Specialist insurers are being flooded with bad weather claims from riders who can’t find anywhere to shelter their horses. NFU Mutual insures 70% of farmers and thousands of homes in the country and is dealing with more than 11,000 flooding claims.
One of the biggest problems is from riding schools, stables and livery yards who need to find shelter from the weather for their horses and ponies.
The firm’s Alison Cox said: “Domestic stables, riding schools and livery yards are often prone to flooding especially if they are sited close to rivers and other water sources. During periods of prolonged wet weather, it is important that horse owners continually check up on the premises to make sure that the drainage is working properly.
“Although the initial reaction to flooding might be to keep your horse in the stable, being confined to a small area may be extremely frightening for a horse should the stable start to fill up with water.
“Some insurance policies might provide alternative accommodation for horses however, it is important that people review their policies to make sure they understand what level of cover they have in place and at what point it comes into effect.
“It isn’t enough for horse owners to rely on rescue services as and when the problem arises. Taking the time to plan early for such incidents will help avoid horse owners having to foot the bill for a call out fee.”
The insurer suggests horse and pony owners should have an emergency plan for looking after their animals which should cover:
- Turning off electricity and water supplies at the mains before a flood
- Move horseboxes or trailers to high ground
- Plan emergency exits
- Seek alternative accommodation for your horse or pony
- Keep emergency contact details to hand
- Stock up on food for your animal and have extra bedding to hand well away from the flood-hit area
- Pin waterproof contact details to any gateways so emergency services can contact you