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Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions, and we have the answers! If your question is not answered on this page, please contact us and we will be happy to help.

Here you will also find some general information about our range of services and policies.


What are the veterinary requirements in order to insure my horse?

The exact veterinary requirements depend on the value of your horse and how long you have owned him. As a guide the following is the minimum that applies but we reserve the right to request additional information if deemed appropriate.

New purchases:

Up to £3000, no veterinary information will be required.

over £3000, if you want veterinary fee or permanent incapacity cover a current 5 stage vetting certificate will be required

£10000 or over will require Xrays (see question below)

Horses owned and currently insured:

A copy of their renewal invitation confirming the cover provided and any exclusions attaching to them. We may request a copy of your horse’s veterinary history if there have been medical issues during your ownership. If relevant a copy of their original pre-purchase vetting certificate may also be requested.

Horses owned and uninsured:

A copy of their complete medical history from all the vets who have treated the horse during your ownership will be required. For a high value horses a current 5 stage vetting certificate will also be requested.

I am buying a horse and paying more than £10,000 - do I need Xrays?

Yes, in addition to a full 5 stage pre-purchase vetting certificate will we require a report on the xrays of all four feet (to include the Navicular bones), all fetlocks, both hocks and stifles.

Can I make a Mid-term adjustments to my policy?

Yes, we can take horses off,  add new ones on, add equipment etc etc at any time during the twelve month period. There maybe an additional premium to pay or even a refund due back to depending on the change but this will be calculated at the time.

Will the Insurance Company pay if I have a claim?

Yes, provided that the claim is in line with the cover purchased then they will.

In the main, here at Carriagehouse we handle the claims in house and are happy to discuss anything relating to your claim with you. Be aware that you must report an incident or illnesses etc as soon as you can after they happen, whether or not you actually submit a claim in the long run. If you’re not sure, always ring your us as it can save some heartache in the long run.

If I sell my horse, can I cancel my policy or can I transfer it into the new owner’s name?

You can cancel the policy and so long as you haven’t made a claim you will be entitled to a refund. We can’t transfer the policy directly to the new owner but can cancel your policy and use the balance of the premium against a new policy set up in the new Owner’s name.

I haven't had a claim in years. Can I have a discount?

Once you have certain policies with us, if you don’t make a claim we will automatically apply a NCB after the first year. This starts at 5% and goes up to a maximum of 15% after 3 years claims free.

Horsebox policies aren’t included in this NCB scheme.

If my horses/donkeys cause any damage or injury, will it be paid for?

This is probably the most frequently asked question that we receive and stems from the lack of understanding about the responsibilities that current UK Law places on us as individuals. In order to submit a third party claim, you must have purchased Legal Liability cover for injury to other people or damage their property to be covered by the policy.

However, if an accident happens to which there attaches, in the eyes of the law, some degree of fault, then a successful claim will be made against you and your insurance. Sadly, each accident has it’s own unique set of circumstances and, therefore, each case is judged on its own merits. So it may be that you aren’t legally liability for the damage that as arisen and therefore your claim may be disputed (see next question).  But one word of warning – Never admit liability, because this could jeopardise your insurance cover. The best advice is to let the Underwriters handle all correspondence and decide the outcome for you.

What happens if the Underwriters decline my third party claim?

If you have Legal Liability cover on your policy and a claim is made against you by a third party, there may be circumstances where the Underwriters (and yourself) feel that you aren’t at fault and they will then dispute any claims made by the third party. However if they do this then they will defend you and whilst any legal action is done in your name, all Solicitors etc are appointed and paid for by the Underwriters.

What is the difference between Loss of Use (permanent Incapacity) and Death Cover?

Death cover is where either your horse or donkey dies or has to be put to sleep on a Vet’s recommendation to prevent immediate and further suffering. There are guidelines agreed between the insurance industry and the British Equine Veterinary Surgeons (BEVA) about when this applies. Within your policy wording these circumstances are defined as:

Slaughter or destruction of the horse due to an injury or it being afflicted with an excessively painful disease, and a veterinary surgeon is able to give a certificate confirming that the suffering of the horse is incurable and so excessive that immediate destruction was imperative for humane reasons to prevent further suffering

For policies from July 2016 onwards: the Death cover is divided into two sections – a) when euthanasia is warranted in emergency situations and b) death from critical illness or injury necessitating non immediate euthanasia.

Loss of Use cover however covers the grey area when your horse/donkey could be fat and happy in the field but is unable to perform the work that you require of him i.e. because of damaged ligaments etc. When you purchase Loss of Use cover, you need to tell us what the main use of your horse is.

Incidentally, a loss of use claim must be as a result of a physical problem following an accident, lameness or illness. So for driving horses who wont go back into the carriage following an accident due to being too scared but are still fully fit and healthy, you can’t claim loss of use.

I have a horse/donkey on loan. Can I insure him?

Yes, because he is in your care, custody and control and you have a financial interest in him. However, you need to tell us who he is on loan from, as the owners would be the beneficiaries if he died. You will also need to make sure the owners cancel any insurance they may have for the horse or donkey, since you can’t insure a horse or donkey twice.

