Those who don’t insure

poiuytrewq

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What amount of money would you be happy to know you can get your hands on to not bother with insurance?
Having trouble (to be fair for the first time ever and I’ve claimed a lot) with Emporium (E&L) and so got a quote out of interest with a few other companies 😳😳
Looking at so much more money, which I know in the grand scheme of things would be saving me this hassle right now but I’m considering stopping proper insurance and self insuring but would need to get some un-needed savings behind me before risking it.
 

TheMule

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What amount of money would you be happy to know you can get your hands on to not bother with insurance?
Having trouble (to be fair for the first time ever and I’ve claimed a lot) with Emporium (E&L) and so got a quote out of interest with a few other companies 😳😳
Looking at so much more money, which I know in the grand scheme of things would be saving me this hassle right now but I’m considering stopping proper insurance and self insuring but would need to get some un-needed savings behind me before risking it.
The same amount as I would want vet fees insurance. For me that's 5k as I know that will cover most things I'd feel comfortable putting my horse through
 

Ample Prosecco

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I don’t insure anymore. I maxed out claims for Amber, Max and Ginny then the renewals were insane. I have/will be spending over 2k on vet bills this month. I can access 2-3 anytime from various savings accounts meant to be for things like kids uni fund or holidays. I can also draw down on my mortgage and get about another 5k that way. I put what I save on in premiums into a ‘vet’ account but could top that up if needed. I’d insure if I didn’t have access to at least 2k at short notice.
 

ihatework

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Would kind of depend on the horse.
The special ones in work I do tend to insure, however due to extortionate premiums I have les fancy policies these days. I also have a credit card with a 12k limit, although it would have to be a very special pony to max that out. For others I’d want to lay my hands on 3k without a second thought
 

Pippity

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I have a £5k savings account that's just for Blue. I can't withdraw more than three times a year without getting penalties, which helps me to see it as a last resort and I fund most of her vet bills from my usual income.
 

lynz88

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I have a funny way that I work my finances but it works for me. I like to have at minimum £5K set aside but I continue to grow the pot of money. It's part of my "just in case" money pot where if I lose my job or have a huge bill to pay (horse, house, or other), I can dig into it. Overall I like to have a years salary in the bank at any one time. If I do have a massive bill to pay, that comes out of my overall emergency savings and then I work to top it up. once it is topped back up, then I have more disposable income for buying other "stuff" (while also continuing to grow my emergency savings fund)
 

MuddyMonster

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I'm probably looking at self-insuring next year.

I already know I wouldn't put through colic surgery or anything with lengthy box rest periods (it sounds awful but he's mid/late-ish teens with pre existing conditions and doesn't do box rest particularly well) so realistically, I think I'm happy with the 4K I've put aside for him. My plan is when I stop paying insurance premiums, to pay those into his account each month (on top of what I already pay).

I do like the look of Harry Hall vet cover for injury cover, as it felt like a half-way house. I've not looked fully into the small print, but might be worth considering?
 
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McFluff

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£5k for two, but one is old and won’t go through any procedure.
I started with £3k amd have built it up through what would have been premiums.

when I first got a horse, I couldn’t imagine not insuring. After a couple of fights, I’m glad to have savings to go it alone. It gives you control and choice. I have BHS for indemnity.
 

Bellaboo18

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More than I'd be willing to spend. Which would depend on the horse, their temperament and age.

5k is a good starting point but insurance covers 5k per claim. I've claimed over 10k in the last year with petplan. I'm now uninsured (everything is excluded!) but have good savings.

Knowing how vets bills go, I'd want 10k I think but how long is a piece of string?
 

Shilasdair

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I think the sensible thing is to ensure you have access to the same amount your vet fees would cover - usually around £5 or £6k.
I 'self-insure' by putting £100 a month into a savings account for my two horses - but I have access to a lot more should I need it.
It's such a relief to have complete control over vet treatment.
I do have strict rules about it though- it's only used for vet treatment, not routine drugs or whatever. And I try to pay it back when I do use any.
 

Tiddlypom

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You can have any procedure done on your horse, insured or not, but insurance will only pay for those procedures that it considers appropriate, which may not be the same as the owner wants done.

