Horse Insurance: Can you afford not to?

Horse insurance is a hotly debated topic across the equine industry. Many owners talk about the difference in premium costs, but can you really afford not to insure your horse?

In this article, the SEIB detail their own findings from most claimed for ailments and include a case study to highlight the importance of insurance for your horse.

Data compiled by SEIB Insurance Brokers has pinpointed the most often claimed for ailments among its insured horses. This data also includes the average costs for claims made, highlighting the need for horse owners to have effective insurance cover in place for their horses. For the second year running, SEIB has found that digestive disorders, including colic and gastric ulcers, are the number one cause for claims being made. External trauma was the second highest cause for claims being made in 2022 and behind this was degenerative disease including skin disease. These three groups of illness and accident made up over half of all claims made by SEIB’s equine clients in

For SEIB’s clients in 2022, the average cost of a claim related to digestive disorders including colic and gastric ulcers for was £2,459. Gastric ulcers made up the bulk of claims in this group with 59%. A further breakdown of gastric ulcer claims revealed that 37% of claims cost over £3,000 while 5% of claims reached the limit of SEIB’s veterinary cover payout of £5,000.


The top 10 ailments by number of claims for SEIB customers in 2022:
1- Gastric Ulcers
2 – Horse in stable/field – visible wound or fracture
3 – Horse being ridden – visible wound or fracture
4 – Degenerative disease/development disorder of both Hindlimbs Of Both Hindlimbs
5 – Disease of the Teeth/Jaws/Gums
6 – Other Disease/Injury causing lameness not defined anywhere else
7 – Medical Colic
8 – Sarcoids, Melanomas, Tumours, Warts etc
9 – Tendons/Ligaments of one or both Hind Limbs
10 – Tendons/Ligaments of one or both Fore Limbs

Vet scanning the fetlock and hoof of the horse.

SEIB’s Equestrian Business Manager, Steph Ellis explained:

SEIB’s normal procedure for a gastric ulcer claim is to consider treatment following a positive gastroscope. At the end of the course of treatment, another gastroscopy would be required to confirm that ulcers are still present before considering the cost of further medication. In line with the normal terms and conditions of insurance, the policy does not provide any cover for preventative or maintenance treatment, and therefore no further reimbursement of fees will be paid once the ulcers have cleared.”

A similar story was found with the cost of the cause of the second highest number of claims made by SEIB horse owners. External trauma, including violent accidents, kicks, cuts, wounds and fractures, made up 56% of all claims made. SEIB’s Equestrian Business Supervisor, Joanne Goodrich said:

Wound treatment can often be thought of as a more ‘straightforward’ situation when calling the vet as there is often less diagnosis needed. However, having a visible cause of an issue doesn’t always make it the cheapest to treat.” Claims made for external trauma for SEIB clients in 2022 had an average cost of £1,379.73 with 17% of claims reaching a cost of £3,000.

Derazil 5: Cleaned and prepared granulating oozing wound on hind leg of thoroughbred horse before treatment

Uncertainty and the speed with which things can take a turn for the worse can add to horse owners’ emotional turmoil when a claim is in the offing. Lisa Clarke owns coloured cob, Malibu, who is insured with SEIB. Lisa explained:

On the 23 rd December last year, Malibu went down with colic, we initially thought he was on the mend but by Christmas eve he was being operated on for an impaction. We had to make a very quick decision to operate and having insured with SEIB for many years I was confident we would have no problem with making a claim. The aftercare for the operation didn’t go too smoothly and Malibu suffered an infected cannula whilst he was still at the vets leading to complications for him.

This also resulted in increasing the cost of the claim. I rang SEIB asking with a query about the details of this and they got back to me within the hour. Fortunately, Malibu is now completely recovered. I know my insurance with SEIB gives me peace of mind, even if Malibu has several exclusions owing to his medical history.”

Degenerative disease and development disorder, including skin disease, was the third most common cause for an equine claim at SEIB in 2022, with an average claim cost of £2,435, similar to that of digestive disorders. Skin disease was the most frequently occurring ailment in this group where 23% of claims cost between £1,000 and £2,000. Many equine skin diseases can be ongoing and require veterinary treatment, they cover a wide range of problems, from fungal infections, allergies, rain
scald, aural plaque, ringworm, mud fever, sweet itch and, sarcoids.

With the cost-of-living crisis firmly in mind, SEIB have recently launched their Core Horse Insurance. This cost-effective policy has benefits that are not typically seen on entry-level horse insurance policies, such as an optional emergency colic surgery add-on up to £5,000 per incident and tack cover up to £5,000 per claim, and an increase to the horse sum insured up to and including £10,000. This policy is available to purchase online now at seib. SEIB continues to provide their popular existing horse insurance product, now known as Classic Horse Insurance*. This policy provides protection for a wide range of activities, illnesses and injuries,
loss of use and emergency colic surgery.

Discover more from Everything Horse Magazine

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Related posts