Can someone else use my horse or donkey?

Provided you have given your permission, then we would regard another person as if they were you, the insured, whilst they where working your horse or donkey. Obviously if you are paying them to work your horse then this is different and their business liability will apply.

Incidentally, the Personal Accident and Passenger covers are for unnamed people, so anyone can be a passenger in your carriage as long as they haven’t paid to be there!

I bought my horse last week for £2000, but I've been told that he's really worth £3000. Can I insure him for this?

Lucky you, it sounds like you got a bargain! Unfortunately, from an insurance point of view, you can only insure him for what you paid at this stage. We work on current market values so the figure you paid for him represents his current market value. However, if after a few months, you have successfully competed with him or schooled him on etc, then we can agree to increase the sum insured because of his progress. This also applies to donkeys or carriages and trailers that have been subject to restoration work.

Can I just insure for veterinary fees as that is all I am worried about?

No, you have to have Death and theft on the reasonable value of your horse in order to be able to insure him for vets fees or for loss of use.

Why does my horse have exclusions?

The main thing to remember here is that insurance is designed to protect you against the cost of unforeseen circumstances. Certain conditions in horses have a higher likelihood of re-occurrence i.e. colic, soft tissue injury or sarcoids and certain conditions are either lifelong ones or ones that are more likely to be seen in horses of a certain age  i.e. arthritis, laminitis, EMS, Cushings, RAO etc.

Your policy will therefore not be able to cover these things if your horse has suffered them previously. This applies even if you change insurance company.

In the interests of fairness to you, the policyholder, we put exclusions on your policy so that you can see clearly which conditions are considered by us to be pre-existing to the start of your period of insurance and therefore not covered .

I see there is an exclusion for pre-existing conditions within the wording, what does this mean?

Each policy is a contract which runs for a period of 12 months and at the start of each 12 month period, anything which is present at that time, whether or not being treated by your vet, will be considered to be pre-existing at the start of that particular 12 month period.

You will also see that this is clearly stated on the schedule of insurance.

The above FAQ on general exclusions also explains about pre-existing conditions.


What if I don’t claim and therefore don’t tell you about the previous problems my horse has had?

These days at the start of your new policy and at each policy renewal you will be asked health questions about your horse, which you must answer truthfully. When a claim is made, we ask for a copy of your horse’s clinical history from all the vets that have treated him whilst you have owned him. If you don’t declare a previous problem or veterinary treatment, it will show on this history.  This is tantamount to mis-representation of a material fact and means that your claim will be declined.

If I have insured my horse for 3 years with you and I noticed a problem (i.e. a sarcoids) a couple of years ago but didn’t tell you. The vet said to leave it but now it needs treating, can I claim?

Under your policy there are two things to consider:

  1. with all claims you have 12 months to claim for veterinary treatment from the first onset of the symptoms. If you had treated the sarcoid within a year of first seeing it you would be able to claim for the treatment.
  2. Your policy provides cover for claims made within the 12 momths from the start date of each policy period. So if you started a policy on 1/1/11 and noticed the sarcoids in June 2011, you must tell us before the policy renews on 1/1/2012 in order to be able to make a claim.


So in the above scenario, you wouldn’t be able to claim because you first noticed the sarcoids 2 years ago and also you didn’t tell us about it when the original policy renewed.

Does my policy cover me for disposal costs if I loose my horse?

If you have a suscessful death claim, then the policy will cover you for up to £300 towards removal of the carcass.

Does my policy cover me for the cost of getting my horse to the Vets?

The policy includes up to £200 towards either the cost of a transporter taking your horse to the vets or horsebox hire or a mileage rate of 20p per loaded mile if you use your own transport.


What height jumping can I go up to under class A?

Class A covers you to compete up to and including BE90 and British Novice i.e. 90cm.

BE100 &  BS Discovery i.e. 1m needs to go up to class C

What level of dressage can I work up to under class A?

Class A includes training and competing up to Elementary but once you start of the higher levels of collection and lateral work you need to increase the cover to Class C.

What security do I need for my tack, carriages and harness?

As a normal condition of our policies, carriages, tack and harness have to be kept in a securely locked building/premises when unattended unless agreed otherwise by ourselves. When we agree otherwise, this can include instances where they are chained & locked to something immovable. Effectively, this means that for a theft to be covered there has to be forcible & violent entry or exit from the building or breaking of the chains & locks. This is a standard definition as established by The Theft Act.

So what does this actually mean? It means that you do have a responsibility to look after your own property as if you where uninsured and keep it as securely as you can, i.e. if you leave your carriage or harness in a open fronted building, but don’t actually secure the carriage itself by chains or appropriate measures, you won’t be covered if it is stolen. There is no time limit on this, so it could be a matter of minutes or an hour, etc or where the carriage is normally kept. So if you go for lunch, leaving your carriage ready to use when you get back and it goes, you have no cover. This doesn’t preclude you from getting your horse ready, then getting your carriage ready whilst you bring the horse/donkey round to put it together, as the time scales are usually too small for a theft to take place. It really applies if the vehicle is left without anyone being in the area long enough for someone to see it and then have the necessary vehicle to take it away. Never under estimate the ingenuity of the carriage thief!

