Insurance - well that backfired

Bodshi

Well-Known Member
Apr 23, 2009
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Raf was scoped for ulcers recently and my vet remarked at the time that it seemed unfair he was excluded on his insurance policy for anything to do with his digestive tract, following a bout of suspected colic about 8 years ago, which actually turned out to be a UTI (hence another exclusion for anything to do with his urinary tract system :rolleyes: ). My vet wrote to the insurance company to see if they would lift the exclusion and they came back and asked for Raf's full medical history, which my vet must have then supplied.

Today I received this letter from the insurance company:

Untitled.png
Haha, well I hadn't held out much hope that the colic exclusion would be lifted, but I wasn't expecting yet more exclusions! It never crossed my mind to involve the insurance about mud fever and the sore back thing was when we were training for the Kiplingcotes Derby and he had a sudden bout of what the vet was convinced was tying up, although the blood tests she took showed that it wasn't. The second visit on 27th March was because he wasn't eating properly. I don't even remember his back being examined but it must have been if it's in the records.

I think I may as well just cancel the insurance. I need to arrange third party cover in that case so will have to look at both BHS Gold and, is the Harry Hall Club? and see which is better.
 

HorseHelen

Well-Known Member
Sep 17, 2006
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I share your pain re insurance

Mine refused to pay out last year because of a note on the vets notes that wasn't even discussed with me by the vets as it wasn't important and despite the fact that the vets said it had nothing to do with the problem which the claim involved!
 

chunky monkey

Well-Known Member
May 2, 2007
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Well if you have to notify them regardless of whether you want to claim. To me that just gives insurance companys an excuse to wack an exclusion on.
Why do we pay for veterinary cover. Its so wrong. Ive been in situations where I've had the vet out and haven't claimed or notified. I've just paid the bill as less than the excess. On reflection if something does crop up they probably won't pay out.
 

KP nut

I'd rather be riding.
Dec 22, 2008
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I'd escalate your argument about the existing digestive tract exclusion as their reasoning makes no sense: colic will be excluded in future as a result of the current ulcers but the point is that the current treatment should be covered as he has never had ulcers or colic before!
 
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KP nut

I'd rather be riding.
Dec 22, 2008
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I am increasingly struggling to see the point of insurance. It is meant to give you peace of mind so you can act in the horse's best interests without worrying about money. But actually it has the opposite effect - people are put off running things by a vet because whatever is discussed will then be excluded. Even if vet doesn't find anything- just investigating can sometimes lead to exclusions!
 

Flipo's Mum

Heavy owner of a Heavy
Aug 17, 2009
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Perthshire, Scotland
I really get so frustrated with the insurance industry and the underwriting and design of equine policies specifically. I understand the risk is huge for them but there really has to be a better way of these working for both horse owner and insurer.
My insurance premium is ridiculous, and I’ve cleared a vet bill and am half way though paying up a credit card bill for everything associated with the sorry situation which has set me back around £7.5k all in. All because he had a mystery lameness a few years back and they excluded both front feet after finding that all that was needed, was shoes.

I thought twice about getting a lump checked on flipo’s belly recently because i thought it might be nothing but if it was something but not worth claiming, then if later it became something I’d be screwed for claiming. I shouldn’t have to think like that.
I know so many folk don’t insure, but right now if something else happened to my horse, I’d not be able to afford it. But it really really really pisses me off how ridiculously pedantic they are about exclusions. I wish you could even pay a little more to have lifetime cover, but I’m guessing that would be hugely expensive as the likelihood is it will happen again!
 

Mary Poppins

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Oct 10, 2004
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Don’t talk to me about insurance!!! Am currently in the middle of a huge row with my insurance because they have rejected my claim on the grounds that I have competed in affiliated dressage at elementary level and therefore I ride out of my catogory level. This is simply not true! I have never done this.

They also excluded all the tendons and ligaments in his front legs because l called the vet out last year to check he didn’t have laminitis. The vet said he was barely 1/0th lame and needed no treatment and then it turned out he had abscesses in both front feet.

I have made 3 official compliments over the last 2 weeks and am currently calling them 3 times per day because I need the bill paid. They have flatly refused to pay anything at all yet cannot show me evidence of my apparent wrongdoing. I need to wait 6 more weeks before I can get the obudsman involved but all I want is my bill paid and the agreement they will pay out for continued treatment. I have scans and X-rays booked for 10 days time and they WILL pay for them.
 

