How to get the best horse insurance policy
Most pet insurance policies are primarily designed to cover the fees associated with your pet falling ill or getting injured no matter if it's a dog or a horse. However, it’s common for horse insurance policies to offer a more comprehensive cover, often extending to equipment (including saddlery and tack), riders, and horse box/trailer.
Depending on the policy you choose there are options for standard horse cover or senior/veteran horse cover, meaning you can insure your horse from 30 days old to over 20 years old.
To find out more about how horse insurance works, the insurance options available, and how much you’re looking at paying, keep reading below.
Why should I look into horse insurance?
First and foremost, horses are expensive; the cost of owning a horse annually works out anywhere from roughly £3,000 to £10,000, and that’s not including the cost of buying the horse and appropriate equipment in the first place. Therefore without horse insurance, when things go wrong it can put an unexpected and substantial strain on your finances.
Here are just some of the unexpected costs you should consider when deciding if horse insurance is right for you:
- Veterinary bills should your horse fall ill or get injured.
- Costs associated with rider injury.
- Loss or damage to your saddle/tack and its replacement.
- Costs associated with the death of your horse (including disposal).
- The stable fees should you become unable to work.
- Damage to trailers.
- Theft (of either your horse or equipment).
What are the different insurance options?
When taking out insurance for your horse, you should first decide if you need to take out a standard equine insurance policy, or a senior/veteran policy for older horses. Veteran horse insurance policies are designed to provide coverage for mature horses, usually from around 15 years or older.
Horse insurance usually takes the form of an annual policy, and aside from the standard cover for illness and injury, often includes coverage for a variety of other costs associated with owning a horse.
From there, you’ll need to decide if you’d like to take out an insurance policy for the following:
The horse rider
Many insurance providers offer coverage tailored specifically to the rider’s needs, this is divided into two policies, young rider insurance and over 18 rider insurance. This style of policy can include coverage for the following:
- Personal accident. Many providers offer coverage for accidents and injuries sustained while riding, however many of these policies are only available for riders aged 5 to 75 years old.
- A stay in hospital. Some providers pay out should you get hospitalised as a result of a riding injury. Here’s an example of what this could look like: A payout of up to £50 for every 24 hours you stay in hospital.
- Tuition fees. Some companies cover the tuition fees for riders under 18 years old if they are unable to attend classes due to a riding injury.
- Emergency vet's fees. Designed to cover the vet’s fees should your horse fall ill unexpectedly or sustain an injury, however, this is usually capped at around £1,500.
- Riding equipment. If your riding equipment is lost or damaged then many insurers will pay out to replace it.
Many insurance providers offer policies which cover your horse trailer, however, as an add-on, the coverage is usually capped at around £10,000.
Alternatively, you have the option of taking out a separate policy to solely cover your horse trailer. This style policy will be capped at around £20,000 and can provide cover for accidental damage and theft.
What does horse insurance cover?
Most pet insurance policies are designed to cover vet’s fees in the case of accident or illness. However, horse insurance is a little bit different as it tends to cover other things too.
To give you an idea of what to look for, here’s a list of what you can expect a good equine insurance policy to cover:
- Vet fees. This will vary from provider to provider, however you can expect coverage up to around £5,000 per condition.
- Hospitalisation costs. Some companies will pay out if you get hospitalised as a result of a riding injury.
- Death. Disposing of a horse when it dies can be expensive, so many insurers can offset the costs associated with your horse’s death by covering this.
- Theft. Many providers will cover the cost of replacing or recovering your horse should (s)he be stolen.
- Straying. This can cover the costs associated with advertising and a reward for the return of your horse.
- Saddlery and tack. Coverage for the replacement/repair of your saddlery and tack is usually capped at around £1,500 - £2,000.
- Personal injury. Should you get injured while riding, some horse insurance providers will offer coverage of up to around £11,000 - £12,000.
- Trailers. This covers damage to both owned and hired trailers, providing you use the trailer for personal use and not business.
- Permanent loss of use. Many insurers will pay out should your horse no longer be able to be ridden.
- Public liability. Some insurance companies will cover third party damage and injury.
- Stable cover. Many companies will pay any stable fees should you become unable to work.
- Hire of replacement horse. If your horse becomes injured or ill for a short period of time, some policies will pay for the hire of a replacement horse.
- Permanent loss of use. You may be eligible for a payout should your horse become permanently unable to be ridden.
Are there any exclusions?
Yes, insurance for horses is no different from any other kind of policy in this respect. There are always exclusions you’ll need to be aware of, these will vary from one insurer to the next, but will often refuse to pay out for the following:
- Pre-existing medical conditions. Most, if not all, horse insurance providers will refuse to pay the vet bills for pre-existing medical conditions.
- The excess on any claims. This could as high as £500 on some horse policies.
- Competitions. Not all policies will provide cover for competitions.
- Claims made outside the UK. You should check whether cover is provided outside of the UK.
- Older horses. Like with all insurance policies, a maximum age limit is often applied.
- Foals. Some providers will only cover foals over a certain age (e.g. 31 days old).
How much does equine insurance cost?
It’s generally more expensive to insure your horse than any other type of pet, commonly costing anywhere from £20 to £70 per month, but varying from provider to provider.
However, when it comes to equine insurance, all insurance providers will charge an excess fee. The excess fee is the amount you’d be expected to pay towards any claim you make. Usually, the higher coverage you choose, the higher your excess fee will be.
What affects the cost of horse insurance?
Like all insurance, your quoted monthly premiums will be different from provider to provider. However, the main factors affecting the cost of horse insurance are as follows:
- Your horse’s age. The older your horse, the more expensive your monthly premiums are likely to be.
- Your horse’s breed. Like many types of pet insurance, the breed of your horse and how much they are valued at may affect the cost of insurance.
- Where you live. Vet fees vary depending on where you are in the country (being more expensive in London and the South Esat), so your monthly premiums will reflect this.
- What circumstances you’re covering. What you choose to cover will affect your monthly premiums.
- The activities your horse takes part in. For example, activities such as hacking and riding clubs are usually considered low risk, while hunting would be considered high risk and raise your monthly premiums.
Do I have to get pet insurance for my horse?
There’s no legal obligation for you to take out horse insurance, but you should probably consider it. Like all pets, illness and injury can occur at any time, and vet bills are especially expensive for horses. For example, MRI scanning (including sedation) can cost you anywhere from £809 - £1,334.
Unlike other types of pet ownership, horses cannot be kept at home and so most people pay a stable to home their horse, which can add further financial strain should things go wrong - especially given that the rate of horse theft is increasing.
Some people choose to self-insure their horse by setting aside money each month, but when it comes to horse ownership there is more money at stake.
How do I find the best pet insurance for my horse?
If you do decide to take out horse insurance, it’s important to compare your options. Our in-depth reviews of each horse insurance provider will help you understand each policy, so you can make sure you’re taking out the right level of cover.
In order to get quoted the best price, you should also:
- Aim to insure your horse when it’s younger and healthier.
- Keep your horse up to date on their vaccinations.
- Keep the excess fees in mind.
- Strike the balance between price vs. cover.
- Ensure you keep your horse secure to avoid the risk of loss.
- Keep your equipment well protected, both from damage and theft.
- Also, if you’re looking to insure multiple horses, consider taking out a multi-pet insurance policy, as they often offer discounts.
Where can I get a quote right now?
Now you know your options, you’re ready to get a quote. Simply click below to fill out our quick form and one of our professional brokers will find you a great quote in minutes!