- Check how much vet fee cover your policy provides. They vary between £1 – 5,000. £5,000 would be our minimum recommendation; a few policies offer up to £10,000 or just extra for colic cases.
- Check what this includes and excludes. Does it include the following?
- Hospitalisation (full/part)
- Alternative therapies (physiotherapy/remedial farriery)
- Feed supplements
- Is there a diagnostic limit within your vet fee cover?
- How big is your excess? The smallest excess is £115 that we have come across going up to £500 and also more than one company operate a percentage excess. So for instance if your excess is 17.5 % of your claim, your excess for your total of £1000 would be £175 but if your claim was for £4000 your excess would be £700!!
- Check if you pay in instalments whether you are charged an interest or credit fee.
- Check to see whether your regular instalments are monthly or 4 weekly, the latter means you end up paying thirteen instalments.
- Have you paid extra to have loss of use and do you know if that is linked to the discipline you perform with this horse.
- Are you only insuring your horse for accidents and external injury only – this is the common level of cover offered by most veteran policies and doesn’t include colic!
- Does your policy provide cover for the first 14 days after you brought it? Many policies cover only accidents and external injures during this introductory period. This is a particularly important point to consider if you are changing policies.
- Remember that some insurance companies have conditions for their policies, this can include that the horse must be fully vaccinated for tetanus & influenza, have routine dentistry and be wormed regularly.
- Some companies now offer full veterinary fee cover up to the age of 25 if you have been insured with them for sometime. Other polices will switch your horse to a veteran policy at the age of 15 which often only covers accidents and external injury.
Most people are hideously disappointed to find that their mortality cover for death of the horse is only valid under certain circumstances, namely immediate humane destruction of the horse. This would perhaps include a horse that had fractured its leg or a horse in dire distress or pain, which is a twisted gut that would not respond to surgery. Some policies do not provide you with cover for euthanasia and disposal. Disposal is usually a minimum of £350. Horses that have become arthritic and unable to work or uncomfortable would not normally qualify for payment under a mortality claim. These decisions about the validity claims are made by the insurance company, not your vet.
So simply read the small print.
Disclaimer: We are not qualified to offer financial advice and these are only tips based on our personal experience.