The rising cost of veterinary treatment is leading owners to take out insurance primarily to cover the cost of vet fees, according to South Essex Insurance Brokers (SEIB). As a result SEIB is refining its insurance policies to provide a specially tailored equine healthcare service, similar to private medical insurance.

SEIB equine director David Buckton explains: “When they pay their premiums, owners are investing in their horse or pony’s health and well being.

“What they are doing is buying equine healthcare in the same way that people buy private medical care for themselves – we provide the funds to help a horse or pony get better when it has a problem.”

Veterinary science has made huge progress, both in terms of treatments and diagnostic equipment, in recent years. But research is costly and the original investment is ultimately reclaimed through the end client, when their horse benefits from the latest medical care.

SEIB’s equine healthcare policies can protect the horse for up to £5,000 for each of an unlimited number of incidents a year, depending on the policy chosen. This amount covers diagnostics, treatment, aftercare and nursing although livery costs while a horse is in hospital are not included.

“We want people to look at equine healthcare the way as they do when they take out private medical cover for themselves and their families,” says Mr Buckton. “After all, the cost of colic treatment could be very similar to paying privately for some of the more complicated human operations.”

To find out more about SEIB equine healthcare visit: www.seib.co.uk