Experimental treatment, contents cover and public liability

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The world of insurance can be a confusing place, particularly when it comes to your horse. With such a range of policy types, there’s no wonder we’re often left scratching our heads over the small print.

Sarah Sullivan, technical manager at Petplan, answers some of our reader’s questions.

Does equine insurance cover costs when treatments are quite experimental and not guaranteed to work, for example, PENS treatments for horses who headshake?

This very much depends on your policy and insurer. Most insurers will cover the cost of veterinary treatment if carried out by a veterinary surgeon who is registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, unless something is specifically excluded in the insurance policy’s terms, for example, transplants.

This treatment would be up to the maximum limit of your policy’s vet fees cover.

Is it true that owners need permission from their insurance company before a horse is euthanised?

In order to make a claim under the death benefit of your policy, the insurer would simply request confirmation from your vet that the BEVA guidelines for the Destruction of Horses has been met.

This is to ensure that all parties are protected and, most importantly, that insurance providers reflect best interests regarding the horse’s welfare.

The tack room at my yard is built from MDF and corrugated iron. It’s locked with a combination lock. Is this suitable to ensure my tack is covered against theft?

For your saddlery and tack to be covered by most insurance policies, it needs to be kept locked in a building or metal shipping container with a 5-lever mortice deadlock.

If it’s kept in a building that you don’t live in, the building also needs to have steel bars or grids on all windows. This may be food for thought regarding where you currently keep your tack, especially valuable items.

Saddlery and tack is usually covered when kept locked in a car boot or the covered luggage area of a locked vehicle, but always check the wording of your policy.

If my horse hurts himself through kicking a car or damaging other property, would public liability insurance cover any vet costs, or would it just cover the damage to the property?

In a word, no. If your horse were to hurt himself as a result of damaging property, this would need to be claimed for under the vet fees benefit of your insurance policy, if you have one in place.

The public liability part of your cover is for injury and damage to people and property only.

If you’d like more information about insurance, don’t miss our Ultimate Guide to Insurance, free with this month's copy of Your Horse.

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