently doing. For example if you aren’t hunting or eventing don’t take out this type of cover.  Your activities have a direct effect on the premium
  • Don’t cover twice,  Your saddles and bridles could be covered under your house insurance.  It is best to check this before paying more for the same thing
  • Check if you have third party liability with the organisations you belong to such as the BHS, BE, BSJ, BD and the PC.
Other things to think about:
  • Don’t under-insure, this is a false economy.  The sensible level of veterinary fee cover is the most you can afford.  However conditions such as colic or front limb lameness will often cost upwards of £4500 if surgery is needed or the animal has to go for an MRI.
  • If you are in the market for a new horse, it is advisable to do your insurance research before getting your new animal.  Knowing what the expect at a vetting (X-rays, 2 or 5 stage vetting), means that you don’t have to worry about getting extra things done before the horse is fully insured. 
  • Insuring your horse on the day of purchase can prevent the risk of issues being exempt from insurance.  The vetting paperwork (insurance wise) is only valid for 14 days from the date it was done. 
  • Be honest with your insurance company.  They will often ask for your history from the last 12 months.  This should include ALL vet practices you may or may not have used.  If you do not give them the full history then it is likely that exclusions could apply on new claims if they have been treated for something previously that you are claiming for now. 

There are policies out there that now insure for life – Agria have recently released a life long policy that covers your horse for life and will cover up to £10,000.  It is great to see horse policies finally catching up with the small animal sector and hopefully others will follow suit. 

Vets cannot advise which exact policy to go for, but getting good all round cover for a minimum of £5000 is advisable. Looking at your terms and conditions in full is also an essential part of getting a good policy.