Veteran insurance vs no insurance

ElleSkywalker

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Afternoon,

Black pony is now 17 and hasn't been ridden in years. She's previously had claims for a tendon injury, head shaking investigations, treatment for glandular ulcers, EMS, Cushings and an abcess. I would not ever put her through colic surgery so am considering either cancelling her insurance all together or downgrading her to veteran insurance.

This is not motivated by trying to save money, more that I think I'm probably paying for an insurance policy that apart from accidents (which are covered by veteran policy) that I would never be able to or want to claim on anyway. I do the have cash available for one off large vets bills but obviously insurance is 3000 per claim rather than 3000 in total.

Thoughts anyone? Any reason I should keep her on the full policy that I haven't thought of?
 
Joined
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essex
We downgraded our mare to a veteran policy about 6 months after she retired to the field. The day after her veteran policy started she was kicked by another horse and fractured her humerus.

She pen rested for 5 months and has now started to go back out into a bigger but flat field.

The claim went over the 3000 limit but we couldn't have afforded it without her being insured.

So I'm glad we kept her insured and didn't cancel completely.
 
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West Sussex
I have never insured my horses and have been lucky enough not to have spent as much on vet's bills as I would have paid to insure them over 40 years! I think that, if you have the money to pay for a vet when needed, then insurance is a waste of money for 'pet' horses, particularly as the insurers generally exclude tendons etc. from any future pay outs once you have made one claim. Like you I would not countenance colic surgery or any type of invasive surgery that would require the horse going to the vet hospital and then being stuck in a stable for a long time as I do not think that is fair on the horse, particularly as they get older, but that's just a personal view and I know that not everyone shares that.

A different story of course for anyone who does not have sufficent savings to cover large vet bills and might have to get into debt to fix their horse.
 

meleeka

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Be very careful with veteran policies. Most of them state it has to be accidental EXTERNAL injury, so any injury won’t be covered unless it’s broken the skin. I can’t imagine that you’d ever make use of an insurance like that, unless of course she had stitches, but that’s probably not all that expensive anyway.

Personally, I’d either keep the current insurance you have until she’s too old and then cancel altogether. I insured my boy until he was too told and my other oldies aren’t insuranced at all. I do have BHS Gold for public liability.
 
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Good point Meleeka should have said I have BHS gold membership so have public liability 😊

Barney did your horse have broken skin with her injury?
Yes it had broken the skin, she had a wound that had to be flushed for weeks. She was retired early at 16 though so we felt she had a good prognosis and quality of life to return to after the recovery period. She's veyr happy back in the field now bless her.

It's a tough decision for you.
 

Sussexbythesea

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After many a claim for my gelding including SI injury with a lot of exclusions I then claimed for annular ligament surgery at age 19 which I was surprised they paid out for. (Petplan) however after that the premiums went up to over £90 a month so I decided to cancel. I thought about veteran insurance but decided he was most likely to get an age related disease such as Cushings which wouldn’t be covered. He is only out with my other gelding and at the time was on individual turn out so field injury was a low probability.

I decided if anything happened he’d be treated conservatively, I could stump up a certain amount without insurance and if worst come to worst pts would have to be an option. He’s 24 this year and so I’ve saved about 4 years worth of insurance which is about £4,500 pounds. I did go through the same dilemma with regard to cancelling after always being insured. Younger horse is insured.
 

Laafet

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I have mine now covered on catastrophe cover, cheaper and clearer to understand than Veteran policies. I am currently assessing it on a year by year basis as he's still actively competing. But for just over £300 it is fab value, considering his full renewal would have been £1k last year and he is only valued at that these days (I downgraded it to lower my premium the year before).
 

fabbydo

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Mine was moved to a veteran policy automatically because of her age. She had many exclusions on it. Her health is fragile and I would not put her through any further treatment and so would pts. For this reason only, I recently cancelled her policy (except 3rd party). If I thought I would treat her, I would have kept it but sadly I know we are nearing the end. In the meantime, she is the most beautiful lawn mower in the world.
 
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annagain

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When my two turned 17 I cancelled insurance and starting paying into a savings account. I set myself rules so only dip in if I would have claimed but also tell vet to treat them as if they are insured. They're now 23. I've only had to dip in once for a bill of about £2000 for a bone scan and resulting treatment. Except I didn't dip in after all. As it happened, the day he went to horsepital I got a letter saying I was pre-approved for a credit card with a 0% for 30 months on purchases deal so I applied and paid using that. I'm paying the credit card off at £80 a month. It's a direct debit and I never miss it - even on top of the £100 a month I put into my savings account. So both the account and the credit card have worked for me instead of insurance - although I appreciate you need a good credit rating for the credit card route.
 

teddypops

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Be very careful with veteran policies. Most of them state it has to be accidental EXTERNAL injury, so any injury won’t be covered unless it’s broken the skin. I can’t imagine that you’d ever make use of an insurance like that, unless of course she had stitches, but that’s probably not all that expensive anyway.

