Best Horse Insurance NZ: A Comprehensive Guide for Equine Owners

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Horse owners in New Zealand know that their beloved equine companions require specialized care and attention, especially when it comes to their health and wellbeing. With many horses being both expensive and having complex health systems, securing the right insurance coverage becomes crucial. Fortunately, there are various providers in NZ offering comprehensive horse insurance policies to ensure your equine friend receives the best possible protection.

Equine insurance, a unique type of pet insurance tailored specifically for horses, is designed to cover veterinary expenses, theft, and even death. By evaluating the available plans and options, horse owners can find a policy that suits their specific needs, offering peace of mind and financial security.

Among the top providers in New Zealand are Petplan NZ and Petcover NZ, both offering a diverse range of horse insurance policies with optional extras like vet fees cover and third-party liability. It’s essential to carefully compare these insurance providers to ensure that both you and your horse receive the adequate protection you need.

Types of Horse Insurance in New Zealand

Mortality Insurance

Mortality Insurance is a type of horse insurance that covers the horse’s death due to an accident, illness, or injury. This policy typically includes coverage for theft as well. It is essential for horse owners as it can help alleviate the financial burden of losing a valuable asset like a horse. Some companies, like Petplan, offer a range of coverage options for mortality insurance.

Major Medical Insurance

Major Medical Insurance covers veterinary expenses incurred for treating severe injuries or illnesses. This type of insurance is usually purchased as an add-on to mortality insurance. It helps horse owners manage the costs of expensive diagnostics and treatments, such as surgeries and medications. Companies like Petcover NZ provide various plans and optional extras, including vet fees coverage.

Loss of Use Insurance

Loss of Use Insurance protects horse owners if their horse becomes permanently unable to perform its intended use due to an accident, injury, or illness. This type of insurance can be customized to cover specific uses like racing, breeding, or show jumping. However, the coverage varies among companies, and it is important to read the policy terms and conditions carefully to understand the extent of coverage.

Liability Insurance

Liability Insurance covers a horse owner’s legal responsibility if their horse causes injury or damage to other people or property. This coverage is particularly relevant for horses that are naturally flight animals and can act unexpectedly, posing a risk to themselves and others. Petplan Equine offers Third Party Liability coverage as an option in their horse insurance policies.

In summary, there are various types of horse insurance available in New Zealand, including mortality, major medical, loss of use, and liability insurance. Horse owners should carefully consider and research the options to find the coverage that best suits their needs and provides the necessary protection for their equine companions.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Horse Insurance

When looking for the best horse insurance in New Zealand, it’s essential to keep a few factors in mind. In this section, we’ll discuss coverage limitations, exclusions, and market value. These factors can help you find the perfect policy for your needs.

Coverage Limitations

One crucial aspect to consider when purchasing horse insurance is the limitations of coverage. Different insurance policies offer various coverage limits, and it’s important to choose a policy that provides adequate protection for your horse. Keep in mind that there may be maximum policy limits based on factors like the horse’s age, breed, and use. Be sure to review the limits of veterinary treatment expenses, as some policies might not cover specific treatments. It’s essential to compare different policies and make sure the coverage provided suits your needs.


Every policy has a set of exclusions that detail what is not covered. These exclusions may include pre-existing conditions, specific activities like horse racing or jumping, congenital disorders, or even certain types of breeds. It’s vital to carefully review the policy exclusions and ensure you understand what is not covered. Knowing the details can prevent disappointment or financial loss later on if certain situations arise.

Market Value

When choosing horse insurance, pay close attention to the market value covered by the policy. Market value is the current worth of your horse and typically determines the compensation provided in case of theft or death. Different insurance policies may use different methods to calculate the market value, such as using a vet certificate or pre-determined percentage of the purchase price. It’s crucial to choose a policy with a reasonable calculation method that accurately reflects your horse’s current value, while also considering any fluctuations that may occur in the future. Understanding how the market value is calculated can ensure that you’re protected and receive the appropriate compensation if needed.

