EQUINE INSURANCE: A Small Price for Peace of Mind
Insurance of any sort is a grudge purchase - paying monthly for a service you hope you never have to use… until you do! Especially when the difference between having it or not is a life and death decision… one which you have to make.
We all understand the concept of insurance and why it’s beneficial but for many South Africans, especially in a post-Covid-19 economy, a monthly fee for an “invisible” service is one which may be on the “reconsider” list. Now more than ever, however, with disposable income declining for most, the chances of having finances available in an emergency is ever slimmer - providing a valid argument for maintaining ones insurance policies.
If you’ve been debating getting or maintaining your equine insurance policies, here are a few elements to bear in mind:
Do I need Insurance?
Apart from the obvious devastation of having it become a financial decision when you horse’s life hangs on the line, there are other key aspects of insurance and your need for it which you should consider.
What would make you financially devastated if you suffered a loss and were financially responsible for it: A fire at the yard? Tack theft? Colic Operations? A lawsuit for an incident involving your horse and a third party? A personal accident?
The first step to figuring out if you need insurance – and what type – is determining what you need to protect and how much you have available monthly to do it.
Insurance providers, such as Arco 360, are able to provide comprehensive insurance cover including public liability, tack cover and mortality or loss of use, or simpler medical insurance plans to cover those niggly colic’s at home and stitch ups and even the more serious critical care scenarios.
A horse’s value should not be your only consideration when choosing whether to insure it or not. Whilst higher value horses may seem a more obvious choice for insurance considering how much you have invested in them, it does not negate emotional value and the trauma of having to make a life and death decision on the basis of financial soundness, no matter the price tag of the horse.
Essentially, an insurance policy document will outline the conditions of cover and any exclusions, making it vitally important, as a policy holder, to ensure you read your contract carefully so you understand exactly what is and isn’t covered.
What are Conditions?
The conditions of your policy outline the agreements which you and your insurer make to one another under various circumstances. You agree to pay a set price to the insurance provider and they agree to pay for your losses under a specific set of circumstances.
What are Exclusions?
Exclusions remove some of the cover given by the conditions, but not all. The insurer uses these to tailor your policy to your horse or business. Just like with human health insurance, pre-existing conditions can affect what kind of coverage you can get on your horses. Essentially, insurance companies won’t insure what has already happened (or for which there is no remedy or it is inevitable) - they are looking to insure what has yet to happen. It’s there to protect you from those nasty unforeseen and unexpected illness and injuries.
When it comes to equine and yard management, insurance should be one of the many items in your artillery for a sound risk management program. One should ensure everything else has been done first to minimize loss, damage, illness or injury.
For comprehensive equine and pet insurance in South Africa, contact Arco360 for an obligation-free quotation:
Arco360 (Pty) Ltd is an Authorised Financial Services Provider, FSP No: 45883
PHOTO CREDIT: Glen Austin Veterinary Clinic