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I regularly see the debate on social media of “should I insure my horse?” and to me, the answer is always yes! While I can completely understand the argument against insurance, I feel that very few of us have the financial security to give our horses the best possible health care without insurance.
Paying Premiums or Putting Money Aside
Yes insurance can be pricey and it will often go up even if you don’t make any claims. It’s not unusual for people to pay £70+ a month for their insurance. So If you have multiple horses it can be tempting to put money aside rather than pay the premium each month and never need it.
However, my first 3 years of owning Scottie I must have paid over £1800 in insurance for Scottie and never made a claim. But just 1 day after the renewal of this insurance Scottie had a nasty kick in the field and racked up a vet bill of over £2300! Even if I had out that money away each month, I wouldn’t have had enough to pay for that treatment.
Just over a year on, my premium has gone up by £20 a month, but as you may already know, Scottie has recently been on and off lame. We have investigated this and xrays have showed teeny tiny navicular changes and we think a soft tissue injury is the cause. The insurance is covering this and while we seem to have gotten it under control with minimal treatment so far, I have a year to investigate further, including MRI scans which can cost thousands! If he wasn’t insured I probably wouldn’t have been able to investigate at all and would have just had to rest and hope to see if he came right.
For me, vet fees are incredibly important. Scottie is insured for £7000 per incident, a little more if colic surgery is needed. It’s a huge comfort for me to know that putting this money away means any new issue will be taken care of, even if there are several different things within the year!
Dealing With Exclusions
One of the biggest issues people have with insurance is exclusions put on them. Yes these are annoying, but depending on the insurance company, it need not be the end of the world! Scottie has a few exclusions on his policy:
- Issues linked to his missing teeth
- Skin conditions such as sarcoids
- Skin allergies
- Anything linked to the wound on his right stifle
These things are frustrating, but next year I will be challenging the skin allergies and sarcoids after its been 2 years with no further issues and all skin conditions have cleared up without treatment.
I’m also not too worried about his teeth and wound exclusions. After the injury, my vet was always sure he would make a full recovery as he missed all the important structures and just had muscle and skin damage.So I think they will have a hard time arguing that any future issues will be caused by this.
Finally, even if your horse has quite a few exclusions, you are still insured for accidents. A field kick can easily rack up thousands of pounds of vet fees and even if that limb is excluded on your policy, you should still be covered for accidents. Which really makes me think it’s better to insure than not too.
What About 3rd Party Insurance?
Finally, if you don’t insure your horse, are you covered for 3rd party claims? If you are hacking down the road and your horse kicks out and damages someone property or god forbid injures someone, you are liable! I have this 3rd party insurance included in Scottie’s insurance.
Even if you don’t want to insure your horse for vet fees, I really think every horse owner should make sure their horse is covered for this! BHS Gold membership can cover you for this or lot’s of insurance companies offer just 3rd party insurance. Not only does this protect you, but you also need it to compete at lots of shows.