Horse Insurance Explained

What are the horse insurance options?

There’s a lot to consider when choosing an equine insurance policy. With lots of options on offer, from third party liability only cover, to health insurance and personal injury cover, you can guarantee the right policy for you is out there!

When it comes to choosing the right horse insurance plan for you, it’s important to know all the options, the factors that affect your premium, and what’s covered and what’s not in the policy you buy. Policy cover exclusions, policy excess amounts, waiting periods and personal accident and horse health insurance cover limits are designed to bring down the cost of premiums for everyone. However, if you fail to check the policy details carefully you could be left out of pocket when you come to make a claim.

We’ve answered some of the most common questions around horse insurance options, so you can be better informed when it comes to choosing a policy that’s right for you.

Horses and ponies are big animals and if the worse happens and you are involved in an accident the consequences and the bills tend to be big too. You or other people involved could be injured, your horse or other animals could be injured, and property could be damaged.; If you are found to be at fault, you could be held responsible and face hefty claims for financial compensation.

You also need to consider that your injuries could prevent you from working, or mean you need to pay someone else to look after your horse while you recover. Insuring yourself against third party claims and personal injury could help you cope financially while you get back on your feet and the cover is available for people who ride for other owners, as well as owners who ride themselves.

As with most things connected with horses, vet fees for tests and treatment can be expensive, and mount up quickly. If your horse is hurt and you want to be able to get them the care they deserve, buying horse health insurance could be a wise option. You can also insure against their death, loss or theft so that when you are ready, you have financial help to fund the purchase of your next horse.

You need to weigh up the cost of insurance against the protection it gives you should the worse happen. Consult our compare horse insurance page to review the best providers basic policy features and start your search for the right policy for you. We all hope we never have to make a claim but if disaster strikes horse insurance can provide a welcome financial safety net.

There are several different types of horse insurance policy available and the right options for you will depend on what you and your horse do together, their age and how much cover you want to buy. Many providers allow you to pick cover items to effectively build your own policy, and most cover equines from about a month old. Most policies have excess fees you pay as part of every claim or just once in a 12 month period, depending on the policy terms. Whatever type of Policy you need please take a look at our compare horse insurance page where we have compiled information on all the best horse insurance providers and their policy options. You can get personalised quotes by clicking through the links too.

The most basic cover you might want to consider is against the death, theft or loss of your horse, up to the current market value.

In our opinion the most important cover to consider is Third Party Public Liability cover as it protects the owner or rider (depending on the policy type) against third party claims if your horse damages property, another animal or person. It is available for owners who ride themselves, or people who ride horses or ponies owned by someone else. It doesn’t usually cover other people to ride your horse, but there are policies available for adult and child riders. The simplest versions don’t offer cover if you compete in affiliated competitions. This type of insurance can be available through membership of organisations such as the British Horse Society.

Falling off your horse (a fairly common experience for most riders!) could result in serious injuries for you which might prevent you from working, or mean you need to pay someone else to look after your horse while you recover. Insuring yourself against personal injury can help you cope financially while you get back on your feet. 

You might want to consider buying horse health insurance too. Vet fees and the cost of diagnostic tests and treatments mount up quickly but if your horse or pony is young it may be possible to buy health insurance to help cover vet fees should your horse fall ill or be injured. It is always better to take out Horse Health Insurance from an early age as pre-existing conditions are usually excluded from cover. You can usually choose whether to cover injury only or illness and injury, up to a certain limit of cover in a 12 month period, and some policies offer cover for complementary treatment too. It’s also possible to insure against your horse not being able to do the things you love through injury or illness if you tell the insurer what activities are important to you (Permanent Loss of Use cover). 

Don’t worry if your horse is older as some insurers also offer veteran horse insurance for equines over 17 and even up to the age of 40 (although 25 is more usual), but there are usually fewer cover options. Some offer cover against death as a result of injury only, theft or straying but other providers offer more comprehensive options. 

It is possible to insure your tack and saddlery, your horse box and get cover for rescue and a certain number of days in Europe if you travel with your horse

When you make your final decision to buy, read the insurers reviews to check what it is like to be their customer, and always read the terms and conditions booklet to make sure you do all you need to do to keep the cover in place. Whatever your needs, there is a policy for you!  

Basic insurance against death of your horse through injury can cost less than £5 per month up to around £30 per month, depending on the value of your horse, but these policies are of limited value as they don’t protect you against third party liability claims or personal injury. 

It’s important to remember that there are factors that affect the additional premium cost for every policy feature that you add. Whether you need a rider only policy or a policy to cover you and your horse, the original purchase price and current value and age of your horse, where you live (as thefts are more prevalent in some areas and vet costs vary across the country), the amount of Public Liability cover you select, your age if you select personal injury cover, and cover limits you select for vet fees in the case of your horse being injured or falling ill, are all factors that will affect your quote. 

For example, a more comprehensive policy for a horse worth £5,000 living in the south that includes third party liability to £1,000,000 (many policies offer more than this) and some personal accident cover (up to £20,000) could cost from around £40 to £99.00 per month, depending on the provider you choose and the information you provide. If you add in horse health insurance to cover accident and illness up to £5,000 per incident and loss of use cover for a younger horse the costs can add up to around £90 to £140 per month. 

Look at our compare horse insurance page where we have summarised providers key policy options and features and click through the links to get a free quote online that suits your needs, your horse, the activities you do together, the cover you need and your budget. Get a few free quotes and before you make your final decision remember to read other owners reviews of the insurance providers you are considering. We want to help you make the right choice for you from the cover they offer to the customer care you can expect through the claims process. 

Most horse insurance covers animals up to about 18 years of age but it is possible to insure older horses too. The financial risks of riding are the same no matter what the age of the horse is and so it’s important to weigh up how you would cope financially if you were involved in an accident while riding.   

