Owning a horse is a risk and appropriate insurance cover is strongly advised.

We believe that all horses should be insured for third party liability.

In many situations it is also advisable to have more comprehensive insurance cover for your horse. There are numerous policies available and it is important that you spend time investigating the various ones. Whilst we may be able to give some guidance, current legislation only allows registered insurance brokers and agents to give specific insurance advice.

Main types of cover available
(a) Veterinary Fee Cover
(b) Death (All Risks of Mortality)
(c) Permanent Loss of Use


(a) Veterinary Fee Cover

Vets fee cover pays for non-routine vets bills above an excess for an accident, sickness or disease that first occurs after the inception of the policy. No policy will pick up all the costs. Companies offer a variety of different levels of vets fee cover to suit all budgets. Be aware that some policies are restricted to accidental external injuries only. You need to consider the excess payment, any restrictions on diagnostics and alternative or complimentary treatment cover. Policies will continue to cover the necessary related vets fees, up to the policy limit, for a specified period from the onset of the incident (usually 12 months).

(b) Death (All Risks of Mortality - ARM)

This cover is intended to cover the loss of a horse that has to be put down on humane grounds only. The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) has drawn up guidelines to which most insurance companies adhere to.

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. Where a horse is exhibiting signs of severe and unremitting pain that can no longer be managed so that no other options are available for treatment, then it is the veterinary surgeon's responsibility to destroy the horse immediately.

In all other cases, (that is where the horse can be provided with effective pain relief), the insurer should be contacted to give their prior agreement or to allow a second opinion to be given by their consulting veterinary surgeon.

Most policies require an appropriate post mortem unless otherwise agreed by the insurer.

(c) Permanent Loss of Use insurance

This covers the horse if it becomes permanently incapable of performing the tasks for which it is insured. The definition of specific use will vary depending on the individual policy and company.

There are two distinct types of cover sold:-
( i ) Permanent Loss of Use due to accidental visible external and violent injury only (involving an external wound).
( ii ) Permanent Loss of Use due to sickness, disease and accidents.

The injury or illness must commence during the policy year and the Loss of Use must be established within the time limits specified by the policy (usually 12 months from onset of the condition).

Loss of Use insurance does not cover for loss of value, lack of ability, behavioural problems or temporary incapacity.

Policy period – Generally equine policies are 12 month contracts. At the end of the policy period you may be offered a new 12 month contract which will exclude any condition that occurred during the previous policy period.

It is strongly recommended that all horses are appropriately insured.

Choose the insurance that is right for you

There are numerous policies available and it is important that you spend time investigating the various options to pick the right one for you. 

Whilst our vets may be able to give some guidance, current legislation only allows registered insurance brokers to give specific advice.

Guidance for making an insurance claim

If you are going to start an insurance claim for your horse/pony, here are some guidelines on how to proceed.

Please read these notes carefully and do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Once you have decided you are going to make a claim, contact your insurance company to let them know, check the cover and ask for a claim form to be sent to you. You also need to check whether they require continuation forms or if they accept invoices only for continuing/on-going claims.

Check your policy wording to establish your excess and whether you have cover for extra’s such as farriery,
supplements & hospitalisation, and whether there are any exclusions that may affect the claim. Also check whether specific requirements need to be met e.g. pre-anaesthetic health check & report. Remember that our normal payment terms and conditions apply for any routine/uninsured work.

Once you have received your claim form, complete all the parts that are for the policyholder to complete, sign the form and then forward it on to your local clinic. Please note that if you do not fully complete this part of the claim form, the insurance company will send the form back to you, delaying the claim. Once we have your claim form, we will get the treating vet to complete their part of the claim form, and send this initial claim, along with any relevant reports and invoices directly to the insurance company for you. Please be aware that all of the clinical history that we hold for your horse is submitted for every claim that is made. This is a requirement of ALL insurance companies.

We charge an Administration Fee for completing your claim form and writing any reports that the insurance company needs. This is payable ONCE per claim. Please ask your local B&W clinic if you would like to know how much the current Administration Fee is.

Please remember that the account with B&W Equine Vets is the responsibility of the named account holder.

For insurance claims, the role of the insurance company is to reimburse the policyholder for the fees paid by the policyholder for veterinary treatment. Therefore, all invoices must be settled within our normal payment terms (14 days from date of invoice), even if you have not been reimbursed by the insurance company by the time payment is due.

Some insurance companies will agree to make payment directly to us. We will consider accepting payment
directly from an insurance company if a valid, completed claim form has been submitted and the policy excess and Administration Fee have been paid to us. This should, ideally, be at the time of the initial treatment but in all cases, must be within 14 days of the date of the invoice for the treatment which is being claimed.

If the claim form, excess and administration fee are not received within 14 days from the date of the invoice, the invoice must be settled by you in full and you will need to arrange for the insurance company to reimburse you.

We reserve the right not to accept direct payments from insurance companies.

Even if you have asked for your insurance company to pay us directly, you will still receive your monthly invoice whilst there is an outstanding balance as you will be responsible for settling the account if they are slow, or refuse, to pay.

Whilst you have an insurance claim on going, our normal payment terms and conditions will still apply for any uninsured work.

We will endeavour to send on continuation forms / invoices for any more treatment that is related to the claim as soon as the work is done. You may need to provide us with continuation forms, completed & signed by yourself first, so that we can send them on, depending on which insurance company you are with. If further treatment occurs several months after the initial or last continuation claim, please let us know, at the time of booking the appointment, that you will be submitting a continuation claim.

Insurance companies do not discuss claims with us, and so it remains your responsibility to contact them
regularly to check on the progress of your claim, and to let us know immediately if there is anything further that they require from us to ensure the claim is dealt with quickly.

It is YOUR responsibility to remain aware of how much money has been claimed, how much remains
for further treatment & how long the claim period is. There are various factors outside of our control (ie
farriery, supplements, physio, etc) which may have been paid directly to you of which we are unaware and which affects how much remains for further treatment.

Even if you are not intending to make a claim for vets fees, if your horse is insured and is going to undergo a general anaesthetic, you MUST tell your insurance company as your cover may be compromised if you do not.

Clinic opening hours

8:30am - 5.30pm Monday - Friday

Please note Bank Holiday and seasonal opening hours may apply.

Our usual emergency services are available 24 hours a day should you ever need us. If you ever have an equine emergency please call your local clinic line. Our out-of-hours call are answered by experienced veterinary nurses who understand equine emergencies and can provide advice whilst you wait for the vet to arrive.

Breadstone: 01453 811867
Failand: 01275 392956
Stretcholt: 01278 229129
Willesley: 01666 880501


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B&W Equine Vets
Equine Hospital
GL13 9HG

t: 01453 811 867