Selecting the Right Insurance Provider

Reputation and Customer Stories

When choosing an insurance provider, take time to research their reputation among current and former customers. Read customer stories and testimonials to gain insight into their experiences with the company. This will help you evaluate whether the provider delivers quality service and provides the peace of mind that you seek with horse insurance. Consistency in positive customer feedback is an important marker of the company’s ability to fulfill their policy terms and help customers through difficult situations.

Range of Policy Options

An ideal insurance provider should offer a range of policy options to cater to different needs and preferences. This allows you to select the most suitable insurance solution for your specific circumstances. Some providers, like Petplan and Petcover, have specialized policies focused on equine insurance. Compare the plans offered by these providers, examining each policy’s scope, coverages, and any optional extras like vet fee coverage or third-party liability. This will help you ensure that both you and your horse are well protected with the right insurance solution.

Common Types of Horse Insurance Claims


Injuries are common among horses due to their active nature and participation in events or work. Types of injuries can vary from minor cuts and abrasions to more severe strains, fractures, or tendon injuries. Equine insurance policies often cover the veterinary costs associated with these injuries, ensuring horse owners can provide the necessary care for their animals without facing financial strain.

Illness and Accidents

Horses, like any other animal, may suffer from various illnesses or experience accidents that can impact their health. Common illnesses include colic, respiratory issues, and laminitis, while accidents can range from falls during exercise to incidents during transportation. Horse insurance policies typically cover the veterinary costs incurred due to illness or accidental injuries, providing peace of mind for horse owners.

Theft and Disappearance

Theft and disappearance of horses can be a distressing situation for any horse owner. Horse insurance policies generally offer coverage for theft or disappearance, providing financial compensation if the horse is not recovered. This coverage can help horse owners replace their lost equines or invest in additional security measures to prevent future incidents.

By understanding the common types of horse insurance claims, such as injury, illness, accidents, and theft, horse owners can confidently select the best horse insurance policy in New Zealand that meets their needs and protects their equines.

Covering Additional Risks

When choosing the best horse insurance in NZ, it’s essential to consider additional risks that your horse may face. These risks can be covered under specific sections of policies, offering extra protection for saddlery and tack, horse floats, and drawn vehicles, as well as care, custody, and control.

Saddlery and Tack

Saddlery and tack are essential tools in managing and riding your horse. Insuring them provides protection against theft or damage. Some horse insurance policies offer separate coverage for saddlery and tack that can cover items such as saddles, bridles, and other riding equipment. This coverage ensures that you can replace or repair these vital tools if they are damaged, lost, or stolen.

Horse Floats and Drawn Vehicles

Horse floats and drawn vehicles are used for transporting your horses and other related equestrian equipment. It’s crucial to ensure your horse float or drawn vehicle is adequately insured against risks such as accidents, theft, or damage. Many horse insurance providers offer coverage for this, which can be added to your policy based on the value of the horse float or drawn vehicle and your needs.

Care, Custody, and Control

Care, custody, and control coverage is essential for horse owners who employ other people, such as trainers or stable staff, to care for their horses. This type of coverage protects you against the financial consequences of injuries or death to horses under your care, custody, or control. It can also cover legal fees and compensation expenses in case of a claim. Some horse insurance policies, such as those provided by Petcover NZ and Aon NZ, offer care, custody, and control as an optional addition to their policies.

By considering these additional risks, you can ensure that your horse, equipment, and other related assets are well protected, providing you with confidence and peace of mind as you enjoy your equestrian activities.

Costs of Horse Insurance


The cost of horse insurance premiums can vary depending on several factors, such as the age, breed, and value of your horse, as well as the specific coverage options you choose. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay upwards of $150 a year for horse insurance 1. It is essential to shop around and compare policies to ensure you are getting the best coverage for your horse at a reasonable price.

Vet Fees

One of the primary reasons for acquiring horse insurance is to cover veterinary expenses. Vet fees cover can include various services such as routine checkups, emergency treatments, diagnostic tests, and medication. The amount of coverage for veterinary costs depends on the policy you choose, and it’s important to understand the specific conditions and limitations of your policy. For instance, some policies may not cover certain pre-existing conditions or may have a maximum limit on the amount they’ll cover for specific treatments.