Personally, I’d either keep the current insurance you have until she’s too old and then cancel altogether. I insured my boy until he was too told and my other oldies aren’t insuranced at all. I do have BHS Gold for public liability.
Which veteran policies state this? Mine doesn’t cover for illness but anything else, like lameness is covered.
 

teddypops

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I pay less than £10 per month for my veteran policiy with petplan for accident only. This gives me £1000 of vets fees which in the case of lameness, I have made 2 claims for the full amount. I don’t miss the £10 so I continue to insure.
 

milliepops

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I stopped insuring mine when I assessed her according to IHW's criteria.

My veteran has a lengthy list of exclusions on her legs anyway, and I would not now subject her to further surgery or box rest, god knows we've both done enough of that. So I figured there wasn't much point as if we had some kind of disaster that could run up huge bills, that would be the time to let her go. Likewise her buddy.
 

poiuytrewq

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I use horse-insurance.co.uk (I think that’s it!)
They do a veteran policy. I pay less than £20 a month and they cover up to £3000 for accident and illness.
I’ve made 3 claims over 3 years all very easy and and nice to deal with.
 

huskydamage

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I've stopped insuring my old horse for a while now except for third party. She had a tendon injury at age 24 and I just paid all the xrays/scans etc out of my savings. If she gets something major now it will go on a credit card or if it was serious surgery or something realistically at 26 I would likely not put her through it.
 

Minny

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13 January 2019
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I have a rising 24 yo who is on a normal horse insurance from Petplan. When he hits 25 he will automatically be placed onto their veteran policy which I will likely cancel as almost anything he comes down with will be put down to age. I continue to pay for the normal full cover as most money is spent in diagnostics. I would always want to know what is wrong prior to making decision to pts. Also, with increased age comes increased likelihood of colic bouts. Whilst I would not wish to go through surgery, I would certainly call the vet if needed. And I can put money on it that any serious colic will occur after 5pm on a Friday and require 3 call outs. That is how I justify continuing to pay my premiums. Colic, liver disease and chronic lameness are all covered by my policy until his 25th birthday. So I can throw all diagnostics required in order to make the big decision. Obviously it is a little bit galling that I have paid into this policy for 6 years without a claim.....but long may it continue. I do understand where you are coming from, I had this exact conversation with myself a year ago.
 

Peregrine Falcon

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I cancelled my old boy's policy last year at 25. His legs and feet were excluded anyway and there's no way I would put him through surgery. He owes me nothing after so many years of friendship but I owe him the decency of a dignified end when the time comes. That for him would not be months of confinement etc.

I was slightly nervous cancelling it but to date he's been ok. Touch wood!
 

laura_nash

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Ireland
I stopped insuring mine when he developed a severe dust allergy, I have it mostly under control but even so he needs vet intervention about once year and its obviously not covered by insurance, so better to save the money so its available for that. It also rules out long-term box rest for him (he needs ventipulmin after 3-4 hours in stable even with dust-free bedding etc) so that rules out a lot of the more expensive stuff. Obviously I still have third party.

I've since moved to Ireland and insurance for vets bills isn't really a thing here, which might explain why so far the vets bills I have had have been much smaller. I nearly lost him to a severe hoof injury and subsequent infection and the bill was around €250 in total, including treatment (and new tub of ventipulmin) due to the stabling required.

I certainly don't regret having cancelled the insurance.

I think you have to make a risk assessment, how likely is it that you will need your money for vets bills relating to the ulcers, EMS, Cushings etc versus the likelyhood of something else expensive that you would treat. Okay, so you could cancel the insurance and have an expensive injury the next day - but is that likely? Having or not having insurance is always a gamble, generally the odds are in favour of not having it otherwise the insurance companies wouldn't make any profit.
 

ester

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I made the decision at 19 to stop insuring, he was with petplan so you could iirc stay on a full policy until 20ish, but at that point he'd enough exclusions and pay outs for me to decide it wasn't worth continuing with. Veteran policy I felt pretty limiting and not worth it.

It has in our case been the right decision, he's 26 this year and stacking up the issues but there isn't anything medically I would do differently had he have been insured.
 

ILuvCowparsely

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5 April 2010
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12,241
Afternoon,

Black pony is now 17 and hasn't been ridden in years. She's previously had claims for a tendon injury, head shaking investigations, treatment for glandular ulcers, EMS, Cushings and an abcess. I would not ever put her through colic surgery so am considering either cancelling her insurance all together or downgrading her to veteran insurance.

This is not motivated by trying to save money, more that I think I'm probably paying for an insurance policy that apart from accidents (which are covered by veteran policy) that I would never be able to or want to claim on anyway. I do the have cash available for one off large vets bills but obviously insurance is 3000 per claim rather than 3000 in total.

Thoughts anyone? Any reason I should keep her on the full policy that I haven't thought of?
I have dumped my insurance on my boy, and opened an account for him alongside my pony and put money in there instead of Insurance seeing they excluded so much.
 
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