Ask H&H: riding holiday insurance

  • Q: MANY travel insurance policies do not cover holidays where riding is the main purpose. For a premium, they will cover trekking holidays, but for polo, hunting or anything involving jumping, the premium increases.

    One company quoted me £440 annually, if I wanted the above covered. Another option was to take out standard sports cover at £228 per year then add polo in Argentina as an extension at £150. I’m struggling to find cover that meets my needs — can you help?
    DC, London

    ACCORDING to Perry Wilson, InsureandGo’s managing director, travel insurance is essential, especially if your trip involves physical activity.

    “It’s imperative you tell your insurer what activities you plan to undertake,” said Perry.

    “Otherwise, you may find you are not covered.”

    It is possible to find policies for equestrian disciplines at a lower cost than the prices you were quoted, and most insurers offer single-trip cover.

    Here are some examples, based on a two-week trip to Argentina (which comes under a WorldWide policy) in June 2008, for a 35-year-old UK resident. Obviously, these are guidelines for comparison only, and each customer will be given a tailored quote:

    >Broker JS Insurance offers single-trip policies for under £17 with AXA Superplus; racing, jumping and hunting are excluded, although polo is not.

    >Essential Travel offers an “essential-plus” policy for around £17, which covers jumping, but excludes hunting and polo.

    >PJ Hayman specialises in adventure travel, and quotes around £49 for a week’s trip to Argentina for non-competitive polo — the company can also provide tailored quotes for other equestrian activities.

    Wendy Hofstee of equestrian holiday company Unicorn Trails has negotiated a policy tailor-made for riding getaways, underwritten by Europ Assistance, a subsidiary of Generali.

    “Our policy covers riding every day as standard, and starts from just under £14 for a week in Europe,” explains Wendy.

    “It even includes cover for riding without a helmet, especially relevant for US ranches. There are premiums for polo, cross-country, show jumping and hunting. This insurance can be booked via our website, even if the holiday is not booked through Unicorn Trails. I should add that we do recommend wearing a helmet at all times when in the vicinity of a horse.”

    On this note, not wearing a hat could invalidate your policy — JS Insurance’s adviser told H&H that a helmet must be worn at all times when riding, in order to be covered.


    Unicorn Trails Tel: 01767 600606 www.unicorntrails.com
    JS Insurance Tel: 0870 755 6101 www.jsinsurance.co.uk
    PJ Hayman Tel: 0845 230 0631 www.pjhayman.com
    Essential travel www.essentialtravel.co.uk
    InsureandGo Tel: 0844 888 2787 www.insureandgo.com

    This Q&A was first published in Horse & Hound (29 May, ’08)

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