We look into a number of areas of insurance to consider, you must remember, however, that your decision about what is best for you and your horse is personal and will reflect your own view of risk.
Whether you are insuring a new purchase or reviewing your policy at renewal, it is worth considering the cover you are taking out carefully to ensure you are buying cover that is most suited to you and your horse.
1. Mortality Insurance – what is your horse actually worth? If it is a new purchase this is easy to identify as your horse is worth the amount you paid. Further down the line such as at renewal, this can be more difficult to determine. Your horse is getting older and he may be doing less as a result, therefore you may want to reduce the Sum Insured in line with your horse’s actual value. Mortality claims are settled based on the current market value of the horse, therefore over-insuring is of no benefit, it only means you will be paying a higher premium.
Alternatively, if covering your horse for mortality is not your biggest concern then you can under-insure them for 50% of their actual value with KBIS, therefore reducing your premium as the risk posed to Underwriters is less. If you are not bothered at all about your horse’s value but want some basic vets fee cover then you may want to consider a vets fee only policy such as Catastrophe Cover.
2. Loss of Use Insurance – It is no secret that loss of use insurance is an expensive section to include on your policy as it is a significantly higher risk to Underwriters. That’s why if you do want to include this level of cover you can choose between 100% or 75% of the horse’s value with 75% resulting in a cheaper premium.
3. Vets Fees – This is the most expensive part of a horse insurance policy because it is the most commonly claimed section with 1 in 4 horses having a claim on the Leisure contract and 1 in 2 horses making a claim on the Competition contract. The vets fee cover is also the area where you have the most choice, therefore some points to consider are:
– Level of Cover – what treatment would you actually put your horse through? If he had colic and required surgery would you choose to put him through this? If based on the age or history of the horse the answer to this is no, it is important to consider the level of cover on the policy and whether this reflects the amount of cover you would actually need based on what you are willing to put the horse through. Having the most comprehensive cover may not be the most economical option if the treatment you would put the horse through is more limited.
– Previous History – if the horse has been unfortunate enough to have previously suffered from multiple conditions resulting in exclusions (as these conditions are now pre-existing to the current policy), it may not be worthwhile having the most comprehensive cover in place. A lower limit per incident may be more of an economical way of insuring, or considering more restrictive vets fees such as Catastrophe Cover or cover for Accidental External Injuries Only. This means you are not paying a higher premium for a level of cover you will be unlikely to utilise due to exclusions on the policy limiting what conditions could be claimed for.
– Excess – if it is important to you to keep the most comprehensive cover on the policy, the premium can often be reduced by increasing the excess on the vets fees. By taking on a higher excess, you are accepting that you will be unable to claim for lesser amounts and therefore reducing part of the risk to Underwriters. Due to this, it helps to bring the premium down whilst still keeping more comprehensive cover if this is the main reason you are choosing to insure your horse.