When selecting a horse insurance policy, it is crucial to consider the deductible (also known as excess) you’ll be required to pay. A deductible is the amount you must pay out-of-pocket before your insurance kicks in to cover the remaining costs. Deductibles can vary between policies and may differ depending on the type of veterinary care your horse requires. For example, the deductible for routine care might be lower than that for emergency treatment or surgery. Choosing a higher deductible can result in lower premium costs, but it also means you’ll have to cover more expenses yourself before the insurance pays. It is essential to evaluate your financial situation and your horse’s needs to select a deductible amount that best suits you.

Importance of Liability Coverage

When it comes to horse insurance in New Zealand, it is essential to consider the importance of liability coverage. Third party liability coverage can help protect you from potential legal and financial consequences if your horse were to cause damage or injury. It is particularly relevant when your horse’s natural instincts cause it to act out of the ordinary, potentially posing a risk to themselves and others around them.

One significant benefit of having liability coverage is the peace of mind it provides. Knowing that you’re protected in the event of an accident or damage caused by your horse allows you to enjoy equine activities with confidence. For instance, if your horse spooks and damages property or causes an accident during transportation, having the right insurance coverage ensures your financial stability will not be severely affected.

Moreover, some horse insurance policies in New Zealand, like Petcover NZ and Petplan NZ, offer third-party liability coverage of up to $5 million or $10 million, with relatively low excess fees. This coverage can be crucial, as the costs associated with legal cases or compensation claims can add up quickly, causing significant financial strain.

In summary, liability coverage is a crucial component of a comprehensive horse insurance policy in New Zealand. It helps protect you from legal and financial consequences, ensuring you can enjoy your time with your equine companion worry-free. When considering horse insurance options, make sure to evaluate the extent of liability coverage offered, as this can ultimately make a significant difference in the protection it provides.

Horse Insurance for Different Equestrian Activities

Dressage and Eventing

Dressage and eventing require specialized horse insurance policies, as these disciplines have unique risks and requirements. Insurance providers such as Petplan NZ and Petcover NZ offer specific coverage options for these activities. It is essential to choose a policy that includes coverage for veterinary costs, like diagnostic procedures, surgery, medication, and visits as mentioned in Horse Rookie.

Hunting and Pony Club

Hunting and pony club activities involve a mix of jumping, hacking, and interaction with other horses and riders. Therefore, having insurance that covers both your horse and potential third-party liability is crucial. Insurance providers like Aon NZ understand the specific needs of these disciplines and offer policies that include home and stable coverage, riding gear protection, and farm insurance, ensuring you and your horse are adequately protected.

Endurance and Farm Horses

Endurance and farm horses work in challenging environments and often cover long distances. These horses may face higher risks of injury and illness. Make sure your insurance policy provides comprehensive coverage for endurance and farm horses. Some insurance providers, like Petplan NZ, offer coverage options tailored for horses engaged in such activities, including horse float or horse-drawn vehicle protection.

Tips for Maintaining Good Horse Health

Regular exercise is essential for maintaining your horse’s physical and mental well-being. Horses are made to move, and standing in a stall for long periods can be detrimental to their health. Allow your horse plenty of space and opportunities to move around, whether at liberty, with a handler, or under saddle1.

Proper nutrition is another crucial aspect of good horse health. Ensure your horse receives a balanced diet that meets their specific needs, including the right balance of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Consult with an equine nutritionist or your veterinarian to design a suitable diet based on your horse’s age, size, and activity level.

Consistent grooming and care are also important for keeping your horse in top health. Regular grooming not only prevents certain health issues but also helps build a strong bond between you and your horse. Carefully inspect your horse for signs of injury or infection during grooming sessions. Besides, make sure your horse’s feet are cleaned regularly and receive appropriate hoof care from a farrier.

