Do you own a horse? Giddy up and discover how to find the perfect horse insurance for your beloved animal here.
If you’re the proud owner of a horse, it’s only natural that you would want to protect your investment. Don’t be saddled with big bills if something goes wrong. Read our guide to find out your horse insurance options and discover ways you could save money on your premiums.
Do I need horse insurance?
Horses are an expensive business. In fact, these majestic creatures are some of the most expensive animals to not only buy but also look after. Routine veterinary checkups can be pricey, far higher than bills for traditional pets like cats and dogs. Having horse insurance can therefore offer you peace of mind should something go wrong. It can also give you financial protection against a wide range of risks that you, as a horse owner, could face, for example, if your horse was to stray or your horse tack (equipment) or trailer were damaged or stolen.
Having cover in place means security and confidence for all equine enthusiasts and professionals.
- Horses are an expensive investment. Insurance is designed to protect you from the risks you may not be able to afford to cover yourself. Whether you’re a recreational rider or an equine professional, horse insurance can deliver a valuable range of cover.
- There are a wide range of hazards. You need to watch out for a lot of potential risks with horses. Accidents and illnesses can strike at any time, as can thieves. Meanwhile, sports horses are very likely to be injured and the value of a thoroughbred or bloodstock horse can be exceptionally high.
- Public liability is a serious concern. Horses are capable of causing a lot of property damage and they can cause a person serious injury or even death. As a horse owner, your public liability is worth considering.
What does horse insurance cover?
The exact type of cover and level of reimbursement available will differ between policies and it’s a good idea to look for a policy that matches your needs. There are both general cover options that many people can take advantage of and more specialised cover options that are specifically for riding, breeding or other uses.
Common types of cover include:
- Horse insurance. Most horse insurance policies will only cover against a horse straying, being stolen or dying.
- Veteran horse insurance. These policies tend to cover horses or ponies aged from around 15-40. As older horses are more at risk of developing health issues or sustaining injuries, premiums are likely to be much higher.
- Horse rider insurance. These policies will cover one-off or regular riders if injured, the horse if injured, and possibly even public liability cover should a third party be injured or property be damaged.
Each insurer will have its own set of optional extras that can be added to a horse insurance policy to enhance cover. Adding one or more of the additional benefits is likely to increase your premiums so think carefully about what you need. Some of the common optional extras can include:
- Veterinary bill cover. Cover for diagnostic tests, treatment or medicine.
- Dental cover. Cover for visits from a specialist dental technician.
- Advertising cover. If a horse is lost or stolen, cover costs for missing flyers and notices.
- Loss of use cover. If a horse is injured or ill and cannot perform its routine activities.
- Horse rider cover. Protection for riders.
- Public liability cover. Cover of at least £1 million should third parties be injured or property damaged.
- Personal accident cover. Protects riders and handlers against kicks and other injuries.
- Replacement horse cover. Cover for the temporary use of a horse.
- Horse trailer cover. Cover if a horse trailer is stolen.
- Stable cover. Cover for your private stables.
- Horse tack cover. Cover for stolen reins, saddles, bridles or harnesses.
What does horse insurance generally not cover?
Just as you’d expect from any type of insurance policy, horse insurance comes with a range of exclusions. The following exclusions are commonly applied to horse insurance:
- If your horse has not been properly vaccinated or wormed.
- If your horse needs to be hospitalised.
- Pre-existing medical conditions.
- Age limits.
- Initial exclusion period, usually around 14 days where an insurer will not cover any claim that has occurred during the first days of the policy beginning.
How much does horse insurance cost?
A number of factors can influence the cost of your horse insurance premiums, including:
- Your horse’s age. Veteren animals are generally more likely to suffer from health problems and could spend longer recovering from those problems. Expect this to be reflected in your premiums.
- Your horse’s gender. Certain health issues are more likely to affect male horses than female horses and vice versa.
- Your horse’s breed. Some breeds cost more to buy and are also more prone to suffering from certain health conditions. You can expect to pay higher premiums as a result.
- The type of policy you choose. The higher the level of cover, the more you can expect to pay for premiums.
- The number of horses you insure. You could be in line for a discount for insuring multiple horses under the same policy, but it will naturally cost you more overall than insuring a single horse.
- The cost of the items you insure. The more expensive your saddles, harnesses, horse trailers and horse-drawn vehicles are, the more you can expect to pay for cover.
How can I get cheaper horse insurance quotes?
- Increase excess. Deciding to pay a higher excess could make your overall premium cheaper. But remember that your insurer won’t pay out for a horse claim that costs less than your excess. So be careful about making it too high, as it could leave you out of pocket if you need to claim.
- Limit optional extras if you don’t need them. Think carefully about which, if any, optional extras you really want as adding extra protection to your horse policy will generally push the price up too.
- Maintain your horse’s health. Look after your horse by ensuring it is properly vaccinated and wormed, regularly checked and enjoys plenty of exercise.
- Multi-horse discounts. If your stables are full of horses, consider insuring them under one policy as you may benefit from discounts.
- Shop around. Don’t simply choose to renew your horse insurance when it’s up for renewal as you could end up paying more than you need. Shop around and compare your options to find the best deal. Keep in mind that the cheapest policy isn’t always the best policy so check the cover details carefully.