Horse insurance cover
A standard horse insurance policy usually includes cover in case of death, theft or straying. If the animal is stolen or strays, the policy should pay towards the cost of advertising to try to recover the horse, plus the market value or sum insured if it cannot be found. There might be a limit on the sum insured for a standard equine policy, so you should check with your insurer if you have a particularly valuable animal.
You can then typically add a range of other options to suit your needs - and your budget. Most people include cover for vet's bills as they can prove costly. But there will usually be a limit on the amount you can claim in any one year, so check the details. The excess might also vary. For example, a policy might offer cover for vet's fees up to £5000 with a £350 excess, or up to £3000 with a £100 excess.
The insurer will ask whether the horse has any pre-existing medical conditions and it is essential to be honest about any health issues. Pre-existing conditions are normally excluded from the policy, but if you try to hide any relevant information, the insurer could refuse to pay up in the event of a claim.
Liability for your horse
Public liability insurance, sometimes called third party insurance, is an important consideration, especially in our litigious times. Under the Animals Act (1971), you are liable if your horse should injure someone or damage their property, whether or not you are negligent. You can usually choose an appropriate cover limit, but a minimum of £1 million is recommended.
Accidents and injuries
Horse riding is risky and even the most experienced rider can come off a horse, which is where personal accident insurance comes in. It usually pays out if you, or someone who has your permission to ride the horse, suffers an injury following a riding accident. The amount of cover varies according to the type of injury. So, you might be insured for £10,000 for the loss of a limb, but up to £1,000 for dental treatment.
Loss of use
In the sad event that your horse suffers an illness or injury that prevents it from carrying out its normal activities, you might still want to keep the animal if it is otherwise fit and well. If you add permanent loss of use to your equine insurance, the policy would then help to fund the extra costs involved.
The age of your horse can affect the type of cover you choose. Most insurers will cover an animal up to 15, 16 or 17 years old on a standard policy. If your horse is any older when you take out equine insurance, you will probably have to buy a veteran horse insurance plan, which might be more restrictive and possibly more expensive.
Insuring your equipment
The cost of tacking a horse can soon mount up, so could you afford to replace your equipment if it was damaged or stolen? Saddlery and tack insurance will cover your kit up to a certain value, typically about £5,000, but there are usually restrictions. For example, your tack must be kept secure, in a building locked with a five-lever mortice deadlock.
Trailers and horseboxes
If you take your horse around the country to different events, you might have a trailer. Insurance against loss, theft or damage of the trailer is strongly recommended, and can be added to a horse insurance policy. You can also usually buy a standalone policy for a motorised horse box.
Compare horse insurance
There are a number of ways to save money on horse insurance. You can search for cheap quotes from a wide range of insurers with MoneySupermarket's free, independent comparison service. Just remember that the cheapest policy is not always the best and you should make sure that the insurance is adequate for your needs.
Most insurers and happy to cover more than one horse on the same policy - and you might earn a discount for multiple animals.
If you buy cover when the horse is young, you will probably pay less for equine insurance. Older horses are more prone to ill health, so the premiums tend to be higher.
You will usually pay a lower premium if you select a higher excess - the amount you pay towards each claim. Just make sure that the excess is not so high as to be unaffordable.
To see a list of pet insurance providers, have a look at our home page.