Star the Fell

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Jun 14, 2015
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A couple of years earlier Star had a fungal infection on her face - tested clear for ringworm and the Vets never actually found out what it was. It cleared up with some medicated dog shampoo.
I never told the insurance company as my total bill was less than £50.00. Star then got lami and I had to make a claim and submit her vet record to date. I was panicking that the insurers wouldn’t pay out because I hadn’t told them about vet treatment even though it was totally unrelated.
Luckily for me they paid out.
I have not bothered renewing my insurance for either pony.
I priced up the insurance for Mylo and pay the equivalent amount monthly into his own bank account. I also put £1000 in there when I got paid a Xmas bonus. Star is totally uninsured. I know that I will put neither of them through big, invasive surgery, so hopefully any vets bills will be manageable bu the above method, plus an interest free credit card if necessary.
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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And I was thinking about seeing if SEIB would remove Jess' colic exclusion from over 10 years ago just to make the policy a little more worth while, I have been debating cancelling for several years but I simply could not afford a big bill if something happened, if I had a credit card with a good limit I would cancel tomorrow, but I don't. The fact is neither of the little boys have vet fees covered, I just have 3rd party with BHS for them, I really should just bite the bullet and cancel.
 
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orbvalley

Well-Known Member
Jan 15, 2008
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These are shocking to read! Disgraceful excuses that are basically non-related. I think I'd definitely be going to the ombudsman just to try to change this outrageous system:mad:
 

KP nut

I'd rather be riding.
Dec 22, 2008
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I was wondering about setting up a FB page on dodgy insurance companies. A bit like the dodgy dealers site. Admin would need to see a scanned copy of a current policy to show they are a verified customer to stop malicious spamming but then people could share their stories good and bad. Harness the power of social media!!
 
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MrC

https://m.facebook.com/MrKiasLife/
Nov 10, 2014
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I won’t be bothering with insurance in future. I have BHS gold cover for Kia and my vets are fully aware that racking up big bills only hurts themselves.

I just priced the average policy and I stick that away to deal with any bills that come in, just had to use 250 of it to pay for his treatment the other week. I don’t use it for monthly things as insurance wouldn’t cover those anyway but eh average policy for a riding horse with full cover is about £55 based on three different quotes I got. If I had stuck aside all the money I paid for Kia’s insurance that I didn’t Claim on over the years I’d have about 4/5K sitting.
 

Kite_Rider

Cantering cabbage!
May 18, 2009
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Another who’s been pondering not renewing insurance. Belle has only seen a vet a handful of times, all for minor stuff that I didn’t claim for and never thought that might come back and bite me at a later date. Horse insurance is such a scam really, I’ve just totalled her cover since I bought her and it’s around £4K
I’ve never claimed a penny but imagine if I needed to I wouldn’t be properly covered.
 

Bodshi

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Apr 23, 2009
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@Mary Poppins that is scandalous. I've had some bad thoughts about insurance companies recently, but even I wouldn't have thought that of them. Surely that is fraud on their behalf? I hope your persistence pays off. Do you have any free legal advice with your policy, or are you a member of BHS? My YO found the BHS legal helpline very useful when she had a problem with a crazy livery some time ago.

Like @Jessey I've been debating cancelling for some time, as there isn't much left of Raf that's covered, but it's just if he has an accident that worries me. And I have to say that whenever I have made a claim the company has dealt with it very quickly and easily for me. But I just don't think it's worth it any more.
 
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carthorse

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Jan 6, 2006
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Who are you all with?

