Horse insurance is just as important as any other type of pet insurance and you will need to know what they cover and their costs. Horse insurance is often called equine insurance (from equus, the Latin name for horse). It is a specialist type of insurance that is usually provided by agricultural insurance companies rather than pet health insurance companies.
Even if you think of your horse as a pet, the ways that a horse is used means that the insurance provisions need to be different from those provided for cats, dogs and other smaller pets. Also, veterinarians often specialize in either small animals or large, farm animals, and horses come into the second category.
However, some equine insurance companies will also insure dogs. You may want to consider having a combined policy if you are one of the many horse owners who has dogs too. You may save some money by having all of your animals covered under one policy.
There are three major classes of risk that you will want to insure against. The first considers a horse as property, and insures you for the value of the horse in the event that it is stolen or suffers accidental death. (Most policies will not cover for your loss in the case of natural death).
The second is third party liability. This covers you in case your horse injures somebody or causes damage to somebody else’s property (including their horses). This may be an unlikely event but the compensation payouts can be high if it happens, so it is definitely something that you will want to have included in your horse insurance policy.
The third main class of risk is health care for your horse. This can cover veterinarian fees if your horse requires unexpected medical treatment. Most policies have strict rules about what is and is not covered here. Some policies only cover treatment for accidental injury, not for disease. Others will cover disease, but not if the horse was already suffering from it at the time that you took out the policy.
It is important to check your horse insurance policy carefully before signing up, to make sure that it includes everything that you expect. There is nothing worse than having insurance companies tell you that they will not cover the costs when you have a potential court case or your horse needs urgent medical care.
In addition, there are always limits on how much you can claim in any situation, and in many cases you have to make a contribution such as paying the first £100 of a claim.
There are so many variables when it comes to horse insurance, that it is very difficult to say how much it will cost without knowing more about your circumstances. Horse insurance rates can differ widely according to your use of your horse and the coverage that you need. A race horse will cost more to insure than a pony that is ridden only by your own kids. This is not only because the race horse is probably more valuable, but also because it is more likely to suffer an accident or injury.
If you have any kind of horse-related business, you will also need to take out a specialist insurance policy that covers the risks of that business. For example, if you are breeding horses, you may want to insure against a valuable stallion becoming infertile. If you run a riding school, you will need liability insurance to cover a situation where a rider may be injured and sues you.