A horse may be the next most expensive purchase that many people make after a house and car and, clearly, it is important to protect that investment. The cheapest policy will be the cheapest for a reason and may not always be the best or the most suitable for your needs. There are numerous policies available and it is important that you spend some time investigating the various ones. No one has more experience of insurance policies than your vet and it may be worthwhile asking their opinion. Do talk to your horse-owning friends to gauge their opinion.
Illness, injury, theft or accidents can happen without warning and can often be expensive. Accidents involving your horse may result in you being seriously injured or legally responsible to pay large amounts of compensation and legal bills. Insurance is designed to bring you peace of mind and allows you to concentrate on the enjoyment of owning and riding a horse.
Always check exactly what the policy covers, the following is a rough guide:
- Check that vet fees are covered and that the amount is adequate.
- Check that there is no limit on how long you can claim for each illness, chronic disease can go on for life. You will want a ‘life’ policy.
- Check that your horse is going to be covered in its geriatric years. Some policies stop vet fee cover when your horse gets older.
- Check for ‘third party’ cover. Your household insurance will not necessarily cover you if, for instance, your horse got loose at a show and caused a road traffic accident involving other people’s property.
- Ask your veterinary surgeon and other horse owners which companies they would recommend. You do not want the hassle of delayed payment of a claim, or find that you are excluded for some illness because you could not understand complicated policy wording.
Finally, you must make sure that your horse is kept fully vaccinated