Insurance is the one debit order which we all often resent... until we need it and then the relief hugely outweighs the grudge. There are different types of equine insurance available however, and it's important to know what you are and aren't covered for in your specific policy.

For those insured with Arco360, or considering taking up equine insurance, read below for comprehensive descriptions of the policies available:

Mortality Insurance

Equine mortality insurance only offers mortality or death cover, which is insurance that would pay out the commercial value of your insured horse in the case of an unforeseen and unexpected death or humane euthanasia (only). It does not extend to death due to old age, and therefore this cover would lapse at a certain age. The commercial value of the horse may increase or decrease during cover, depending on the training, competitive success, age and soundness of the insured horse.

Hospital Insurance

Hospital cover is governed by the four golden rules, and each claim should be qualified by all four criteria:

  1. Life-saving Without the surgery or treatment, the horse will die.

  2. Emergency Without the surgery or treatment, the horse will die today.

  3. In hospital The horse must be admitted to a registered facility (dispensation can be obtained in exceptional cases, for example with African Horse Sickness, where the horse is not permitted to be moved).

  4. Independent event The limit of the product applies to each independent event, not per diagnosis.


Humane euthanasia

Euthanasia is only considered humane if death is imminent, the horse’s welfare compromised through suffering and no plausible treatment options are available, or the horse has become an immediate and indefinite risk to the handler. Only a registered veterinarian who has observed the insured horse in person can certify the circumstances that qualify for this.

Economic euthanasia

Euthanasia is considered to be economic if the decision to euthanise is made for financial reasons only.

MedAid Cover

MedAid cover includes hospital cover, but in addition to this, has scope to cover the other issues not governed by the four golden rules mentioned earlier. Don’t be confused between medical insurance and medical aid. Medical insurance has been designed to protect the insured from unforeseen and unexpected events. This makes it bit like car insurance; not a service plan or a warranty. It is governed by entirely different legislation to medical aids and does not include a savings option. Surgery for colic would generally be covered under hospital insurance.

MedAid extends to issues that can be included as follows (although each category carries sub-limits):

  • Emergency, not lifesaving in or out of hospital (biliary and medical colic).

  • Non-emergency in hospital (musculo-skeletal surgeries) or out of hospital (skin conditions).

  • Parturition (foaling complications).

  • Dispensed medication.

  • Diagnostic imagery and endoscopy (gastroscopy, CT scan and x-rays).

  • Lameness diagnosis, detection and treatment (musculo-skeletal lameness).

  • Pathology, biopsy and haematology.

  • Oral and maxillo-facial treatment (teeth extractions).

  • Ophthalmology (enucleations).

  • As an added benefit, a contribution to routine care is available e.g. vaccinations and deworming.

Who decides if the incident qualifies for a hospital claim?

The attending veterinarian is the only person certified to assess the situation and make that decision. They are bound by law to disclose the facts on the day of evaluation and treatment/surgery.

Public Liability Insurance

This product is specifically designed to cover an incident involving your insured horse and a third party. This third party cannot be a person or object that is commonplace in the horse’s environment, like the groom or farrier, or damage to your own horsebox. The claim would have to be related to a situation or person uninvolved with the insured horse, like a spectator or their car at a show-holding facility.


Candice Hobday



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