Insurance FAQ’s

Why should I insure?

Insurance is designed to safe guard and protect you against unforeseen circumstances and is designed to limit your loss in the event of an incident that leads to claim against your insurance policy.

It is the insured’s responsibility to mitigate their Loss, that is to have taken action to avoid or reduce the level of the incident/damage. The insurer will then act upon a Principal of Indemnity, which states that the insured may not be compensated by the insurance company in an amount exceeding the insured economic loss.

Your insurance premium will vary according to the level of indemnity that you select.

What should I consider?

When looking to take out insurance the most important question to ask is whether the policy is appropriate to your needs, taking out the incorrect insurance could be likened to having no insurance at all. You also need to consider if the Insurance is required by law or statute, the following acts may affect yourself as a rider or your business and would therefore require you to have the appropriate insurance:

  • Employers Liability Act 1969
  • Riding establishment Act 1964
  • Road Traffic Act 1988

When taking out insurance you are doing so with Utmost Good Faith, that is you are under a fundamental duty to disclose all material facts and circumstances that could influence the underwriters decision in entering into the insurance agreement. Non disclosure or partial disclosure could influence underwriters decision in the event of a claim or make the contract between yourself and the insurer void.

Who can I approach?

When looking to take out an insurance policy you can either choose to approach an insurance company direct or you can ask a intermediary, more commonly known as a broker, to act on your behalf. The Insurer or Broker are both authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) who regulate by means of a range of strict rules and principals. You can find out if a company is registered with the FSA by visiting their website.

What service will I receive?

Who you approach will depend on the service that you expect to receive. When dealing directly with an insurance company they often work on the basis that you, as the consumer, should decide whether or not the product offered is suitable for your needs. A Broker/Intermediary on the other hand will usually select a product that they deem suitable for your needs and will make a recommendation accordingly.

How do I choose which insurance company to use?

When choosing which company to use there are some simple questions you can consider:

  • Have you heard of the company before?
  • How long has the company been trading?
  • Are they registered with the FSA (Financial Service Authority)?
  • Are the staff knowledgeable and friendly?
  • Do they offer flexible cover options?
  • Have they gained a good reputation for paying claims?
  • Do they offer additional cover e.g. liability & property
  • One of the best indicators is often a word of mouth recommendation

What will I pay?

When you take out an insurance policy you will pay what is referred to as a ‘premium’. This will vary depending on the type and level of cover selected. A high level of cover may result in a higher premium.

What do I do if I need to claim?

Insurance companies have their own claims procedure and this will be set out in your policy terms and conditions. As soon as you think you might have to make a claim on your policy you should contact your insurance company to make them aware of the incident. They will usually send you a claim form to complete. Depending on the policy it may require part of the form to filled out by another party, for example in the case of a vet fee claim the attending vet will be required to fill out part of the form. When submitting your claim form you may be asked to forward any receipts/invoices in relation to the claim, together with any photographs of the damage. In the case of a complex claim the insurance company may appoint a Loss Adjuster, an independent claims specialist, to establish the cause of the loss.

Can I cancel my insurance cover?

The terms of cancellation will vary between insurance policies as well as between insurance companies. if you choose to cancel your insurance prior to the expiration date of the policy the insurer may keep a percentage of the unearned premium (UEP) in order to cover costs incurred, this is referred to as short rate cancellation. You may be able to cancel your policy on a pro rate basis, though there may be an administration charge incurred. A full refund may be offered on a policy if you cancel within the first 14 days. In the event that a claim has been paid out on the policy then there will be no return in the premium.

How long does my insurance cover run for?

It is common practice for insurance policies such as horse insurance to run on a 12 month contract. At the end of this 12 month period you will normally be offered the chance to renew your policy. This renewal will take into account any changes in the insured position and again will be based upon Upmost Good Faith, requiring you to disclose any facts that have changed during the previous policy period.. The insurer is not obliged to offer the renewal of the policy and neither is the policyholder obliged to accept the renewal policy. Some policies may run on a longer period of contract, for example KBIS offer a 15 months vet fee cover contract under the Riding and Competition Platinum cover. You can also obtain shorter contracts in relation to a specific time frame for example event insurance, or cover for a horse in transit which normally runs 24 hours before and after the specified journey.

What do I do if I am unhappy with my insurance company?

If you are unhappy with your insurance cover or feel that you have been mislead you should contact the company who sold you the policy directly. They will try to resolve the problem. They should acknowledge your complaint and send you a copy of their complaints procedure. They should also set out a time frame in which you can expect to hear back from them regarding the complaint.

If the company is unable to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction and you want to take it further then your will be directed to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has an important role in that it serves to mediate between an Insurer or Broker and a consumer who feels that their complaint has not been appropriately resolved.