Most types of insurance policies include an ‘excess’ or ‘deductable’, and the same applies to your horse’s insurance policy.
A typical equestrian insurance policy is made up of many different sections of cover, however we will look predominantly at vet’s fees excesses, as one-in-four insurance policy holders will make a vet’s fee claim. There is often a range of choices offered, and these choices will affect how much you will pay for your insurance.
What is an excess?
Very simply, a policy excess is an amount set by the insurer which a claim must exceed before they will indemnify you – the customer. An excess is set by the insurance company for a number of reasons, mainly to deflect relatively small claims and also to allow flexibility for different types of customer.
Which type of vet’s fee excesses?
Nearly every insurer will give you a number of vet’s fee cover options to choose from when you are arranging your insurance policy.
There are normally three options, which fall into the following categories:
A fixed excess
The most common excess, which is applicable to the vet’s fee section of a policy. The amount can vary, but insurers will offer you two options – a low excess, normally set between £100 and £150, and a high excess, between £275
Co-insurances or sliding excesses
Another option you may be given is a co-insurance. This includes a fixed excess of around £125, and will also include a percentage, normally set between 15% and 25%, which you will have to pay after the excess has been deducted.
Co-insurance vet’s fees may sometimes be referred to as having a sliding excess, as your total liability is relative to your claim.
Which excess should I choose?
The effect your choice of excess will have on your insurance policy, and the excess you should choose, depends on your budget and why you are buying insurance. Because everybody is different, it is difficult to advise which option you should choose.
A low excess often suits people who are looking for their insurance to cover all incidents, from cuts and scrapes right through to the major disasters.
Remember, because the excess is low, you can expect to pay a higher premium for your insurance.
A high excess often suits someone who purchases insurance to cover major disasters rather than smaller, less significant injuries. As the excess amount is higher, the insurer’s liability is limited so you can therefore expect to pay a lower premium for your policy.
Co-insurances, in terms of cost, are positioned somewhere between high and low excesses. The thing to bear in mind, when considering co-insurances, is that on a relatively small claim you won’t have to pay too much over your excess.
However, if you have to make a very large claim, you may have to contribute a significant amount towards the final bill.