Switzerland enjoys a long equestrian tradition and horse riding is a well-loved pastime across the country. Agroscope placed the Swiss horse, pony and donkey population (as of 2013) at 103,010, and the population is growing steadily.
Those who dream of owning a horse of their own must have sizeable piggy banks. The rule of thumb in Switzerland is that owning a horse costs as much as owning a car. As with cars, the costs associated with owning horses vary depending on the type of horse or pony you own.
Horse insurance is not cheap
Like insuring your car, making sure your horse is properly insured can have you reaching pretty deep into your pockets. But while insurance premiums may be steep, veterinary costs can be much higher. It is not uncommon for veterinary bills for horse to run into tens of thousands of Swiss francs.
It’s no wonder then that horse insurance is notably more expensive than dog insurance or cat insurance, for example. You will have to count on paying between 30 and 100 francs per month in premiums for a horse insurance policy.
Major difference in premiums, terms and conditions
The premiums you have to pay to insure your horse can vary widely depending on the horse’s age and the insurance provider you use. A long list of discounts (claim-free discounts, for example) are available, but these also vary between insurers.
Premiums can also vary depending on a horse’s breed or purpose. For some horses, such as recently-foaled mares or mares used in breeding, special premium structures may apply.
Access to equine insurance, like pet insurance for cats and dogs, is not normally limited by age, but age does affect amount of coverage you can get. The rule of thumb: The older the horse, the lower the sum insured.
Because of the differences in cost and coverage between various horse insurance policies, it’s important to get multiple quotes and compare them thoroughly before settling on one.
Equine insurance from cooperatives
Most horse insurance companies run as cooperatives. The Zürcher, Aargauische, St.Gallische and Bündnerische horse insurance cooperatives are some examples.
While cooperatives are often named after a region or a canton, they offer insurance to horse owners across Switzerland. Besides equine health insurance, many horse insurers also provide death benefits or invalidity insurance.
Equine insurance from insurance companies
Aside from cooperatives, horse insurance is also provided by conventional insurance companies. The Equine insurance from Epona is a good example of this.
Conventional insurers also provide liability insurance which covers you when you ride horses that do not belong to you. Typically, premiums for this added liability insurance come to 130 francs per year.