Why do you need horse insurance?
The Animals Act 1971 contains detail regarding the liability of owners for any damage that is caused by their animals. In 2003 the House of Lords decided that the act should impose a strict liability to the owners of horses.
This means that even if owners have taken all reasonable precautions to prevent the risk of damage occurring they may still be legally responsible for that damage under the Act.
The 2003 House of Lords decision continued to state that panic in a horse was to be considered a special characteristic. Therefore in a case where a horse has panicked and caused damage to the rider or a third party, the owner of the horse may be liable to any damage caused.
Horses are often very valuable animals, whether kept for recreational use, competitive events or for riding schools.
There are 3 main reasons for buying Horse Insurance:
- To protect your investment (horse, trailer, tack and saddle)
- To protect yourself from public liability claims
- To protect yourself from huge vet bills
There are many different types of cover available and you will need to be very clear with the information you provide the insurance company to be certain that you receive the right type of cover for you.
First of all you need to decide what type of horse or pony you are insuring, for example:
- Family pet used for recreational purposes
- A very old horse referred to as a veteran
- A competition horse
- A brood mare (for breeding)
- A stallion (for breeding)
- A gelding (a castrated male horse)
Many Horse Insurance companies will now offer a bespoke equestrian insurance service to enable everyone’s needs to be met. Remember your horse must be in good health at the time of buying the insurance cover.
Information you may need to provide to an insurance company
- The postcode where the horse is to be stabled
- The number of horses you wish to insure
- The age of the horse
- Intended use of the horse (personal or for business)
- Purchase price
- Current value of the horse
- Value of saddle and tack you may wish to include in the policy
There are many types of horse insurances on offer. Below are listed some of the main ones to make the process of acquiring the correct insurance a little easier.
Basic Horse insurance
This should provide cover against the cost of veterinary fees, loss or theft of your tack and you will of course need public liability cover (third party cover).
Veteran Horse Insurance
This may vary from one company to another but usually includes horses of 14 years or more. Older horses may be prone to problems with their joints and teeth, and treatment may be very expensive. So cover should include the costs of any veterinary treatment.
Horse Public Liability Insurance
Any horse may escape and cause damage to someone or to the property of others. Horses with their rider may still injure dogs or cats, and may cause damage to cars or other vehicles on the road. This cover is essential to avoid huge compensation costs. Please note that this cover is only for financial liability. It does not cover against criminal liability, for example, if your horse were to cause serious injury or death to a third party and you were found to be negligent.
Horse Business Insurance
This type of cover is aimed for those people who have an equestrian business, for example a riding school. If anyone pays for your services which includes your horses in any way, this type of cover must be purchased.
Horse riding instructor insurance
If you teach anyone how to ride a horse you must have this cover. If the rider has an accident (and they hurt themselves, the horse or a third party), while under your tuition you are liable for any claim made.
Horse travel Insurance
More and more people want to take their horses away on trips around the country. You should always check with your insurance company that your horse and tack are covered if stabled away from the insured address. You may need extra cover.
What is included in the cover?
The following factors may be included in the Horse Insurance policy:
This insurance will cover any personal injury caused by the horse to the rider.
This cover is not intended for routine costs such as inoculations or vaccinations, but it will cover costs associated with illness or disease.
This cover is intended for the owners of very valuable horses rather than a regular “pet” horse. Some policies will cover the cost of humane destruction, however this will usually need to be certified by a veterinary practitioner first to confirm that the horse was suffering an incurable disease or was in excessive pain and therefore suffering. Some policies will also insure against the disposal of the body should your horse die.
Permanent loss of use
A horse may survive a serious injury or disease but no longer be suitable for use in a business capacity. When taking out this type of cover you must be very clear regarding the specific use of the horse, for example, horse racing, show jumping or at a riding school. This type of cover may also insure against a stallion becoming infertile or a mare that can no longer produce foals.
Loss of an unborn foal
This can be included in some policies and is clearly aimed at breeders of expensive competition horses.
Theft of valuable horses is a particularly high risk, especially if the horse is used in events seen by the public. Some insurance companies will even cover the cost of advertising or rewards to get the horse back.
Horses may at any time escape and stray. Insurance policies may cover the cost of advertising to retrieve the horse and will probably state a deadline of a set number of days after which the value of the horse can be claimed by the owner.
Tack and Trailer
These items can be insured against theft or damage. This is important as damage may occur as a result of a collision with another vehicle.
Why not Compare Horse Insurance today and see just how much money you could save to get yourself fully covered?