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Equine Insurance FAQs

If the following FAQs don't answer your query please have a look at our General FAQs section.

Do I need to get the insurance company's agreement before my horse is destroyed?

Many owners and vets assume that the insurance company must be contacted to give their permission before a horse is destroyed by a vet. This is not always necessary. Strict guidelines are issued to vets by the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA). A statement issued by BEVA in July 2006 with regard to the destruction of horses, offers vets the following advice on when immediate destruction is justified and when an insurance company should be notified:

"That the insured horse sustains an injury or manifests an illness or disease that is so severe as to warrant immediate destruction to relieve incurable and excessive pain and that no other options of treatment are available to that horse at that time. If immediate destruction cannot be justified then the attending veterinary surgeon should provide effective first aid treatment before: i) Requesting that the insurance company be contacted or, failing that ii) Arranging for a second opinion from another veterinary surgeon."

This means that if a vet feels that a horse should be destroyed on immediate humane grounds, they should not delay proceedings by contacting the insurance company. If, however, effective first aid treatment can be given, your vet must notify the insurer that destruction may be necessary.

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How do I need to protect my saddlery and tack?

When not in use, saddlery and tack must be kept in a locked building that is totally enclosed and secure. It must be a permanent, substantial structure of brick, stone or timber, with doors secured by 5-lever mortise deadlocks and windows secured by patent window locks. Your saddlery and tack can be stored either at your home address or at the stables, provided the room has the correct security.

There will however not be cover for any item lost or stolen while at any premises where 5 or more horses or ponies are regularly kept (This exclusion does not apply if you pay an extra premium and have your policy endorsed).

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How long can I claim for?

Claims for treatment given for an injury or illness provide cover for up to 365 days from the onset of the claimed condition or up to the maximum recoverable.

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I have an existing medical condition. Will this affect my ability to claim?

You are obliged to advise the insurance company of any physical or mental conditions that you have which might affect your policy. The insurer will advise you at the time you take out your policy how your condition might affect a claim.

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What does permanent loss of use actually mean?

'Permanent' means forever. Permanent loss of use therefore means the insured horse can never again be used for any one of the activities you have insured it for.

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What if my horse were to die under anaesthesia?

You will be covered for claims should your horse die under anaesthesia as long as the anaesthesia was necessary. Your insurance company must be notified of the intention for surgery to take place, unless the surgery was an emergency.

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What is a third party?

The first party is the policyholder, the second party is the insurance company and the third party is anyone else who has been injured or whose property has been damaged as the result of the acts or omissions of the insured.

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What is an excess?

An excess is the first part of a claim that you pay yourself.

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What is the difference between market value, sum insured and purchase price?

Market value: This is the price generally paid for a horse of the same age, breed, bloodline, sex and ability.
Sum insured: The amount you choose to insure your horse for, this value will be agreed between you and your insurer.
Purchase price: The amount you actually paid for your horse.

In the event of a claim under death, theft and straying or loss of use, an insurer will always pay the lower amount of the sum insured or market value.

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What should I do if anything happens that could result in a third party claim against me?

Most importantly you should not admit any responsibility, agree to pay a claim or negotiate with any other person after any incident. You should contact your insurance company and allow them to take charge of your claim. You must send them any writ, summons or legal documents you receive and allow them to act and reply on your behalf.

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Why can it take so long to pay a permanent loss of use claim?

Assessing a claim for permanent loss of use can be a lengthy process as it is not always obvious if the horse will be able to compete or participate in the disciplines it was insured for. Discussion will take place between your vet and the insurance company in this regard. In addition to this the insurance company may wish to appoint their consultant vet for their advice.

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Will an insurance company pay for wear and tear?

No, wear and tear will not be covered.

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Will the insurance company want to see the body?

No. We will, however, require a post-mortem examination to be conducted to confirm the cause of death.

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Within what period must I claim?

We ask for claim forms to be returned to us within 90 days of the onset of the loss, or your renewal if sooner.

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