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Vet Fee Cover

Vet Fee Cover

 What is vet fee cover?

Vet fee cover provides insurance against non routine veterinary procedures. Vet fee cover can be extremely beneficial and will help you to make sure your horse receives the veterinary attention required in the event of an injury, without you, the horse owner, having to worry about the cost.

When looking at vet fee cover you need to consider the following areas (definitions of these terms can be viewed under our Glossary of Terms section)

  • Excess
  • Complementary Treatment
  • Diagnostic Limitations
  • Incident Limit
  • Cover limitation
  • Period of Claim

 Are there different types of vet fee cover?

Most insurance companies will offer a range of different vet fee options so that you can choose what cover you would like, depending on your own personal circumstances. As your horse gets older, you will generally find that vet fee cover becomes limited, and you may only be able to get Accidental External Injuries Only cover, i.e. the horse will not be covered for sickness and disease.

With vet fee cover you generally get what you pay for and the higher level of cover will usually mean that you have a lower excess to pay, a higher incident limit and will include cover for complementary treatments and hospitalisation.

At KBIS we run two different separate scales; our Leisure Horse policy offers lower cost cover and has eight different options that can be viewed here.

Our Competition cover, has a separate scale of vet fees classified from Bronze to Platinum and includes options for complementary treatment and a higher level of cover for colic surgery. Our Competition vet fees can be viewed here.

 I need to claim!

If your horse/pony is injured or becomes ill and you have to seek veterinary attention you need to notify your insurance company as soon as possible. Even if you do not end up claiming for the incident it is better to advise your insurance company sooner rather than later. If you are unsure what vet fee cover you have, you will then be able to ask your insurance company exactly what cover you have in place. Relaying information to your vet such as the incident limit and period of claim that you have on your policy will help them to decide upon the best course of treatment and discuss the different options with you.

It is important to remember that most insurance companies will limit a certain period of time at the start of your policy to Accidental External Injuries Only, and you should check your documents to make sure you know how long this period is.  If you are unsure whether you are able to claim for a problem during this limited period, you should contact your insurance company as soon as possible.

If your vet recommends that your horse needs to undergo expensive diagnostics such as an MRI scan or bone scan, it is advisable to check with your insurance company before going ahead to make sure that there are no restrictions or exclusions which might prevent these from being covered.

 How much can I claim for?

The amount you can claim up to will depend on your incident limit, which usually varies between £1250 - £5000. This claimable amount only applies after you have paid the excess amount, which can range from £125 up to around £350 depending on the cover you have taken out. It is important to check your insurance certificate for your individual policy cover.

 How long can I claim for?

Our Leisure policy offer veterinary fee cover for 12 or 15 months from the onset of the incident; that is when the first clinical signs of the illness, injury or disease was noted.  On our Competition policy all of the veterinary fee scales of cover (Bronze through to Platinum) include cover for 15 months as standard, placing less pressure on you and your horse to try to resolve any medical matters with a 12 month extension period.

 What if my policy is up for renewal and I have a claim?

If your policy renews when you have an open claim running, you will still be able to claim under your expired policy until you reach your incident limit or until you have reached the time limit for the claim (be this 12 or 15 months after onset, depending on your cover). Most insurance companies will place an exclusion on the renewed policy for any conditions or incidents which occurred before renewal, to make sure that there is no possibility of claiming on both policies for the same condition. The exclusion on the renewed policy will not affect your claim, but it will mean that once you have reached your per incident limit or exceeded your 12 or 15 months after onset, you will not be able to make a further claim for the same condition or anything related to it.

 Can I claim for non veterinary treatment?

Complementary Treatments, sometimes referred to as Alternative Treatments, cover you for treatments such as physiotherapy, laser treatment and remedial shoeing. Not all vet fee cover options include complimentary treatments and those which do may have a separate incident limit.

KBIS offer Complementary Treatment cover on our Competition policies at Silver, Gold and Platinum level and also on our Leisure policies at Scale F & G level, with the limit being up to £500 within the incident limit.’

A list of treatments which are viewed by KBIS as being complementary treatments can be viewed here.

 What happens if the condition worsens?

If the condition worsens and the horse or pony requires surgery, it is important to notify your insurance company straight away to check that you are covered for the horse to be anaesthetised. If there is a claim open for the condition, the surgery will be included as part of the total claim (i.e. there is no separate limit). This means that if the horse has had diagnostics or treatment prior to the operation, you should be prepared for the fact that the total cost may exceed the limit of your insurance and you may have to fund some of the costs yourself. If you are concerned about this, you should discuss the cost of the surgery with your vet.

Operations will often mean that the horse has to be stabled at the veterinary practice. Not all policies include hospitalisation costs so it is important to check your policy beforehand. Additional costs involved, such as transportation, would generally not be covered.

If the cause of a lameness cannot be diagnosed and the vet needs to look towards using more advanced diagnostic procedures such as a MRI scan it is again important to speak with your insurance company before going ahead. While most insurance policies would cover the procedure they may need to be satisfied that all other options have been explored and considered before you go ahead with the procedure. Again you will only be covered up to your incident limit.

 What are exclusions?

All insurance policies carry general exclusions, that is areas or circumstances when the insured will not be covered, which is why it is always important to read the terms and conditions of your policy carefully.

KBIS’ policy wording carries a general exclusion for ‘pre-existing’ conditions, i.e. an illness, injury or disease which occurred or was diagnosed before the policy started or renewed. However, KBIS also applies specific exclusions to individual policies in reference to any identified pre-existing conditions, which provides policyholders with more clarity when they are considering making a claim. These specific exclusions could also be in relation to a noted condition or conformational fault which may pre-dispose a horse or pony to an illness, injury or disease.

You can find out further information on exclusions, including the KBIS exclusion review procedure, on our Exclusions page.

 How do I make a vet fee claim?

Each insurance company will have their own specific procedures, the most important point is to notify your insurance company as soon as possible if you think an incident may lead to a claim. The KBIS claim procedure and claim forms can be viewed on our Claims page.