Horse ownership comes with a lot of financial responsibility on a day-to-day basis, so you need to consider what would happen if something goes wrong. In particular, how will you cover the unexpected costs? One way is with Equine insurance, which protects you if your horse becomes ill, is injured, lame or causes any injury to someone else or damage to their property.
The principal area of risk that most horse owners are worried about is unexpected vet bills. Horses are notorious for getting into sticky situations that need treatment either by your local vets or by one of the major veterinary hospitals. They can suffer from illnesses such as colic or laminitis, which without veterinary intervention can be life-threatening. Or they may need to be assessed and subject to cost investigations if they display symptoms of discomfort when we work them. In the event of a serious injury or illness which requires surgery, the costs can soon become substantial. Your equine insurance is designed to cover these unexpected expenses but without it, you would need to fund these costs yourself.
Whilst your horse’s welfare is paramount, money can be a limiting factor when your horse requires veterinary attention and equine insurance can broaden your options should anything happen.
In addition, this type of insurance will protect the financial investment of buying a horse by covering the purchase price (or market value if lower) if the worst scenario occurs and your horse dies or has to be put to sleep. The costs for disposal or transportation to a vets are often included in insurance policies. Whilst this situation isn’t pleasant to have to think about, we recommend that you consider what you would do if your horse had to be euthanized in an emergency. This includes who you would call to assist you and who you contact for the removal of the carcass. Experience has told us, that these heartbreaking situations are extremely stressful and this is eased by knowing who to call.
Anyone who rides on the roads will be aware of the dangers involving other road users and horses. Thus we strongly recommend that you ensure you have adequate Third Party Liability insurance on your horse (this is also known as Public or Legal Liability). Whilst this can be bought with your equine insurance policy, you may also have it through society membership such as with the BHS, BD, BE, BS or BC.
Thus, without adequate insurance, you face the risk of having to foot the bill for any veterinary issues should they arise – and with horses, they arise more often than you care to imagine. With third-party liability claims you would have to defend yourself, pay for any property repairs and you could end up having to pay substantial damages following an injury.
There are other options of cover to provide you with financial peace of mind including ‘Loss of Use’ which applies if your horse has to be permanently retired due to illness or injury. This is usually an option you can choose to add to the standard cover and is particularly useful if you have invested in a competition horse who is no longer able to compete. You might also wish to insure expensive riding or driving equipment such as saddlery, carriages and harnesses. All of these can be protected if they get damaged or stolen.
Is it worth buying Equine Insurance?
Everyone’s circumstances are different and in deciding whether or not to insure, you should consider whether a large veterinary invoice or having to find the money to replace your horse would place a financial strain on your bank account. If the answer is yes, then buying a suitable policy is worthwhile. Importantly, would you want an experienced professional to deal with an injured and/or angry third party who was trying to claim against you? We strongly recommend that you have liability insurance as it is very cost-effective and protects all your assets if you are found to be legally liable for a third party’s damages.
Therefore, equine insurance not only gives you peace of mind financially but also means that you have increased options for veterinary treatment if anything unexpected happens.
An important caveat however is that insurance only covers fortuities, which are unexpected happenings, so will not cover anything that has occurred or is present before the policy is taken out.
Choose Carriagehouse for Your Equine Insurance
For nearly 31 years Carriagehouse Insurance has concentrated on providing insurance for horses and donkeys, as well as specialist policies for Carriage Drivers. Staffed entirely by horse owners, who love and understand horses, we sympathetically handle all claims in-house. As well as our standard Horse and Pony Insurance, we provide a range of equine insurance options including horse and carriage insurance, Compete Donkey insurance, horsebox insurance, carriage and harness insurance, and more. Each is tailored to your requirements and we are very happy to discuss these with you.
For further information on our insurance policies, or to discuss options please do get in touch.