Routine veterinary care and vaccinations can prevent many health issues from escalating and ensure your horse receives timely medical attention when required2. Always monitor your horse for any changes in behavior or physical condition, as these might indicate underlying health concerns. Address such issues promptly with your vet.

Finally, providing your horse with proper living conditions is essential for their overall well-being. Ensure your horse has access to clean water and good-quality forage at all times, as well as a clean, dry, and well-ventilated stable to rest in. Adequate shelter from extreme weather conditions and protection from pests and predators also contribute to a healthy and stress-free environment3.

By following these tips, you can significantly enhance the health and happiness of your horse. Maintaining a healthy horse is not only beneficial for their general well-being but can also result in cost savings on veterinary bills and horse insurance policies.

Working with Brokers and Submitting a Proposal

When seeking the best horse insurance in NZ, working with a reliable and experienced insurance broker is essential. Insurance brokers can help you find the most suitable policy for your needs, as they have access to various insurance providers and a deep understanding of the market. To ensure you collaborate with a professional, always review their credentials and qualifications beforehand.

One aspect of working with a broker is submitting an equine proposal form. This form is a crucial step in the insurance process, as it allows the broker to understand your requirements and expectations. The proposal form typically asks for information about the horse, including its age, breed, and usage (such as racing, breeding, or sports), as well as any pre-existing medical conditions or previous insurance claims.

It’s essential to provide complete and accurate information when filling out the proposal form. This ensures that the broker can properly evaluate the risks associated with your horse and present you with the most appropriate insurance options. If a question does not apply, enter ‘N/A’ as your response.

Since horse insurance policies can vary greatly in terms of coverage, benefits, and premiums, it’s crucial to discuss your priorities and concerns with the broker. They can then recommend the best policy options for your situation. Additionally, brokers can review the terms and conditions of each policy, helping you understand the potential limitations and exclusions that may apply.

In conclusion, working with a knowledgeable and experienced insurance broker in NZ is vital to obtaining the best horse insurance policy. Be sure to fill out the equine proposal form with accurate and complete information, and communicate your priorities and concerns to the broker. This will allow them to recommend the most suitable insurance options and protect your valuable equine investments.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key factors in choosing horse insurance?

When choosing horse insurance, it’s important to consider the specific needs of your horse and your financial situation. Factors to consider include coverage options, policy limits, deductibles, and premium costs. It’s also important to research the insurance companies providing policies, ensuring that they have good reputations and a history of satisfactory customer service.

How much does equine insurance typically cost?

The cost of equine insurance can vary greatly depending on the type, age, and value of your horse, as well as the specific coverage options you choose. Premiums can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars per year. It’s important to shop around and obtain quotes from multiple insurers to find the best coverage for your needs and budget.

Which companies offer the best coverage for horse riders?

Several insurance companies provide coverage for horse riders in New Zealand, including Petplan and Aon NZ. These companies offer a variety of coverage options tailored to the needs of equestrian enthusiasts. Be sure to research each company’s specific offerings, customer reviews, and reputation in the industry.

Are veterinary bills covered by horse insurance?

Most horse insurance policies offer some form of coverage for veterinary bills, such as major medical coverage or surgery coverage. However, these policies often come with limits and exclusions, so it’s essential to carefully read the terms and conditions to determine what is covered. Some policies may also offer optional wellness or routine care coverage for services such as vaccinations and dental work.

Is equine medical insurance a good investment?

Equine medical insurance can be a valuable investment for horse owners, providing financial protection in case of unexpected veterinary expenses. However, the decision to purchase equine medical insurance depends on your financial situation, the value of your horse, and your risk tolerance.

What are the differences between various horse insurance policies?

Horse insurance policies can vary in terms of the types of coverage they offer, such as mortality coverage, theft, loss of use, and medical coverage. Policies can also have different limits, deductibles, and exclusions, affecting the scope of coverage and the cost of premiums. It’s important to carefully review the details of each policy and choose the one that best suits your needs as a horse owner.


  1. Horse Insurance Explained (Guide, Cost & Tips) – Horsey Hooves 2



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