Renewal – Time For A Change?

It is becoming more and more common to shop around when you have an insurance policy due for renewal. This is not only to make sure you are getting the best value for money, but also to be confident that you have the cover that is most suited to you, or in the case of horse insurance, your horse.

If you look to change insurers during a policy term by cancelling an existing policy to move elsewhere, a limitation period will often apply at the start of cover to protect Underwriters against paying any claims for conditions that may have existed before the policy was taken out. Timing the move to be at renewal means it is a lot more likely that you will be offered the cover you choose from day one. Here’s an overview of the process to change insurers at renewal to ensure the cover in place meets your needs…

Starting Point

A renewal invitation will be sent to you a minimum of 3 weeks prior to your renewal date. When you receive this, it will detail the cover offered for the forthcoming year along with the premium that it will cost you. Whilst some insurers may be able to discount the premium further if you get in touch with them after receiving this, at KBIS the premium included in the renewal invitation is always the best premium for the level of cover offered.

At this point, if you are not totally happy with the cover itself or the premium, look at what is being offered and ask yourself, is this exactly what we (your horse & you) need? Some areas to think about are detailed in our 5 ways to save on your horse insurance article.

If you decide there are some areas where you may consider altering the cover, give your insurer a call and they’ll be able to run through the alternative options. If you would prefer to keep the cover exactly as it is, you may feel the next step is to consider moving insurers from your renewal date.

Shopping Around

When looking to compare your renewal invitation to quotes elsewhere, making sure the alternative quote is as close to being ‘like for like’ as possible is important. The best way to compare is if the cover is as similar it can be, so look at getting a quote with your horse insured for the same value and same vet fee cover etc.

As the terms various insurers offer are likely to be different, it is likely that there will always be small differences in the cover, such as the length of time you get for claims. At KBIS, the claim period is 15 months on Leisure and Competition horse policies, whereas elsewhere the standard is 12 months. It is a good idea to be aware of small differences like this by reading through the policy terms and conditions fully, so you can be sure you are getting the most value for your money.

At this stage, each insurer will advise of any documents they will require. At KBIS, these will include a copy of the renewal documents from the previous insurer and a copy of the horse’s veterinary history whilst you have owned him. These allow us to confirm the cover that was offered by the previous company, as well as to underwrite the policy in line with any previous issues the horse may have had that result in exclusions being applied. Supplying these well in advance of the renewal date will mean you are made aware of any limitations or exclusion that will be applied as a result, allowing you to come to a decision with this in mind, instead of any nasty surprises further down the line.

Decision Time

An important factor in transferring to another insurer at renewal is whether the cover you choose is going to be in place straight away. When moving to KBIS from elsewhere, providing you are looking to move for like-for-like cover or less, full cover is in place from the day your new policy starts. This means your horse must be insured at the same value or less than with your previous insurer. It also means, if moving to KBIS for comprehensive cover, this must have been in place with the company that insured your horse beforehand. Where this is the case, you can relax knowing there is no break in the cover for your horse.

This only differs if you are looking to increase the cover. Perhaps you had not taken out vet fee cover for your horse before, or you feel he is now worth more than you had him insured for, in this case the first 45 days of cover are limited to accidental external injuries involving an open wound only due to the increased risk to Underwriters. Additional documents may also be required if this is the case such as a new veterinary certificate carried out within 14 days of starting the new policy.

If you are considering a more limited cover option, such as Catastrophe Cover, whether this is due to the cost of full insurance or maybe because of exclusions on his policy that cannot be reviewed, you can have confidence knowing this is in place as soon as the policy is taken out.

Making the Move

Once you have come to a decision on the best policy for you and your horse come your renewal date, you need to confirm this. This includes the company you have decided not to renew with and the company you’d like to go ahead with.

Often, if a policy is paid for by Direct Debit, cover will be automatically renewed if you do not get in touch with the company to advise you no longer require the insurance. This can be really convenient if you are happy with the cover and don’t need to notify your insurer of any changes, but if you are looking to go elsewhere make sure you have told the previous insurer in good time so that this is not renewed.

All that is left to do is double-check you have supplied the required documents to the new insurers and relax knowing that you have the best cover for you and your horse.

KBIS are one of the largest independent horse insurance providers, offering all types of insurance for the equestrian. Find out more about our horsebox, trailer and breakdown insurance. KBIS also offer personal accident cover, insurance for equestrian businesses, such as yards, instructors, competition centres, and horse insurance including cover for foals and veteran horses. To discuss your insurance needs call us today on 0345 230 2323.