Your Questions: Permanent Loss of Use

Cover Benefits

What does permanent loss of use actually mean?

'Permanent' means forever. Permanent Loss of Use therefore means the insured horse can never again be used for any one of the activities you have insured it for.

For you to make a claim your vet must state that, due to an illness or injury occurring during your policy period, your horse will never again be able to participate in the activities it is insured for. This may take time to establish and you should expect payment under this benefit to take several months.

Are there different types of Permanent Loss of Use cover?

Yes, so before you buy Permanent Loss of Use insurance, check what you are buying. There are two distinct types of insurance sold:

  • Insurance that will only pay out if your horse has an accident or external injury, which results in permanent loss of use.
  • Insurance that will pay out if your horse has an accident or injury, or suffers an illness that results in Permanent Loss of Use.

Be sure that you choose the type of insurance that meets your needs.

Why are there different percentages of Permanent Loss of Use available?

As Permanent Loss of Use is designed to pay up to the full value of your horse, insurers charge quite a high premium for the cover. By offering different percentage options they allow you to benefit from the cover whilst keeping the premium affordable (the lower the percentage the lower the premium).

Within what period must I claim?

Most insurers will allow you to submit a claim for Permanent Loss of Use up to a maximum of 12 months from the date of the first clinical signs of the illness or the date the injury happened. However, it is preferable for you to advise your insurance company as soon as you become aware that Loss of Use is a possibility.

Why can it take so long to pay a Permanent Loss of Use Claim?

Following an injury or illness it may take many months of treatment or rehabilitation before it is clear whether or not a horse will be able to compete or participate in the discipline for which it is insured. After a period of rest the horse will then need to be brought back to fitness so that the vet can assess it's ability to compete or participate in the activity it was insured for.

Loss of Use claims usually involve discussions between your vet and a vet acting on behalf of the insurance company. Both parties will have to agree that the horse will never be able to participate in the insured activity before a claim will be settled.

Some conditions will need longer than others before a vet can determine whether it will satisfy the criteria for Loss of Use. Tendon and ligament injuries often take many months to heal and if it is in the horse's interest to allow more time before bringing it back to work, insurers may agree to extend the time limit on these claims.

Does Permanent Loss of Use insurance pay if the horse cannot breed?

An insurance company will only pay for Permanent Loss of Use if your horse cannot breed as a result of an injury or illness and it has been insured specifically for breeding, ie. as a broodmare or breeding stallion. It is unusual for insurance companies to cover infertility that is not related to injury or illness.

Does Permanent Loss of Use insurance pay if a show pony has scars or blemishes?

Insurance companies will not normally pay loss of use if blemishes or scars prevent a horse or pony from showing.

What happens to the horse after a Permanent Loss of Use claim is paid?

Most insurance companies give the owner the choice of keeping the horse or having it humanely destroyed. If the horse is destroyed the insurer will require proof of destruction from your vet.

If the horse is not destroyed most insurance companies will need it to be freeze marked with the letter "L" in a circle. Some insurance companies will pay for this and others will deduct the cost from the amount they pay you.