Horse insurance covers you financially should anything happen to your horse. While many horses can gallop through life injury-free, others aren’t so lucky. If you own a horse, the risk of it being involved in a serious accident or suddenly suffering from an illness is always there. Comprehensive horse insurance can be taken out to keep you riding confidently.
The horse industry is a big business in the UK. To support this industry, there are many equine insurance providers. Some of these providers offer you real peace of mind for a reasonable price, while others only provide you with a limited amount of coverage.
In this guide, I’ll detail my five favourite horse insurance companies and the cover they provide, from personal accident cover to veteran horse insurance.
The Best Horse Insurance Providers
Getting horse insurance is important, so let’s get our take a look at our five favourite horse insurance providers first:
1. Best overall: Petplan Equine
Petplan Equine have established themselves as a reliable provider of horse insurance over the last 30+ years. They can provide insurance for horses up to the age of 25, as long as your horse is insured before their 20th birthday. Another benefit of Petplan Equine is that they can pay your vet directly.
Petplan Equine has an in-depth tier system, so you can get cover that matches the exact maturity and activity level of your horse.
In terms of what Petplan Equine cover, here’s a quick breakdown:
- Veterinary Fees – Up to £5,000 per condition
- Third-Party Liability – Up to £5 million
- Personal Accident – Up to £20,000
- Loss of Use – 100% of the market value of your horse
- Disposal Following Death – Up to £200
- Equipment Cover – Up to £5,000
- Cover for Trailer or Horse-Drawn Vehicle – The cost of repair
2. Best lifetime insurance: Agria Pet Insurance
Agria is one of the longest-standing horse insurance providers in the world, having delivered horse insurance in Sweden since 1890! This provider is also notable as being the only provider of lifetime horse insurance in the whole of the UK.
Agria Pet Insurance are also a good option if you’re insuring multiple horses, as they offer a 5% multi-horse discount.
Here’s a list of what Agria Pet Insurance cover:
- Equine Lifetime Lite – £3,000 vet fees cover
- Equine Lifetime – £6,500 vet fees cover
- Equine Lifetime Plus – £10,000 vet fees
- Death and Theft or Straying – Up to the market value of your horse
- Loss of Use – Up to £25,000
3. Best affordability: The Insurance Emporium
The Insurance Emporium doesn’t only provide insurance for horses but also offers pet, vehicle, and activity insurance. The company offers policies that make riding, maintaining, and transporting your horse a whole lot easier. They strive to keep their horse insurance policies low, and claim to offer equine insurance for as low as £2.22!
The Insurance Emporium offers the following:
- Vet Fee Cover – Up to £7,000 per incident
- Complementary Treatment – £1,000 (inner limit)
- Transportation & Livery – £500 per incident
- Disposal Costs – £300
- Saddlery & Tack – Up to £5,000
- Loss of Use – Up to £15,000
- Public Liability – Up to £3 million
- Personal Accident – £22,500
- Dental Treatment – £2,000
4. Best for added extras: Horslyx British Pet Insurance
Horslyx British Pet Insurance is a collaboration between two companies – Horslyx and British Pet Insurance. Horslyx is known for for line of horse balancer products, while British Pet Insurance are known for providing insurance policies to a range of pets.
This collaboration aims to provide modern comprehensive care for your horse and strives to provide as many extras as possible.
To give you a brief overview of the care that British Pet Insurance can provide, here are the main policies and add-ons:
- Theft and Straying – Sum insured/current market value of your horse
- Death – Sum insured/current market value of your horse
- Advertising and Reward – Up to £300 per year
- Disposal – £200 per year
- Veterinary Fees – Up to £6,000
- Public Liability – Up to £2,000,000 per incident
- Personal Accident – Up to £20,000
5. Best specialist services: NFU Mutual
NFU Mutual provide lots of specialist services to help make caring for your horse a lot easier. For example, this horse insurance provider offers 24/7 equine rescue services. Additionally, they also offer a range of horse insurance packages. This includes Horse Rider Insurance, Horsebox Insurance, and Veteran Horse Insurance.
