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Mortality & Theft

Mortality & Theft

 What is mortality and theft?

Mortality and Theft is the starting point of your insurance. It is the benefit paid following the death or euthanasia of the horse or if the horse is lost or stolen and not found. This benefit will be the sum insured/market value of the insured horse

You can then choose to add additional cover such as vet fees, permanent loss of use, personal accident and legal liability to your policy.

 Are there different levels of mortality and theft?

Most insurance companies will offer All Risks of Mortality, which covers the loss of your horse due to accident, illness or disease. At KBIS we refer to this as Basic Cover.

You can also purchase Mortality Cover for accidental, external and violent injuries only, this cover is usually offered when the horse becomes older and the risk of mortality as a result of an illness or disease becomes to high. At KBIS when a horse reaches 26 years of age cover is then limited to accidental, external and violent injuries only.

 What is the difference between purchase price, market value and sum insured?

Purchase price is the price that you paid to take on the ownership of the horse. Market value refers to the amount that would generally be paid for a horse of a similar age, sex, breeding and ability. Sum Insured is the amount you choose to insure your horse for.

The market value will therefore obviously alter while the horse is in your ownership depending on what you do with him/her, age and any injuries sustained etc. When insuring a horse that has not been recently purchased you need to look at their market value and similarly at renewal the market value will come into play rather than the purchase price.

To establish the market value of a homebred horse you would generally consider the stud fee plus their bloodlines. When the horse/pony has achieved a competition record this can then also be taken into account.

 How much should I insure my horse for?

If you have recently purchased your horse most people choose to insure their horse for the purchase price. You can choose to under insure your horse in order to reduce your premium but before choosing to do this you should ask yourself how much it would cost you and how much can you afford to pay to purchase another horse if the worst should happen.

Although under insuring is an option, most insurance companies will not under insure a high value horse below a certain value.

Age will also affect how much you can insure your horse for; generally, as horses get older, insurance companies place restriction on the value for which they can be insured.

At KBIS, limitations on the sum insured apply once the horse reaches 17 years of age; however,  we do look at every case individually and are always happy to approach our Underwriters in exceptional circumstances:

Age Limitations on Sum Insured:

AgeMaximum Sum Insured
17 - 18£3500
19£2500
20£2000
21 – 24£1000
25 +£500

 Can I choose to insure my horse for higher than I purchased him for?

As a general rule you cannot insure for a value above the purchase price for a horse/pony that has been recently purchased. Your insurance company will most probably advise you that they can reviewed the value in 6 months when, for instance you may have built up a successful competition record.

  If I have a mortality claim will I receive the full amount I insured for?

You will only receive the sum insured if this is a true reflection on the horse’s market value. It is important to remember that an insurance company will pay out for the market value of the horse at the time of loss up to the sum insured. If the market value is deemed to be lower than the sum insured, any claim settlement will be adjusted accordingly.

Basic mortality insurance only pays out if the horse needs to be euthanised immediately due to severe unrelenting pain. The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) has issued guidelines for vets when dealing with mortality insurance, these can be grouped into three scenarios when a horse is euthanised from an insurance perspective: 

  1. Immediate emergency euthanasia where a condition is so severe that immediate euthanasia is required to relieve incurable and excessive pain and no other options of treatment are available. 
  2. Critical illness or injury necessitating non-immediate euthanasia, the horse exhibits signs of severe and unremitting pain that can be controlled by safe and effective levels of analgesic medication in the short term but, in the opinion of the attending veterinary surgeon, cannot be managed in the long term and no other options of treatment are available. In these cases insurers must be advised prior to euthanasia to allow them the opportunity to get a second opinion.
  3. Injury or illness which, whilst career ending and the horse may be permanently lame, can be managed on low levels of medication and the horse can be retired. Owners may decide that the right answer for them and the horse is to choose to put the horse to sleep, but this would not be a valid mortality claim. Although it may represent a Permanent Loss of Use claim if this level of cover was included in the policy.

To view The BEVA Guidelines click here