Promotional Feature with KBIS
It is without question that the past 12 months have evoked significant changes for everyone; while the equestrian industry has not been left unscathed with lockdown and restrictions detrimental to many diverse businesses, for many of us it has had personal financial implications, which in turn affects our purchases and the confidence we place in businesses.
KBIS British Equestrian Insurance, the official partner of Horse & Hound’s horses for sale, has always focussed on providing the highest level of customer service; offering transparent policies reflecting the needs of constantly evolving veterinary treatment and science, to ensure it offers fair and adequate cover. But now, more than ever, the flexibility in KBIS’ cover options have come to the forefront of owners needs; as while the security that insurance provides seems rifer, affordability is very much at the top of most owners’ lists.
So how can you achieve a balance between ensuring you have the right level of financial protection without the financial pressure of high premiums? KBIS’ team of experts advise what steps can be taken and talk through some of its more unusual cover options, where the emphasis is on providing cost-effective cover.
“The starting point when looking to reduce your premium is always the vet fee section of a policy. This can equate to over 60% of the premium total,” advises Mike King, KBIS equine team manager, who tells us: “Our most popular vet fee options are what we refer to as our Silver and Platinum cover on our competition policy and Scale B and Scale D on our leisure policy. While the level of cover they offer varies, they all offer more affordable options as they either carry a higher excess or a lower incident limit. For example, our Platinum option has cover to £6,000 per incident, but because the excess amount is £350 it makes it more competitive. So, for those who are happy they have the immediate funds to cover smaller incidences, but want the security of knowing anything requiring expensive diagnostics, surgery or longer-term treatment, they have a significant pool to claim against, it works well.
“At the other end of the spectrum, our scale D cover offers a smaller incident limit, up to £3,000, with a mid-range excess of £275. This makes it one of our cheapest vet fee options for sickness and disease. The incident limit is by no means insignificant and would provide great financial comfort – but there is the trade-off of reduced monthly premiums, but the possibility that for a more serious illness or injury the fees may go above your incident limit,” explains Mike, adding: “We are lucky in that as we have so many vet fee variations available to our customers, we can, in most circumstance, find an option that works for that individual clients needs and expectations.”
“Our Scale B vet fee option, referred to as ‘Catastrophe Cover’ is one of our more unusual options in that it can be purchased as a stand-alone policy, whereas all other vet fee cover on the market usually have to purchased alongside a level of mortality insurance,” explains Becky Grant, KBIS equine policy handler.
“It has been on the market for a few years now and was very popular with the hunting fraternity when initially introduced due to the specific benefits it covers. It is now increasing in popularity among all owners as it cost just £300 for the year when purchased without any additional cover benefits. The cover includes vets’ fees up to a maximum of £7,500 in total during the policy period, with an extended 15-month claim period – as all our vet fee options do.
“The cover is for accidental, external injuries only (that is involving an open wound), plus the inclusion of three life-saving veterinary procedures; colic surgery, joint or tendon sheath flushing as a result of sepsis, and surgery for pastern or pedal bone fractures. The idea is that it provides a solution for those who hadn’t felt insurance was an affordable option before, or are looking to save significantly on their premium, but still have the benefit of insurance against major life-saving veterinary treatment.
“As with any of our more affordable equine stand-alone cover options, of which we have two further products on the market, it is important to understand exactly what cover you are getting. It will be more limited and therefore you could have to pay a higher amount of your vets bill yourself, but as long as you are clear on that coverage and are happy that it is suitable for your circumstance then they are options worth considering.”
“We also offer another stand-alone vet fee option which can be purchased for less that £225 per year,” says Becky. “This policy includes vets’ fees up to a maximum of £3,000 per incident for accidental, external injuries involving an open wound. It won’t be suitable for everyone but, for example, a horse which is mainly turned out at grass or an older horse who perhaps you wouldn’t wish to put through a significant surgical procedure, it offers great support for costly medical attention to cuts and abrasions.”
While not every owner may choose to insure their horse for vets fees, public liability insurance is something that every owner should hold as this will ensure you have protection if your horse causes injury to a third-party or damage to another person’s property.
“While not every horse owner wishes to have insurance, for varying reasons, or can afford the security it provides, one level of cover we hope any horse owner would consider as a sensible option is public liability insurance,” explains Rachel Bodimeade, KBIS liability policy handler. “Public liability insurance offers protection for claims made against you for property damage or bodily injury caused by your horse.
“Such claims can not only result in large settlements but can also be daunting in their very nature, with the involvement of solicitors and sometimes the courts. If you have cover in place then your insurer deals with everything on your behalf. With stand-alone policies from ourselves starting at just £47.04 per year, it really does provide the right balance of financial protection and affordability.”
For further information on any of KBIS stand-alone cover options, or to read more tips on how to reduce your premium, including looking at the sum insured and class of use, visit www.kbis.co.uk