Horse insurance: questions to ask before buying

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Horse insurance is not a ‘one size fits all’ product and you need to understand what types of cover your horse’s insurance policy includes to ensure it is suitable for you and your horse’s needs.

A typical horse insurance police may cover:

  • Veterinary fees: this covers many non-routine vet’s bills for injuries and diseases during the policy period
  • All risks mortality (ARM) insurance: this will reimburse you all or part of the value of your insured horse if he dies in a particular way during the duration of the policy. Insurance may not pay out if you choose to have the horse put down
  • Permanent loss-of-use cover: this insures against permanent loss of use of an insured horse for a specific task/sport due to accident, disease or illness
  • Other cover: such as public liability, which can involve big claims, personal accident and theft of tack or horsebox/trailers. Some of these may be covered under your household policy.

Insurance questions to ask

Before taking out a policy you need to make sure you understand what is and what isn’t included in the cover. You may find it useful to ask the underwriter/broker the following questions:

  • What is the excess that I will have to pay? Is it a percentage of the claim or a fixed amount?
  • Up to what age is my horse covered by my policy?
  • Is there a limit to the amount I can claim for diagnostic investigation?
  • Does the veterinary fee limit apply to each illness or is it a total limit?
  • If my horse has to go to an equine hospital, are livery costs covered during his stay?
  • Does the policy cover physiotherapy, alternative or complementary treatments for my horse? And is there a limit to the amount that I can claim for these?

Looking for horse insurance? Try Horse & Hound’s insurance comparison service at horseandhound.co.uk/insurance

For the full veterinary article on insuring horses, see the current issue of Horse & Hound (10 March, 2011)

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