Selecting which level of cover is most suited to your situation can be difficult, especially when there are so many different options available. Below we have produced a simple guide designed to help you when choosing a suitable Vet Fee option for you and your horse.
Step 1 – Choose the type of cover
The ‘Type of Cover’ refers to the level of coverage provided, so whether you have full cover for accidents, sickness and disease or more limited cover for accidents only. Your horse’s age and the activities you use him for will affect what cover options are available to you.
The lowest level of cover to consider is accidental, external injuries only. This will cover you should your horse have an accident which results in an open wound requiring veterinary attention, for example getting kicked in the field.
Due to the restrictions in cover this is the cheapest vet fee option on the market. It may be a suitable consideration for those with an older horse or one in retirement, where perhaps if that horse were to go severely lame or colic and require an operation or treatment, the owner may feel that due to its age, they would not want to put it through the trauma of surgery. It could also be a sensible choice if your horse has a large number of specific exclusions, due to pre-existing conditions, because you won’t be paying for cover that you cannot access.
The next level of cover is our Catastrophe Cover (Scale B vets fees on our Leisure Policy). As above, it provides cover for accidental, external injuries only but also includes the addition of three lifesaving veterinary procedures; colic surgery, joint or tendon sheath flushing as a result of sepsis and surgery for pastern and pedal bone fractures.
This level of cover comes at a fraction of the price of full vets fees so may be a viable consideration for those who currently choose not to insure due to cost or people looking to cover some of the most expensive treatments at a lower premium.
The final and most popular option is Full Veterinary Fee cover for accidents, sickness and disease. Full vets fees would cover most diagnostics and veterinary treatment provided it is not excluded (routine treatments such as vaccinations or teeth rasping are not covered). This cover can be extended further to include hospitalisation costs, which cover the livery cost of the horse staying at the vets, as well as complementary treatments, which include remedial farriery or physio, as long as they have been recommended by the vet as part of the open claim.
Step 2 – Choose your incident limit
The incident limit is the amount up to which you can claim per incident. You will find a variety of levels offered by different insurers with the most common being £3,000 or £5,000. Whether you want a higher or lower limit will depend on what you do with your horse, how likely you believe they are to get injured and what sort of treatment you would like them to have.
In the current climate with new developments in diagnostics and treatment, it is not uncommon to see claims going above their incident limit, but of course a higher incident limit will result in a higher premium. Therefore you need to consider your own personal situation and if your horse required significant surgery of treatment how you would cover the costs. Due to the increasing cost of vets fees, we now offer £6,000 per incident or £3,500on our Competition Horse Policy, while our Leisure horse policy limits remain at5,000 and £3,000.
Both higher limits also include up to £7,500 for colic surgery. It is worth noting that some policies will give you a limit per incident while others will give you a limit for all incidents within the policy period.
Step 3 – Choose your excess
The final step is to consider what excess you are comfortable with.Whilst a higher excess will result in a lower premium, you will need to be prepared to cover a higher proportion of the cost of your horse’s treatment. At KBIS we offer a variety of excess options from £175 to £500. You may also want to consider a co-insurance policy. This means that along with an excess you will pay a certain percentage of each claim, we offer a 75% co-insurance option, leaving the policyholder to cover 25% of every bill.
Co-insurance is a useful option if you are concerned about large veterinary bills but want to keep your premium down. KBIS are one of the largest independent horse insurance providers, offering all types of insurance for the equestrian. Our products include horsebox and trailer insurance, breakdown insurance, personal accident cover, liability insurance and horse insurance – including a wide variety of veterinary fee options. You can get a horse insurance quote online or call 0345 230 2323.