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Q: My wife and I recently made a claim on our home contents insurance, which includes a home and away policy.

We were told it covered all contents, including all our horse equipment, new for old, inside and out, including in the tackroom.

While driving my pony at home, he turned and caught a wheel in a rut, flipping the carriage. The pony bolted with the carriage still attached, but I managed to cut him free.

When we claimed for a new harness on our insurance, we were told that “the carriage is not insured while in use and is only insured against accidental damage, fire or theft” and “because we cut the harness, it was not covered”.

Under our policy, saddles and bridles, harness etc were not itemised, as their value fell below the one item limit of £1,500.

The carriage was itemised, but it turns out that it was only insured against accidental damage, fire or theft. What should I have done?
MW, Aberdeenshire

According to David Buckton, associate director of South Essex Insurance Brokers, standard household contents policies like this do not necessarily cover anything when outside the home.

“It is true that sporting equipment can be insured under the ‘all risks’ extension of a household contents policy,” said David. “This will give some cover for items when away from home.

“However, in cases like this, I would always advise them to go to a specialist equine insurer.

“Had the pony and carriage been insured with an equine insurer who understood the specific risks, they would have got the insurance cover required and would have had a far more sympathetic result on the claim.

“Additionally, he could have had the pony’s vets fees paid, subject to excess, if he had taken out more appropriate cover with an equine insurer.”

Information

SEIB, tel: 08454 509367 www.seib.co.uk

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (4 February, ’10)

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