Is pet insurance worth it?

Is pet insurance worth it?

It’s estimated that 92% of pets will need emergency vet treatment at some stage in their lives. So, is it worth taking out pet insurance to help cover the costs? We take a look. 

James Martin Content Writer
5
minute read
posted

What types of pet insurance are available?

There are four main types of insurance:

Accident only – this is where your insurance provider will only cover your pet for accidents. 90% of people could achieve a quote of up to £2.94 per month for their accident only cat insurance based on comparethemarket.com data in February 2018.

Time limited  – this covers illness and accident for (usually) 12 months. 50% of people could achieve a quote of up to £5.10 per month for their time limited dog insurance based on comparethemarket.com data in February 2018.

• Maximum benefit – this covers accident and illness indefinitely (as long as you renew your policy). There’s usually a fixed cost limit and once this is reached, you won’t be able to claim anymore. 50% of people could achieve a quote of up to £4.73 per month for their maximum benefit cat insurance based on comparethemarket.com data in February 2018.

Lifetime – this is the most comprehensive policy available and will cover accident, injury and illness for your pet’s lifetime. 50% of people could achieve a quote of up to £10.16 per month for their lifetime dog insurance based on comparethemarket.com data in February 2018.

What types of pet insurance are available?

How much do vet bills cost?

It depends on what your pet is treated for and where you live – costs do vary from region to region. But according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the cost of an average claim rose to over £750 in 2016 – no small sum if you have to cover it yourself.

Despite the potential costs, very few UK pet owners insure their pets. ABI figures show only 30% of the UK’s 8.5 million dog owners have pet insurance. And when it comes to the 7.5 million cat owners, only 16% have cover.

What else do I need to consider?

When choosing whether to insure your pet, there are a few other things to think about.

  • Pre-existing conditions – these aren’t usually covered by pet insurance.
  • Long-term conditions – ongoing conditions may only be covered if you have a lifetime policy. Check carefully to see what is covered – particularly if choosing an annual policy.
  • The age of your pet – this will influence the cost of your premium. Older animals cost more to insure and after a certain age, you may find very few insurance providers are willing to cover your pet.
  • Breed – if your pet is a pedigree it could cost more to insure.
  • Breeding and pregnancy – costs related to pregnancy are not always included, so if you are planning on breeding then make sure this is covered.

Routine vaccinations, check-ups, spaying or neutering aren’t usually covered by pet insurance. If your pet misses a routine vaccine and becomes ill, it could invalidate your policy.

What else do I need to consider?

Is it possible to save money on pet insurance?

Yes. As well as comparing pet insurance prices to make sure you get a competitive quote, there are a few ways you can help to reduce your premiums.

  • Avoid pedigree animals – if you are getting a new pet, choosing a cross breed could save you money. Pedigree cats and dogs can be more prone to some illnesses and some congenital diseases and hereditary issues. They are also more likely to be stolen. This makes insuring them more expensive.
  • Spaying or neutering your pet as it avoids problems associated with pregnancy.
  • Multi-pet insurance – some insurance providers might give you a discount if you cover more than one pet. Sorry, you can't yet compare this with us.
  • Paying a higher excess, but make sure you can afford the pay the amount should you need to make a claim.
  • Get insurance when your pet is young and healthy – if you wait until they are older or have health problems you might find it hard to get the cover you want or have to pay more for it.

Find out more about reducing the cost of your pet insurance.

What does a dog owner say about pet insurance?

For dog lover John Goddard, who owns Ludwig (pictured), a 3 year old Miniature Schnauzer, getting pet insurance was a no-brainer:

“We’ve had Ludwig on full life-time cover since he was a pup. It costs us £32 a month. I wanted to make sure our package came with cover for any extra dental work.”

“You shouldn’t underestimate what could happen to your pet – my first cat fell seriously ill and was diagnosed with cancer. The cost of housing her overnight at the vet’s was eye-watering, never mind the treatment itself.”

Ludwig

So is pet insurance worth it?

The figures suggest that it certainly makes sense to cover yourself in case of emergencies.

To get an idea of what pet insurance providers can offer you and your pet, why not compare some quotes now?

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