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What has been your highest vets bill and why?

(13 Posts)
Poppyseed111 Tue 16-Feb-16 08:45:01

Hi, I started riding at the grand age old of 54 and have now, aged 57 bought my very first horse! Beyond excited!! He's a 14 year old cob who has been in the same home for the last ten years and I have known him for two. He has had no major health issues and I am lucky enough to be keeping him on the same yard. .

My dilemma is to insure against vets fees or put a sum of money aside? (am thinking around 5k). Insurance will be around £40 a month to start but will only go up as he gets older so my question is how high has your highest vets bill been so far? Any advice greatly appreciated,

frostyfingers Tue 16-Feb-16 09:53:36

Hmm, tricky one really. What are your plans for him? I do insure my horses but I do higher risk stuff like hunting & team chasing. Having said that my biggest vets bill was for Kissing Spine Surgery which topped £5k (including diagnosis, rehab & physio). Second biggest was around £1.5k which was for an injury sustained in the field, and sadly fatal. My first horse wasn't insured for fees and I spent a lot on sarcoid treatment which is why with the next I went for it.

Who have you had a quote from? In my experience NFU were outrageously expensive but I know others have had good prices from them, I'm currently with SEIB who have been very efficient handling claims and were £300 less than NFU on my last quote (December), I tried Petplan & KBIS as well and they were both substantially higher than SEIB but not as pricey as NFU. Don't touch E&L.

Poppyseed111 Tue 16-Feb-16 17:21:08

Thanks Frosty, I only plan to do hacking around the lanes and light schooling at the yard, nothing more ambitious than that so just not sure if it's worth forking out every month for insurance I may never need or if I would be better off keeping some money put aside. It's a gamble I suppose. I've had quotes from NFU and petplan which were very similar. Have heard good reviews about NFU but no idea about petplan. Animal friends are much cheaper but have read shocking reviews about them. I will try SEIB though so thanks for that tip. Can anyone recommend petplan? I should add that I have third party liability through the BHS.

mrslaughan Tue 16-Feb-16 19:23:47

I went with NFU because I knew a number of people who had had claims paid out no quibbling, and others who had had trouble with payments from other insurers. Having said that, insuring my sons ponies has been really reasonable - and when I looked for my horse , who I do low level dressage on, but is semi-professionally showjumped ......maybe that should be professionally showjumped, when I rang around they were only slightly more than SEIB and another one - I went with NFU because for the sake of £10 it was easier to have them all together.

One of the reasons I insure is that I am a big softey, and would bankrupt myself having vet treatment if a pony or horse I owned had a survivable injury......I couldn't say, oh he's only worth $1500 so that's all I am prepared to pay.......any more they are trotting over rainbow bridge, I just would not be able to do it, so it is kind of me saving myself from myself.

frostyfingers Tue 16-Feb-16 19:47:25

I do find the variations in quotes amazing - NFU have consistently been £££'s more expensive for me, yet like you MrsL I hear of lots of people who have great quotes for them - my sister pays a similar amount to me with NFU yet as I said my quote from them was a whopping £300 more than SEIB.

When I originally moved to the country we had house, car & horse insurance with NFU because I liked the idea of a local office but we've gradually moved everything from them. I always ring for a quote with them just in case though!

backinthebox Tue 16-Feb-16 23:08:27

I paid £££s insurance for years then one day decided not to any more and put the money on one side instead. 2 weeks later one of them decided to get a really aggressive tumour that needed removing under GA followed by considerable drug after-treatments! A couple of thousand pounds later I was wishing he had been insured! But in the grand scheme of things the amount I have shelled out on vets fees (even with the tumour) has been considerably less than I would have paid out in insurance premiums. Just make sure you re covered somehow for public liability. That is very important.

Poppyseed111 Wed 17-Feb-16 18:34:21

Oh blimey sod's law isn't it! That doesn't sound too extortionate though considering someone I know paid £1,500 for tests and catheter for her cat's bladder infection! Hmm, food for thought.

Partron Wed 17-Feb-16 18:40:48

I don't think k it matters what level you ride at - dds horse got kicked in the knee by another horse standing around at a show - cost 700 vets bills, 2 weeks later he injured hi other leg in the stable overnight confused

He's eventd and hunted with no issues hmm

Partron Wed 17-Feb-16 18:41:38

My vet says Nfu and pet plan are the best for paying out smile

Floralnomad Wed 17-Feb-16 21:48:38

I agree with pp , we only did hacking / schooling at home and our horses vets bills amounted to thousands over the years . Our Shetland got strangles , we had 2 with long term laminitis , my thoroughbred had numerous injuries ,fractured facial sinuses with surgical emphysema after a fall in the stable , oesophageal stricture and mental health issues and our healthy one had cancer of the sheath which needed surgery - none of which were caused by hazardous activity ! I reckon we bought our vet at least one new landrover .

Poppyseed111 Wed 17-Feb-16 22:12:57

Thank you all for your responses. I have decided to insure as am a worry wort and think I will go with NFU as their quote has actually been comparable with others and I have read really good reviews about them.

Pixel Sun 21-Feb-16 00:57:59

I got a quote from NFU last year but they wanted hundreds more than what I was already paying. I'm with Shearwater. Always found them very friendly and helpful on the phone and they paid out without quibbling on the one occasion we had to claim.
I must admit I do resent paying for insurance in a way because in 30 odd years we've never really had a huge bill that we've had to claim for (and we kept all our boys until they were in their late 20s/30s so there was a long time when they were too old to insure anyway). However, with dhorse the possibility of having to pay for surgery at some point always hangs over me because I know I wouldn't have the money, so I'm too scared to stop paying the insurance! With the old ones I wouldn't have put them through it anyway but as he's younger I'd have to give him the chance.
When my sister's pony got too old to insure for vet's bills she joined the BHS so she'd be automatically covered for third party and legal fees which worked out cheaper than paying the insurance company, so that's something you could think about in the future.

Moanranger Sun 13-Mar-16 22:14:45

I had an £8k bill for colic -2 surgeries & lost the horse, worth another £8 k + cremation, so I got a big payout, but would way rather have had the horse survive.
Rule of thumb is £4-5 k in reserve if you don't insure, or else have a high excess, say, £450 or so, & small premium.

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