Here’s an overview of what NFU offers:
- Vet’s Fees – £5,000
- Legal Liability – From £2.5 million
- Rescue Cost – Up to £750
- Holiday Cancellation Fees – Up to £1,000
- Livery Fees – £10 per day up to a total of £1,000
Should I Get Horse Insurance?
As we already mentioned, horse insurance can provide you with some much-needed peace of mind. If you own a horse, you may find yourself regularly worrying about something going wrong. If it came to it, you may not be able to afford the medical attention or surgery that could save your horse’s life.
Not only will horse insurance provide you with financial protection, but it may also allow you to feel less restricted in terms of treatment options. For example, should your horse need physiotherapy, covering this treatment becomes a lot more viable when you’ve invested in good horse insurance coverage.
How Much Does Horse Insurance Cost?
Horse insurance generally costs around £25 per month on average. This estimate reflects basic horse insurance cover and varies greatly depending on add-ons and the amount of cover you take out.
Plus, there are several factors that insurance providers will take into account when determining the price of your insurance. For example, they’ll look at your horse’s health, age, and breed.
The activities that you and your horse partake in will impact the price you pay for horse insurance too.
Horse Insurance Cover Options
Horse insurance plans differ from policy to policy. If you’ve taken out any kind of insurance plan before (which I’m guessing you might have) then you’ll know to read the small print to assess exactly what it is that your policy is offering you.
Some plans may offer to cover “vet fees”, but will only really provide you with any kind of help if your horse sustains an accidental injury.
To help you read between the lines, here’s a basic overview of the main horse insurance cover options:
One of the main features of most horse insurance policies is vet fees. Despite it being a popular feature, vet fees don’t normally come as standard with a basic horse insurance policy. So, make sure your basic policy definitely covers it – or, if it doesn’t and you’d like it to, request it as an add-on.
So, how does insurance for vet fees work? Well, on a basic level, if your horse has to receive medical treatment from a vet, you can claim back your medical expenses from your vet fees.
However, there are many categories of vet fee cover you can take out, with varying degrees of financial aid when required.
Limited vs. comprehensive cover horse vet fees
One of the main types of vet fee coverage is limited coverage for accidental external injuries only. This tends to be the cheaper option and is far from comprehensive. This limited cover insures your horse against accidental external injuries. For example, collisions, falls, cuts, and abrasions are normally covered by this type of policy.
However, if your horse suffers from a serious accident, a long-term illness, or a non-accidental injury, this policy will not pay out a thing. If you want horse insurance that does cover these things, you’ll need to take out comprehensive cover for accidents, sicknesses, and disease.
If you get really good comprehensive cover (i.e., if you take out a more expensive policy) you may get even more cover for your horse. For example, your insurance may cover hospitalisation costs. It may even pay for special treatments that your horse has to receive as a result of injury, such as physiotherapy.
Incident limit vs. annual limit
Another component of vet fees you need to be wary of is whether it comes with an incident limit or an annual limit. This will reflect how much money you will be paid back in total.
If your policy has an incident limit, then there will be a fixed amount you’ll be paid back per incident.
On the other hand, an annual limit means that you can only receive a set annual amount. So, if your horse needs to receive major surgery and this surgery costs the total amount of your insurance limit, you won’t be able to apply for any further reimbursements that year. Or, this annual amount could be spent on several more minor operations or procedures throughout the year.
Death by illness or accident
Some basic insurance plans come with death by illness or accident cover, but certainly not all.
What you receive for this cover is pretty self-explanatory – you can claim insurance if your horse passes away as a result of an illness or an accident.
In terms of how much you’ll receive, insurance providers normally pay you a price that matches the current market value of your horse. However, this depends entirely on how much your horse is worth and how much coverage you have.
Some limits to this insurance cover include:
- If your horse died from an injury or illness that started before the beginning of your insurance coverage.
- If your horse died from an injury or illness that first showed signs within the first 14 days of your horse insurance coverage.
Sometimes, death is combined with other coverage, with some insurance providers offering Death, Theft, and Straying coverage as a single add-on.
If your horse is stolen and not returned within a set amount of days, you can claim from insurance with theft cover. Sometimes, theft insurance is combined with straying insurance, which provides you with cover should you lose your horse while it was loose.
