horse insurance switzerland comparison

Swiss Veterinary Insurance for Horses Explained

How can you insure your horse or pony aginst veterinary expenses in Switzerland? This guide explains.

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

Just like when you insure your car, getting your horse properly insured can have you reaching pretty deep into your pockets. But while insurance premiums may be steep, veterinary costs can be much more costly. 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 should count on paying between 30 and 100 francs per month for your horse's veterinary insurance.

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, and on what activities it engages in. For some horses, such as recently-foaled mares or mares used in breeding, special insurance premium structures may apply.

As with pet insurance for cats and dogs, it is possible to insure older horses as well, but the age of your horse at the time that you get insurance will affect how much insurance coverage you can get. The rule of thumb is: The older the horse is when you get veterinary insurance, the lower the maximum limit on coverage for veterinary costs will be.

Because of the differences in costs and coverage between various horse insurance offers, it’s important to get multiple quotes and to carefully compare them before settling on one.

Horse 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, you can generally take out horse insurance from them no matter where in Switzerland you and your horse live. In addition to veterinary insurance, many horse insurers also offer disability and/or life insurance which compensates you if your horse is disabled or dies.

Horse 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.

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