Further Information.

Point 1

We have discussed with some insurance companies this policy of requesting a vetting certificate for the first time when a claim is submitted rather than when the policy is first issued. We have argued on our clients behalf that the insurance company should have requested this when they took the policy out and not now use the certificate as a potential way to avoid settling a claim.

The standard answer is that policies are issued on a degree of trust between the owner and the company. It is the responsibility of you the horse owner to declare any known issues to the insurance company when you first set up the policy. If you have had your horse vetted prior to purchase then you should be aware of any problems highlighted on the certificate and should tell the insurance company about them.

In some cases premiums may have been paid for years without a claim ever being submitted, only when one is, does the client find out that they are not covered for a particular problem because there is some reference to a similar or related condition on the vetting certificate.

Despite the fact we feel that the companies should have requested this certificate at the beginning of the policy and informed their clients of any potential issues with claims, it is difficult for us to gain the moral high-ground here because you are obliged to inform the company of any known problems when you take out your policy.

We think that the best way of dealing with this issue is to send your insurance company a copy of your certificate, if you have one, when you first start your policy and request that they acknowledge receipt of said certificate and that they acknowledge that they have noted the content of it. If you are then issued with a policy with no exclusions or noted issues on then we feel you should have no problems, you have been upfront and honest and given them the opportunity to inform you at the start of the policy of problems that may arise with a later claim.


Point 2

It is now almost universal practice for insurance companies to request from your vets a full clinical history for that animal when you submit a claim. We are obliged to release this history for the time that horse has been in your ownership if of course we have any history. If you are new to a practice but have used a different practice before then the insurance company may contact your earlier practice to check for a history with them. Similarly they are obliged to release that earlier history to the insurance company whilst that animal has been in your ownership.

A request for a photocopy of your vaccination record is one way companies can see which vets may have attended your horse over the previous years.

If you are cynical then you may look at this as an attempt to find information that means they do not have to settle your claim. The insurance companies would argue they are protecting their interests. We can see both sides of this argument and understand why insurance companies do this however we feel that this approach and course of action should be highlighted to the horse owner when they take out the policy not months or years later when they first submit a claim.

We would suggest that you discuss with your company what there protocol is when a claim is submitted at the time you start the policy or if you have an existing policy but have not claimed discuss it with them now.

It should be pointed out that information held about your horse whilst owned by someone else before you is confidential and will not be released to an insurance company without that previous owners consent. The insurance company has no right to request this information whilst the horse was not in your possession. This issue has come to our attention recently. We have been assured that insurance companies will not request such information and I am sure veterinary practices would not knowingly release such information without written consent from you and the previous owner.

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Orrell Equine is registered in England and Wales, company registration number 06547469