Being a horse owner comes with a range of responsibilities, including caring for the horse and its stables. Whether you’re an amateur or professional, it’s a highly rewarding venture, and the bond created between you and your equine best friend can be truly magical.
Providing your horse with the care it deserves can be costly. Vet fees, stable upkeep and trailer maintenance, can quickly eat into your finances. Fortunately, with a cost-effective horse insurance solution, you can mitigate many of these expenses and ensure that you and your horse are well covered in emergencies.
In this guide, we will look at horse insurance and why you might need it. We will also look at how to find the best horse insurance quotes, so you’re protected from any unfortunate incidents. There can be no horsing around when finding the right equine insurance for you.
What is horse insurance?
As impersonal as it may sound out loud, your horse is an investment. Like your car, home, or any other investment, the best way to protect this from accidents is to have it comprehensively insured.
Horse or equine insurance covers you and your horse for various potential issues. These include vet fees, theft of your animal or equipment, public liability, death, and more. If your finances and income are affected should you be unable to use your horse, then your insurance can also help to mitigate your losses and protect your investment.
As well as getting insurance to cover your horse, you can also find horse-related insurance that covers the horse rider, stables, trailers and more. By taking out this cover, you can further protect your investment in the unfortunate event of an accident. We will take a more in-depth look at some of these other insurance types later in the guide.
Do I need horse insurance?
As mentioned above, your horse, like your car and home, is an investment that is worth protecting through insurance coverage. However, unlike your car – but similar to your home – having insurance for your horse is not a legal requirement. You don’t need horse insurance if you own a horse. However, not having cover for your horse can often cost you more in the long run.
Horse owners, like their horses, come in many shapes and sizes. Whether you are a horse rider, a riding instructor, a farmer, a breeder, or any other form of horse owner, ensuring that you and your horse are covered by insurance can protect your source of income (if you’re a professional) or protect the money you’ve spent on your hobby – often quite a significant sum – if you’re an amateur.
For example, as a horse riding instructor, you rely on your horse being hale and hearty to provide lessons and any other services you offer. If your horse becomes ill, is stolen, strays or even dies, you can be left in a situation where your earnings will take a hit. Having insurance can reduce the cost of vet bills or receive a payout if your horse is stolen or dies, protecting you and your livelihood.
What kind of horse insurance do I need?
Most horse insurance policies will start with a ‘standard’ cover. This will usually be something like vet fees or theft, stray and death. Your insurance provider will then offer cover on a range of additional factors.
Remember that many insurers will not cover certain things such as any pre-existing medical conditions or if your horse has not received any medical prerequisites like worming or vaccinations.
Here is a selection of some of the factors that you can have covered in your horse insurance policy:
Any animal owner can tell you that trips to the vet don’t come cheap. This is equally true for horse owners – though usually, the vet comes to you in most cases.
Having your vet fees covered by your insurance provider will significantly reduce the cost of keeping your horse fit and healthy. It is worth noting that most insurers will require you to pay the excess on your vet fees. However, this is still much cheaper than paying the full amount yourself.
Cover for vet fees will usually subside the cost of any treatment and travel performed by the vet, any alternative treatments recommended by the vet, livery charges, and horse transportation costs.
Horse Theft or Straying
Horses are valuable. As such, they can be targets for thieves. They can sometimes stray away from your fields and stables and be lost. Horse Theft and Stray insurance cover can reimburse you the cost of advertising your stolen or missing horse.
If, after 28 days, your horse can’t be found, you may be compensated either the market value of the horse or the sum insured.
Horse Death insurance covers you if your horse has an accident or becomes ill and passes away.
The death of a horse can put a lot of strain on the owner, particularly if their livelihood depends on having healthy horses, such as a horse riding instructor. By having horse death insurance cover, you can receive compensation if your horse dies, better protecting you from the financial costs. This insurance may also cover the removal and disposal of the horse’s body.
Loss of Use
If your horse is ill or injured and you are unable to ride, drive or work your horse as intended, then loss of use cover will compensate you and help to ease the financial burden. Usually, this will mean that you will be reimbursed for the cost of purchasing another horse to complete the intended purpose.
Public Liability insurance covers you if your horse injures a member of the public or damages their property.