Like death insurance, you may be able to claim the current market value of your horse at the time of its disappearance.
This type of insurance will pay the cost of replacing your tack, saddlery, and other horse equipment should it go missing. If you attend events regularly, the risk of your tack and saddlery breaking, being stolen, or going missing is quite high. This kind of equipment can be expensive to replace – much more expensive than it would be to take out monthly insurance to cover it.
This type of cover will also pay for repairing your tack or saddlery should it be in a repairable condition.
Equipment cover may also be referred to as tack & saddlery insurance.
Loss of use
Loss of use tends to be an add-on option. If you opt for this, you will receive a payout if your horse is no longer ridable as a result of an injury or illness.
For example, if you have a polo horse and it suffers an injury that it’s unlikely to fully recover from, you may not be able to use the horse for its intended use ever again. In this case, you’d be able to make a claim and hopefully receive some payout.
This payout is intended to cover the cost of keeping your horse in retirement or, in worst-case scenarios, to cover euthanasia.
If you take part in competitions or go trail riding regularly, we’d strongly recommend getting public liability horse insurance. This add-on covers the legal costs if your horse causes damage to a third party or a third party’s property. Should this third party make a claim against you, public liability horse insurance will cover the damages.
Common examples of public liability claims include:
- Your horse causing injury to a third party or another horse
- Your horse causing damage to someone’s car or property
- A third party injuring themselves while riding your horse
- Your horse causing damage/injuries while straying
As a horse owner, it’s your responsibility to protect those around you as much as possible. Having public liability insurance proves you care (and can save you from paying for significant legal fees out of your own pocket!).
This type of cover may also be titled as third-party liability cover in your insurance policy.
Veteran horse insurance plan
This add-on is aimed exclusively at owners of veteran horses. Understandably, older horses visit the vet more frequently. They may also have to undergo more frequent – and potentially more expensive – operations. These insurance plans are more comprehensive when it comes to hospital fees, operations, and death coverage.
Horse Insurance Levels
On top of the different packages and add-ons, insurance providers also organise coverage levels into different groups. These groups are defined by the age of your horse as well as the activities that your horse partakes in.
Some insurance providers only have 2-3 levels, but the likes of Petplan Equine have six different levels of insurance. The higher the group, the more expensive your horse insurance will likely be.
Petplan Equine defines its insurance groups as follows:
- Retired horses
- Breeding horse
- Horse at grass
- Group 1 coverage
- Western riding
- Rides up to 25 miles
- Groups 1 and 2 activities
- Breaking in
- Mounted games
- Riding and pony club activities
- Unaffiliated dressage, showing, or show jumping
- Group 1, 2, and 3 activities
- Cross country
- Hunter trails
- Dressage (below elementary)
- Affiliated showing and show jumping
- Eventing – Unaffiliated, BE80 and BE90
- Jump crossing
- Non-competitive driving
- Team chasing (up to 90cm)
- Group 1, 2, 3, and 4 activities
- Elementary dressage and above
- Competitive driving
- 25+ mile endurance rides
- BE100 to intermediate eventing
- Group 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 activities
- Horse ball
- Advanced eventing
- Point to pointing
- Team chasing (90cm +)
Should I Get Horse Rider Insurance?
Horse rider insurance doesn’t cover horse owners. Instead, it’s an insurance policy that covers those who enjoy riding horses but don’t own a horse themselves. Rider insurance policies tend to cover personal accident and third-party liability.
It’s not compulsory in the UK to get horse rider insurance. However, if you were to compete in competitions, you’d probably need it. Plus, do you really want to cover the cost of a personal accident yourself?
Why are horse insurance policies so expensive?
Veterinary costs have risen in the past few years, which has driven up the cost of horse insurance prices. Insurance providers need to increase their prices to make paying off vet bills viable for them.
Do you need a vet certificate to insure a horse?
For most policies, you’ll need a vet certificate to successfully insure your horse. However, it really depends on the type and degree of insurance coverage you’re getting. In some instances, you won’t need a vet certificate.
Who is liable if a horse damages a car?
If a horse damages a car, the horse rider/horse owner is liable. This falls under both the Animals Act 1971 and the common law of negligence.