I relish the freedom of self insuring and not having to jump to the ins co's ever changing demands.
 

DabDab

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I have a £12k credit card, but that's for all the animals (though savings and OH's emergency credit card would also merrily get emptied if it was required)

Basically my rule has always been that I should be able to lay my hands on enough that the limit on what I would put them through would kick in before funds restrictions.
 
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Melody Grey

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What amount of money would you be happy to know you can get your hands on to not bother with insurance?
Having trouble (to be fair for the first time ever and I’ve claimed a lot) with Emporium (E&L) and so got a quote out of interest with a few other companies 😳😳
Looking at so much more money, which I know in the grand scheme of things would be saving me this hassle right now but I’m considering stopping proper insurance and self insuring but would need to get some un-needed savings behind me before risking it.
Might be worth trying an equine insurance broker- I got inflated renewal quotes this year with E&L and have managed to insure like for like through a broker for less than the original premiums.
 

poiuytrewq

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Might be worth trying an equine insurance broker- I got inflated renewal quotes this year with E&L and have managed to insure like for like through a broker for less than the original premiums.
That’s interesting. My premiums doubled this year but they have paid out more and there is more to go (if they pay)
So stress full
 

pistolpete

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How long is a piece of string. I know people who have spent nothing vet wise for years and others like me who have stopped insuring because there are so many exclusions. Mine won’t have surgery or box rest now he’s retired so happy to chuck a bit of cash at a problem if necessary. Premiums were £60 a month so in a year that is £720 I can spend on him. That said I do still have savings from an inheritance but not enough to afford a second horse sadly.
 

palo1

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That’s interesting. My premiums doubled this year but they have paid out more and there is more to go (if they pay)
So stress full
I am not wealthy by a long chalk so my 'open vet fund' is only about £2k which I allow myself to 'spend without question'!! After that I have to decide whether the issue arising is a) likely resolvable b) short term emergency or low level 'chronic'. I have discounted GAs for colic and most limb related things have an allowance for endless rest/rehab at my own cost. IF I have to go beyond the £2k limit which is easily done I have to be confident that the problem is resolvable firstly and then look at the horse's welfare implications of treatment/rehab etc. Depending on what those answers are I am prepared to access another £3k but after that no more.

It is surprising how, over the years this approach has worked out ok. This summer I spent just over the £2k on a respiratory issue but the additional funds were spent on getting the 'best' (ie most comprehensive) diagnostics and then the gold standard in treatment. That seemed the most cost-effective approach and was discussed very openly with the vet. I was confident that this was best for the horse and most likely to deal with the problem best. Insurance would likely have not wanted to find the 'silver bullet' but do more gradual diagnostics and medication which would have cost me more. Prior to this summer I have not spend more than a few hundred pounds in any year on vets fees so I feel hard up at the mo (having spent my fund and now working to re-build it) but know that I am essentially quids in over the last few years.

I think it is really useful to think about things that you would be happy for your horse to have done. A lot of veterinary work for some things is actually about rehab which, if you can do yourself, is not hugely costly as such.
 

fankino04

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Mine just has her own credit card, it's got £8.5k limit and is not touched unless absolutely essential. I have other cards for personal use emergencies so that one is just for her. I did intend to be good and put money aside for her but it never happened. As to how much I'd spend I guess it would depend on what is wrong and the prognosis, she's 17 now and not ridden but is happy and healthy so I'd probably fork out for more than alot of others would on a retired horse.
 

chaps89

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That’s interesting. My premiums doubled this year but they have paid out more and there is more to go (if they pay)
So stress full
Apologies if I’m pointing out the obvious here. But if you don’t renew the policy they won’t continue to pay out on any ongoing claims.

After insurance paid out £18k I swapped to injury only cover as there was little left to cover illness wise! At that point I knew she wouldn’t ever have surgery or be box rested for anything more than a couple of weeks, nor spend more than £1000 on her without very serious consideration.
However that was because she was rather broken already and it took a lot to keep her sound and in work as it was so I was much more pragmatic about calling it time if something were to happen.