It is possible that your horse could escape from your field and cause damage to other people’s property. Horses can also be jumpy when approached by people and may bite or kick out if feeling threatened – even if you are riding it at the time.
Public Liability insurance covers the damage your horse has caused and will help protect you financially should members of the public sue you. Most insurers will offer a limit of at least £1 million if you are sued; however, it is worth checking this with your provider.
Personal Accident Cover
Personal Accident cover insures you and anyone else riding your horse with your permission. If you have an accident and are injured or killed, your insurer will compensate you or your family for the incident.
Most insurers will payout between £10,000 – £20,000 for death or permanent total disability. You can also take out a separate Personal Accident policy that covers you for riding any horse or undertaking other activities, providing you with a weekly benefit in the event of an injury.
Mature and Veteran Horse Insurance
Unfortunately, most providers will only offer standard horse insurance to horses of a certain age. This is usually from foals as young as 30 days until your horse is about 20 years old. This is because horses are more susceptible to injuries and illness the older they get.
However, you can still insure your horse with Mature and Veteran Horse insurance. This will provide cover for vet fees and other additional factors that you can get on standard insurance. Remember that Veteran Horse insurance will often pay out less than standard insurance in the event of illness or death.
How much does horse insurance cost?
The cost of your insurance can depend on many factors. First, you can break the cost down into two: the insurance premium you pay each month or year and the excess you will pay towards any claim.
Several factors can affect the cost of your horse insurance, including:
The age of your horse
Older horses are more susceptible to illness and injury and will usually cost more to insure. Similarly, foals are weaker and more likely to injure themselves while learning to walk.
What activities you use your horse for
You may use your horse for many things, including riding, racing, hunting, and breeding. Some of these activities, such as riding and breeding, would be considered lower risk and cost you less to insure. High-risk activities such as racing and hunting would mean that your horse is more expensive to insure.
Any additional cover required
As discussed above, there are many factors that you can insure your horse for. The more elements you have on your horse insurance policy, the more expensive the policy will be.
How can I find a good insurance policy?
Everyone wants an insurance policy covering them and their horse while providing excellent value. With so many insurance providers, choosing the right one for you can sometimes feel a bit daunting.
Look and talk to different providers
You might think that the most obvious thing to do is to talk to different providers directly and look at what kind of coverage they offer and on what terms. Bear in mind that before speaking to a provider, you will need to know precisely what you are looking for.
Speak with other horse owners
There are many other horse owners out there – you probably know some already! Reach out to them and other owners and find out which providers they currently use or have used in the past. Ask them what their experiences have been and who they would recommend.
Talk with insurance brokers
Specialist insurance brokers know the world of insurance inside out. They are experts at finding the best deals for their clients and ensuring they receive an excellent service for an economical price. Talk to insurance brokers like Park Insurance, discuss what you are looking for with us and let us find you a competitive deal tailored to your needs.
Can I insure my pony?
Ponies, like horses, can be insured to provide cover for you and your pony. Pony insurance works very much in the same way as horse insurance. With pony insurance, you can cover the pony’s vet fees or other standard factors and add any features to the policy as you see fit.
Most horse insurance providers will also offer pony insurance, but it is always worth checking with providers first and finding yourself the best deal.
What other types of horse insurance are there?
There are many other types of insurance that you can get that are associated with horses. Below are some examples of these and when you might need them.
Rider and riding instructor
Rider and riding instructor insurance covers you if you are injured while taking or providing horse riding lessons. As a new rider, it can be easy to make a mistake that could result in you or them getting hurt. This type of insurance provides compensation for the injury.
Riding equipment such as your saddle does not come cheap. By insuring your equipment, you can receive reimbursement on the cost of your equipment if it is damaged, allowing you to purchase a replacement piece without significant cost to yourself.
Your stables need to be able to provide shelter to your horse. Any damage to your stables caused by force or extreme weather can mean that your horse is no longer adequately protected from the elements and could lead to illness or even death.
By insuring your stables, you can receive compensation in the event of damage, allowing you to repair the issues and protect your horse and investment properly.
Horsebox or trailer
Your horsebox or trailer is vital for easily transporting your horse from one location to another. Having your horsebox or trailer insured ensures that any required repairs are covered, saving you money in the long run.
You can discuss your horse insurance needs with one of our experts by giving us a quick call today.