Ways to save on your horse insurance
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KBIS have put together this helpful guide for re-evaluating your horse insurance policies to find where you can save. Understanding that the needs of each horse and owner differ, KBIS explain a variety of options to suit a range of requirements and budgets.
As uncertain times continue, it’s becoming increasingly important for everyone to make sure they are getting a value for money when it comes to spending. This includes many horse owners who are understandably looking to make financial savings where possible.
Insurance is all about protecting yourself against financial risk. Having a think about what risks you are most worried about and what risks you are happy to take on yourself will help you to decide on which cover elements you include and to what level. Whether you are looking to insure a new purchase or reviewing your policy at renewal, consider the cover you are purchasing carefully to ensure what you are buying is most suited to your budget, your horse and your perception of risk. You must, however, remember that there is the trade off when choosing to benefit from a lower premium you inevitably will be purchasing more restrictive cover.
Top tips on saving money on horse insurance:
This is cover for death, theft and straying. The value you insure your horse for must be based on what your horse is actually worth. For a new or recent purchase, it’s the amount you paid. Further down the line such as at renewal, this can be more difficult to determine. Our horses are priceless to us but they all have a value on the market based on their age, the activates they are used for and level they work at. Whilst you may not be worried about the cover this section provides, it is often stipulated by insurers that the horse must be insured for a value to be able to offer full veterinary fee cover for accident, sickness and disease.
So, if you find yourself looking to take out mortality cover, or wanting to adjust your policy at renewal, some pointers for keeping costs down here include:
- Don’t over-insure your horse. Mortality claims are settled based on the current market value of the horse at the start of the insurance policy, therefore over-insuring is of no benefit, it only means you will be paying a higher premium.
- If your main reason for insuring is not for this section of cover then with KBIS you can under-insure your horse by as much as 50% of their current market value. This will reduce your premium as the risk posed to Underwriters is less.
- If you are not worried at all about your horse’s value but want some basic vets fee cover then you may want to consider a stand-alone vet fee policy such as Catastrophe Cover.
2. Vet fees
Undoubtedly, this is the most expensive part of a horse insurance policy as it is the most commonly claimed on section. KBIS’ most recent claims data shows that 1 in 4 horses have a claim on their Leisure horse policies whilst it’s as high as 1 in 2 horses making a claim on their Competition horse policies.
This is also the area where you have the most choice, therefore some points to consider are:
- Level of cover: choose a vet fee option that’s right for you and your horse. What vet fees would you like to be covered for and to what limit? What treatment would you put your horse through? For example, are you most worried about the cost of colic surgery? Understanding that all owners want to do the best for their horses, and that the needs of each horse differ, KBIS offer up to 10 different vet fee options depending on the horse’s age, value and activities, so you can find the right fit for you and your horse.
- Previous history: if your horse is older or is unfortunate enough to have previously suffered from illness or injuries it is likely to result in exclusions (as these conditions would now be pre-existing) and therefore it may not be worthwhile having the most comprehensive cover in place. A more economical way of insuring may be to consider more restrictive, stand-alone veterinary vet fee policy such as our unique Catastrophe Cover. This means you are not paying a higher premium for a level of cover you will be unlikely to utilise due to exclusions on the policy limiting what conditions can be claimed for.
- Excess: if full vet fee cover is your reason for insuring, taking on a higher excess will help to bring down the premium. One of KBIS’ most popular vet fee options includes £6,000 per incident with an excess of £350. This option gives you peace of mind that you have a limit high enough to offer protection from the costs of expensive diagnostics, surgery or longer-term treatment as long as you are happy that you have the immediate funds to cover the smaller incidents. Another option offers £3,000 per incident with a £275 excess. As KBIS’ most popular vet fee option, this cover provides the breadth of cover sought after by those purchasing full cover, but at the most cost-effective price. By taking on a higher excess, you are accepting that you will be unable to claim for lesser amounts and therefore reducing part of the risk to Underwriters. It means you will have to pay more in the event of a claim but you benefit from a reduced premium. The range of vet fee options available to each horse depend on value, age and the activities he is used for.
3. Loss of use insurance
It is no secret that loss of use insurance is an expensive section to include on your policy as it is a significantly higher risk to Underwriters. That’s why KBIS offer 2 options: 100% or 75% of the horse’s value with 75% resulting in a cheaper premium.
Additional saving opportunities
The remaining cover elements that can be added to a horse policy with KBIS include; Public Liability, Personal Accident, Tack, and Trailer. Pointers for saving here include:
- Make sure you’re not doubling up on any cover elements. Often, Public Liability and Personal Accident cover are included as a benefit of various memberships. Be sure to check this will cover you 24/7, rather than just at an event hosted by that organisation.
- If you’re thinking of adding tack cover to your policy, check whether it would be more cost-effective to add to your household insurance policy. Sometimes companies will cover tack as sporting goods even if it’s not kept at home.
- Adding your trailer onto your horse policy is convenient, but make sure it doesn’t work out cheaper to have this insured on a separate policy.
Having a true understanding of the level of cover in place and how this contributes to your insurance premium can help you to work out ways you can bring down your premium. If you’re still unsure, you can ask your insurers for the breakdown of the premium and then you can work out exactly where your money is going.
KBIS are the UK’s largest independent horse insurance providers, offering all types of equestrian insurance. During the coronavirus pandemic, KBIS staff are working from home but their phone lines are remain open. Call 0345 230 2323 to speak to a member of the team to discuss your insurance need or visit www.kbis.co.uk.