Based on my experience with her and seeing just how easily horses can rack up bills and have multiple issues going on at once, I’d want at least 5 but really closer to £10k before I considered not insuring personally. And I wouldn’t want all of that to be credit card based either - if a horse goes wrong there’s usually extra things like extra hay or bedding if on box rest or rehab work etc which all costs and could be difficult to pay off that much money.
I wouldn’t want to borrow any amount that would take me longer than a year to pay off personally, I appreciate other people may be more comfortable with debt though.
And for me that certainly isn’t £10k nor do I have that much in savings that I would wish to spend on vets as it takes so long to save, so I would be insuring fully if I had a ridden horse again! I am possibly more cautious than most though given my last experience.
Little pony only has injury cover too but again we adopt a pragmatic approach, he’s in his 20s, a touch stiff but living his best life terrorising me! But anything major for him would be curtains given his age.
 

Sossigpoker

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You can have any procedure done on your horse, insured or not, but insurance will only pay for those procedures that it considers appropriate, which may not be the same as the owner wants done.

I relish the freedom of self insuring and not having to jump to the ins co's ever changing demands.
Having claimed nearly 20 grand over 18 months, which involved a lot of scans , blood work ,.a blood transfusion to name a few things , never did I even have to wonder if the insurance would cover it.
If you use a decent vet , they will know what the treatment protocols are and known that unless they do something stupid like scope for ulcers when a horse has a scratch , all treatment will be covered.
 

Peglo

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My insurance is £1000 a year for a £4000 pony. Which seems a lot!? I wanted to insure for £6600 as that’s what I spent to get her home but they wouldn’t put it up. So if I saved that money it would take 4 years to have it in the bank. I want to do that but the first few years when the money in the bank is low would be scary. I wouldn’t be able to save money while insuring. Some people say they have a credit card which seems is a decent option until I have the money right enough.
 

Nudibranch

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Depends on a lot - your vet as much as anything. At the moment I have a good vet who I've known for over 10 years and who is happy to discuss, negotiate, work things out. More small animal vets, but you do get some who preface everything with "are they insured?" and then proceed to try and max out the options.
If I were prepared to use a credit card on top of savings I could theoretically go well into 5 figures but there's no treatment I'd consider putting them through which would go over about 5k at most.
 
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ihatework

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My main issue about insurance is the treatment timeframe. I’m the sort of person who likes to be conservative to start with, give time, monitor, try non-invasive methods before jumping in head first with expensive diagnostics and surgery/treatments.

But with insurance you are back against the wall and do kind of have to go in head first.

It was interesting a few years back, I got a kitten who came with a years insurance with petplan. At about 9 months the vet picked up a heart murmur. There were a variety of options (from watchful monitoring to referral for heart scans). I wanted to monitor but realised that if it was going to be a big expensive issue I should make use of the insurance. I spoke to Petplan and the authorised watchful waiting and agreed that 12 months cover would start if/when we decided to intervene. 1 year later no heart murmur 😉 So by taking that approach petplan saved themselves £££ and the cat didn’t have to undergo any intervention.

Why the hell this can’t happen with horses I don’t know 🤷‍♀️
 

Ample Prosecco

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Having claimed nearly 20 grand over 18 months, which involved a lot of scans , blood work ,.a blood transfusion to name a few things , never did I even have to wonder if the insurance would cover it.
If you use a decent vet , they will know what the treatment protocols are and known that unless they do something stupid like scope for ulcers when a horse has a scratch , all treatment will be covered.
That is just not true. I used an experienced horse vet but my pony had a load of non specific symptoms that really were not pointing to anything in particular. Showed some signs of ulcers behaviourally but not physically. Vet felt there was a good chance of ulcers but scope was clear and insurers would not pay. So next step was scintigraphy because there was just no real indicator of where to start imaging or treating, Insurers told me they would only pay if something was found so I had to commit to a big bill, not sure if they would pay out or not.

A huge advantage of ditching insurance has been the freedom to choose what/when to investigate/treat and not be bound by the opinions of some non clinical people who are not invested in the health of my horse or by the ticking clock
 
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