There are several important points of interest that people need to be aware of:

1) Gates don’t constitute security, as strong men can (and have been known to) lift carriages over gates/fences.

2) Horse boxes and trailers aren’t secure buildings, as both are moveable; and it is not unknown for them to be stolen with the carriage and/or equipment inside.

3) Also, mysterious disappearance is excluded under most policies because it doesn’t constitute a theft.

4) Nor does giving your carriage and/or equipment on loan or for pre-sale trial to another person who refuses to return it.

So why insure for theft? Well, most people keep their carriages and/or equipment under lock and key, so most of the claims made for theft are easily sorted. It is a good idea to photograph any property damaged during the theft, so that you can prove this. Always contact the police as you will need their details and a crime reference to make your claim. You must also expect the insurance company to investigate any claim that doesn’t fall within the normal cover and, on occasion, an assessor will visit you to go through what has happened in detail.

If you are unsure if your carriage or harness is, or can be, covered against theft, please call us to establish that the measures that you take are acceptable to us.

What should I do if my vet suggests an MRI, CAT or Bone Scan?

You or your vet must contact us straight away so that we can authorise this for you. We will require a written or email report and copy of your horse’s clinical history from your vets to confirm what investigations have already been done, what they suspect might be wrong and why they want to send your horse for one of these scans. NB If the scan isn’t authorised before it is performed, your claim for this will not be covered by the insurance.

If a scan is subsequently authorized by us you will have to pay a co-insurance i.e. a percentage of the cost of the scan and related drugs yourself. This is currently 25% of the cost of MRI/CT scans and 50% of the cost of bone scans (this reduced to 25% for policies starting after 1/8/18)

When should I notify you of a potential claim?

The policy states that you must tell us as soon as is practicable. This means that as soon as your horse has a problem, show symptoms of illness, disease or lameness or an accident occurs, you must tell us. We can always close down a claim file if the condition turns out to be minor and a claim isn’t made but, if you delay telling us, the Underwriters could decline your claim. If in any doubt, please ring the office and we can advise you. Please see the final FAQ for details of how to make a claim and our claim procedure.

What is the difference between Legal Liability, Public Liability and Third Party Liability?

Basically, nothing. They all refer to your liability at law, i.e. responsibility for damage or injury caused by your Horse/Carriage or Donkey to a third party.

I have been asked to give rides at the local charity fete. Am I covered?

Neither the Horse and Carriage nor the Complete Donkey Policy will cover you for giving rides. This is because when someone pays or makes a donation for a ride, you owe them a higher duty of care and policy isn’t rated to cover this increased risk. If you wish to find out about whether or not your policy can be extended to include this, please contact us for a quote.


I do Palm Sundays with my Donkeys but don’t get paid for this, is it covered?

Not within the standard cover but for a small extra premium we can extend you Complete Donkey Policy for you. Please contact us for a quote.

My daughter is 9-years old. Can she drive my pony?

The policy applies to young riders and junior whips from the age of 5 upwards. With driving, we always ask that an experienced adult accompanies the younger children for safety reasons.

I do Indoor Horse Driving Trials. What class of use should my pony be under?

For any type of driving trials, either indoor or outdoor, your pony needs to be insured under Class C.

Can I pay by DD instalments and does it cost extra?

Yes you can pay by Direct Debit instalments. These are arranged by Premium Credit Ltd, a premium finance company and they will run a credit check on you before agreeing to loan the money by paying your insurance premium to us. You will need to sign and return the credit agreement to them. There is not cost to you for this and you pay them over 10 equal instalments which means that no instalments will be collected during the last two months.

If my horse is at the vet's and they find multiple problems is this one claim or not?

Under the terms of our policy, if more than one problem is ,or set of symptoms are present i.e. multiple pathologies, investigated and/or diagnosed during the same set of investigations and subsequent treatment, they will all be considered to be one claim whether or not the conditions are related to one another.

If during this treatment and rehabilitation, it becomes apparent that there are other problems or the diagnosis is revised, then these are also part of the same claim. However each case is different and it is possible for two claims to run concurrently depending on the exact circumstances and conditions being claims for.

Under our revised policy wording applicable from 1st July 2017, this is clarified with the Veterinary Fees extension.

How do I make a claim?



 For all claims you must advise us as soon as practicable either

by phone: 01206 337388,

by email: [email protected]

 Please see the Claim Procedure notes on the Claims home screen.

Will you cover routine or old age dentistry?

No, Under the terms of wthe wording we won’t cover rotuine dental examinations and treatment, as this is a cause you are expected to incur as part of your responsibilities of horse ownership. This includes treatment for diastemas, caries or congenital disab.ilities

Old age dentistry includes work to repair worn teeth or damaged or lost as a result of the horse being older.

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