Basic veteran horse insurance is available for horses over 18 to 25 years of age with a few providers providing limited cover for much older horses. Veteran horse insurance providers will offer some cover for death from injury, theft or loss of the horse with public liability, personal injury and disposal in the event of death and some health insurance cover for injury. As with horse insurance for younger animals, the cost of cover will vary depending on the amount of cover you want for each policy feature and the activities you and your horse enjoy.   

The older your horse is, the more expensive the cover can be, but the cover for the loss or death of your horse and the personal liability and personal accident cover is important to have no matter how old your horse is and can provide an important financial safety net should the worse happen.  

Look at our compare horse insurance page where we have summarised providers key policy options and features and click through to get a few quotes to review your options. Read other owners horse insurance reviews before you make your final decision to make sure you are making a fully informed decision about the right provider for you. 

If you ride a horse or pony belonging to someone else it’s important to consider how you or your family would cope financially if the unthinkable happened and you were involved in an accident.

Cover is available for children from 5 years old to adults of 75, with variable excess charges on any claim. Horse Rider Insurance typically provides insurance cover in the event of personal injury or death due to an accident while riding. Many policies also offer options to cover dental treatment and payments for each night spent in hospital. Insurance against permanent or temporary disability and public liability cover up to the value of policy limits, and custodial liability or horse health insurance cover up to certain limits is also available. 

Many rider insurance providers offer third party liability cover so that you are protected should you or the horse you are riding cause injury to others, or damage to property.  Some policies will even offer cover for the cost of tuition fees for children forced to miss school due to injury, and cover for lost or damaged tack or saddlery.

Whatever your needs there is a policy to suit you, what you do, and your budget. We want to help you make the right decisions for you so look at our horse insurance comparison table and click through to get personalised quotes from insurers, and don’t forget to read insurers reviews to get a feel for what it is like to be a customer!  

Vet fees and the cost of diagnostic tests can really add up if your horse is injured or falls ill and so it’s important to consider the value of horse health insurance. Every horse deserves to receive the vet care that they need, when they need it, and Horse Health Insurance can provide you with the peace of mind that you will be able to afford to pay for tests and vet care if the worse happens. 

You can choose to buy equine medical insurance cover for treatment needed because of injury only or cover for treatment needed because of injury and illness. Insurers providing injury cover will ask you to specify the activities you and your horse do together, as this will affect the cost of cover. Most policies will cap the amount of cover per condition or injury incidence or cap the amount you can claim in a year. Typical horse health insurance cover caps available are between £4,500 per year or incident, to £7,500 per year.

Horse Health Insurance policies have an excess amount attached to each claim or incident which you pay before the insurance company pays for any additional costs. In most cases once you have claimed for a particular injury or illness you will not be able to claim for it again in a subsequent 12-month period. Any illness or injury related to a condition your horse had before you took out the insurance will typically not be covered. Therefore, it’s important to take out horse Health Insurance as early as possible to minimise exclusions. Some providers will ask you to provide a vet certification of health before they will agree to insure. 

Illness cover for older horses is harder to find but is out there for horses up to 25 years of age. Some horse insurance policies also offer cover for complementary treatments such as physiotherapy, acupuncture and the services of a specialist farrier. It’s worth shopping around to find the right policy for you and your horse so visit our compare horse insurance page and click through to get a few quotes. Don’t forget to consult our insurer reviews provided by owners like you, so you can make a fully informed choice before you buy.   

Most horse insurance policies specify a period of time that must pass between you taking out your policy and your first claim. This is a waiting period and the time can vary policy to policy but is typically 14 days. 

If you choose to insure your horse against loss due to straying or theft then yes, you will be able to claim. It is possible to insure your horse for the original purchase price or the current market value, up to the limit of the policy, so you need to consider which type of cover you want before you buy. It’s also possible to claim for the cost of advertising to try to find your horse with certain policies. 

Our site content can help you to compare your options, get quotes and read reviews before you make the final decision on a provider. 

If the unthinkable happens and your horse is injured to such an extent that it can no longer do the things you both love, you may want to claim compensation to help you take care of your friend or be able to buy another horse. This is called Permanent Loss of Use cover and many providers provide this as optional cover. In most cases the insurance provider will want you to specify the activities you take part in together. They will then compensate you either up to a certain value, the market value of your horse or the purchase price, as specified on your policy, if injury physically prevents your horse from taking part in the activities you enjoy, subject to exclusions.

Always check the detail of your insurance policy before you buy so you are sure you have the cover you need.      


As the saying goes, “horses are uncomfortable in the middle and dangerous at both ends”! Accidents do happen, so if you take out a personal injury policy or add a personal injury option on your horse insurance policy, you will be covered if an accident while riding your horse results in you needing medical care.

This financial help can be vital if you are prevented from working or need to pay for tutors for your child because they can’t attend school. It can also help if you are unable to care for your horse while you recuperate and must pay someone else to care for them, and many policies cover dental treatment too. 

All policies will have benefit that is capped to a value or to a period of time after injury, so shop around for the level of cover you need and check the exclusions as most specify you must always wear a helmet and body protector, for example.  

In our opinion third party liability horse insurance is the absolute minimum cover you should buy. Horses are big animals and, in an accident, can inflict serious damage on other people and their property. If you take out a policy that includes third party or public liability cover you will be protecting yourself against potentially hefty claims for damages should the worse happen.   

Check out the best providers options in our horse insurance comparison table, and always check the exclusions and conditions in any policy before you buy.    

Advertiser Disclosure:

The information above is non-specific to any particular pet insurance policy and should be regarded as a basic overview of the type of features that may feature in a policy. The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author. Always refer to an insurer for specific, accurate information on their policy features.