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There are lots of debates about whether you should insure your horse or not. I can see where both sides are coming from, but I would always insure my horses and always recommend others doing the same. Yes it can be expensive and if your horse is injury prone, it can be frustrating when you start racking up exclusions on your policy. But this isn’t a post about why you should or shouldn’t insure your horse. This post is me wanting to say how fantastic KBIS insurance have been.
5 years with KBIS
Scottie has been insured with KBIS since I bought him. He has their highest vet fees cover (£6000 per incident and £7500 for colic surgery), complimentary treatments, hospital costs, 75% loss of use, 3rd party insurance and some rider insurance for me. Although the rider insurance itself is pretty limited, it doesn’t really raise my premium and I think it is worth having something.
Easy Claims and Trusted by Vets
I have claimed twice in my time of owning Scottie. The first was for the kick to the stifle he had a few years ago. It was an emergency call out and looked very nasty. Despite all the guidelines about keeping a copy of your policy at the yard, I hadn’t done this. Scottie needed antibiotics and I had to choose between an injection there and then followed by oral antibiotics in his feed. Or there was an option to have her come out over the next few days to give him more injections what were stronger but more expensive, especially considering the weekend call out. One of the first things she asked when discussing the treatment was if I was insured and who I was with. As soon as I said KBIS she was happy to continue with whatever treatment I chose, confident they would pay out without an issue.
In my vets T&Cs, it does say that owners should pay the bills and then claim it back on their insurance. This is probably because some insurance companies can drag their feet and be difficult about paying. But when my vets heard it was KBIS, they were fantastic. I sent them my filled in claim forms and they did it all for me, talking directly to my insurance to sort out all the payments, just giving me a call when it was time to pay my excess.
15 Month Claim Period
Since being with KBIS, they have increased their claims period. Whereas most insurance companies insure you for 12 months after the injury, KBIS cover the claim for 15 months. This has been fantastic for me as it has meant we had plenty of time to rest Scottie and try different treatments before sending him off for a second MRI scan to see what was going on. It also means I still have until the middle of December to claim for the injury Scottie developed in September/October last year.
Under my policy I get £500 towards complimentary treatment. I have been using this to pay for Scottie’s eggbar shoes. I just have to email them an invoice from my farrier and a cheque arrives in the post. I don’t have to fill in any forms for these ongoing mini claims. It’s so easy especially as modern technology means I can pay the cheque in using the banking app on my phone!
Price and Exclusions
Yes the price of my insurance has increased each year, even if I haven’t had any claims. But the price increase hasn’t been massive, even after Scottie’s most expensive claim. Plus over the years with them they have rewarded loyalty by increasing my vet fees and claim period, meaning that even when I shop around each year, I can’t find the same cover for less. I also think it is important to say that all the insurance I have paid for Scottie over the 5 years of owning him, is still less than what KBIS has paid out on this claim alone!
Scottie does also have a few exclusions now. But I have never found the exclusions they put on unreasonable. After the kick to the stifle they excluded issues related to the injury and since it has healed incredibly well, I think they vet would argue my case if we ever had a problem in that area and they tried to exclude it. I have also had my renewal since Scottie’s tendon injury. They have excluded both front feet and pasterns, which isn’t great, but I honestly expected it to be worse. Especially when accidents and wounds are still covered, which is realistically what I am more worried about when it comes to Scottie.
Loss of Use
Since writing this post, Scottie has had a Loss of Use claim for his tendon injury. Everyone always talks about how difficult it is to claim for this when your horse is competing at low levels. But not only did KBIS not quibble it at all, they arranged the freeze marking and paid quickly.
They were also super helpful in my decision making by giving me guidance on what insurance he might be able to get afterwards and what work he could return to if he became sound. Which made my decision much easier as I knew I wouldn’t have to worry about affording treatment in the future.
Scottie is now insured under their Catastrophe cover. So anything accident related including colic surgery is covered I think up to about £6000 per claim. Plus if he returns to work the policy doesn’t change at all.
So while he isn’t covered for wear and tear anymore, I feel like he still has plenty of vet fee cover. And the new Catastrophe cover is quite a bit cheaper than his original policy. So hopefully the money from my Loss of Use claim plus the money I’m saving should cover any investigations I might want to look into.