I've been insured with NFU for years & I must admit I've had no grounds for complaint. God knows I had some big claims with Jim but they never quibbled, here's an abbreviated list:
- I'd put in a claim for a non-surgical colic years earlier, then had several colics that needed the vet but weren't claimed for. Went for a good spell with just the odd gassy spell that didn't need a vet because I knew how to manage it & had the appropriate stuff to hand.
- when he was 11 he needed colic surgery, we went ahead even though we didn't think they'd pay but put in a claim in case. They looked at his notes - which always resembled War & Peace - and decided that since I hadn't had the vet out for colic for three years they were prepared to pay! The claim was the full £5,000 because while he was in hospital the surgeon scoped for ulcers that were found and treated & though they remained a problem that needed ongoing treatment for the rest of his life it did seriously reduce his colicky episodes in the future.
- he got laminitis a year after surgery (with hindsight probably the onset of PPID) & again there was no quibble about paying for vets, extra bedding & extra farriery.
- legs were never excluded despite it being on his vet notes that he'd had cuts & bangs caused by being a prat in the field, and mudfever which had on occasion needed antibiotics to clear.
- I called them to get a quote without vet cover as I was seriously thinking of not taking it up next time. By this point he was virtually retired due to PPID causing laminitis that had led to rotation & there was a real limit to what I would put him through treatment wise. They picked up straight away on PPID, but instead of trying to reduce cover instantly asked if he was on Prascend because I hadn't claimed. I said yes, had been for some years, and although it was technically outside the claim date the girl advised that I put in a claim for his first year of drugs & tests. I did - my vets thought I was mad - & promptly had it paid!!!!! This despite a previous claim for laminitis.
- they paid for the injury that led to him being pts, and again never quibbled even though I had the vet out to do things that I could have done myself. I knew it was likely to be the end & wanted the reassurance of knowing nothing had been overlooked like the catheter shifting.
- after he was pts a claims assessor called re his value. He'd technically been as a result of an injury (hock became infected from a puncture wound, infection spread) rather than dying of natural causes so loss of horse was an issue. I expected them to say that since his PPID was very advanced at that stage that the rapid spread of infection & inability to operate was a result of it & therefore they weren't prepared to pay. I would have completely understood & not thought it was unreasonable. Instead he leapt on the fact that he'd been sat on the week before - I was quite clear it was bareback in the yard, nottacked up ridden which was unlikely to ever happen again - and adjusted the claim upwards to a low value ridden horse rather than retired! And they paid out accordingly. This was nearly 2 years ago so not that long ago.

I'm sorry for all the problems others have had, and can see why people question whether insurance for vets bills is worth the money, but in my particular case I can never complain about how willing NFU were to settle & even point me in the direction of claims I wouldn't have made.
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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Like @Jessey I've been debating cancelling for some time, as there isn't much left of Raf that's covered, but it's just if he has an accident that worries me. And I have to say that whenever I have made a claim the company has dealt with it very quickly and easily for me. But I just don't think it's worth it any more.
That's exactly my situation.

Its SEIB @carthorse and I have to day they have paid out over 20k for me in the last 10 years and have always been fantastic to deal with, I have no quibbles there. Jess is excluded for colic after a serious sand colic that was referred for surgery but we got away with stomach pumping 3x a day in hospital for a week. She was excluded for metabolic, hormonal and lami after her PPID diagnosis and her front feet were excluded after her more recent lameness. All perfectly understandable. The only time I've had a problem was during her lameness they wanted to do an MRI, but the insurance were up front and said if they found any laminitic changes they wouldn't pay for it (even though vets swore up and down the lameness was not caused by lami), and given she was 4 years post PPID diagnosis we concluded it would be a miracle if she didn't have any slight changes show up so I didn't want to take the risk of being landed with a 2k bill for it and it wasn't going to change my treatment so opted not to do it.
 
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Lissie

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Jan 18, 2016
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Excluded for mud fever? That seems ridiculous! I too think insurance is getting silly and stopping people from seeing a vet as worried about exclusions. If I had a very large lump sum I wouldn't bother with insuring.

I'm with BHS gold have seen the harry hall cover and will look into when time to renew.
 

domane

Gracie's mum
Jul 31, 2005
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Horse inurance is scandalous! Jack isn't insured any more because off all the exclusions. Prior to his PPID diagnosis I thought he had LGL which is why I called the vet out. His reluctance to walk was the PPID and not lameness at all...but he still got a laminitis exclusion! Because of ME! I'd guessed - wrongly - thats what it might have been and my vet discounted it straight away when she saw him move!!

Jack also had an exclusion for EMS.... which he has never been checked for or diagnosed with!!! I guess because it often goes hand in hand with PPID.

This thread reminds me that I should ring and let them know about Gracie's MF episode. That'll be HER first exclusion then!! :rolleyes:.
 

Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
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Horse inurance is scandalous! Jack isn't insured any more because off all the exclusions. Prior to his PPID diagnosis I thought he had LGL which is why I called the vet out. His reluctance to walk was the PPID and not lameness at all...but he still got a laminitis exclusion! Because of ME! I'd guessed - wrongly - thats what it might have been and my vet discounted it straight away when she saw him move!!

Jack also had an exclusion for EMS.... which he has never been checked for or diagnosed with!!! I guess because it often goes hand in hand with PPID.

This thread reminds me that I should ring and let them know about Gracie's MF episode. That'll be HER first exclusion then!! :rolleyes:.
I asked when Jess' exclusions went on, apparently diagnosis with PPID gives automatic exclusions for lami, EMS and other hormonal/metaboilic disorders as they are all so closely linked :(
 
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