Do I need pet insurance?

We're passionate about animals and we know how much vet fees can cost. This is why we recommend that people take out pet insurance for their furry family members. Vet treatment can often cost hundreds of pounds and it's not surprising that some pet owners struggle to afford unplanned treatment if their pet suffers an accident or illness. Having pet insurance ensures you're there for your pet when they need it most without worrying about vet bills.

Let's look at some case studies...

  • Poppy back to her best, after receiving treatment to prevent kidney damagePoppy the dog ate two sultana scones which were left on the kitchen table. Poppy required emergency treatment as scones contain dried grapes which are highly toxic to dogs. This one incident cost Poppy's owner £187.
  • Indie the Cat broke her left rear leg and needed two operations and a 5 nights stay in the vets to help fix it. In total the treatment cost £5,232.

Luckily both Poppy the Dog and Indie the Cat both were insured.

The benefits of pet Insurance

There are various levels of pet insurance cover to choose from across different pet insurance companies. It's important to look at the different options available to you, every pet is different and therefore you might seek different levels of cover. Here at some of the benefits:

  • Protection against vet bills if your pet suffers illness or accident
  • Dental treatment, farewell cover, lost and found and pets abroad cover
  • Multi Pet Discount - many insurers will offer you a discount for insuring more than one pet
  • Third Party Liability (dogs only) - covers damage to someone or someone else's property

What types of Pet Insurance are available to me?

Reinstatement or Lifetime Cover:

  • Reinstatement policies also known as Lifetime policies this type of cover offers ongoing cover for illnesses and injuries.
  • Your pet is covered up to a set amount each policy year for illnesses and injuries as long as the insurance policy remains in force. If the overall limit is reached during the policy year, your pet will not be covered for any further treatment required during that policy year. Each time you renew your policy the full level of cover is reinstated.

Maximum Benefit Policies:

  • Maximum benefit policies provide a fixed amount of money for each illness or injury to help pay for your pet's treatment.
  • Your pet is covered for each illness and injury until the maximum amount has been spent, as long as the insurance policy remains in force therefore you must renew your policy each year for cover to remain in place.
  • There is no time limit on reaching the amount however, once the full amount of money has been spent, the treatment of illness or injury will not be covered again.

Time Limited:

  • A set time period for which treatment of each illness or injury will be covered. Policies will typically cover the cost of treating your pet for a particular illness or injury for 12 months from the start of that illness or injury. The time-limit does not relate to the duration of the policy, but to the maximum amount of time an illness or injury is covered for. Therefore, if your policy renewal falls between a 12 month claim period you will need to renew your policy for the cover to remain in place and for your claim to continue to be paid.
  • When the set period has ended, or the fixed sum of money for a particular illness or injury has been reached - whichever comes first - your pet will not be covered for that particular illness or injury again.

Accident Only:

  • Accident only policies provide a fixed sum for each accidental injury to help pay for your pet's treatment.
  • Accident only policies may also include an amount towards the cost of emergency treatment for an illness.
  • Some accident policies will have a 12 month time limit. If cover is limited to a 12 month treatment period, or your pet's treatment will continue past your renewal date, you must renew your policy at the end of the policy period and keep your payments up-to-date to ensure your pet remains covered for future accidents that may require treatment.

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?

Cairn Terrier running in the woodsThere are many factors that are considered when purchasing a policy, no pet is the same and therefore the cost can change. The age, breed, location, whether the pet is neutered, type and size of the pet play a part in determining how much the pet insurance will cost. Each of these factors provides a different risk rating - so the higher the risk the more likely you are to make a claim and subsequently the more expensive the insurance generally costs. Generally speaking the most expensive level of cover is lifetime (reinstatement), however this also provides the most protection.

Other helpful information

We know that insurance terminology can be slightly confusing, we've put together some definitions that you'll need to be aware of below.

What is a pre-existing condition?

A pre-existing condition refers to any injury or illness that your pet shows symptoms of, before your insurance cover begins. You will need to declare any pre-existing condition that your pet has had when taking out a new insurance policy. If you are looking to change insurers then any condition that is covered under your current policy needs to be declared to your new insurer. You need to think carefully before swapping insurers if your pet has a developed a illness or injury, as it's likely this would not be covered by the new insurer if you change.

What does Bilateral Clause mean?

This means if your pet has had a particular illness or injury which then happens again in another part of the body at a later date, e.g. a different leg, ear or eye, many policies will view this as the same condition.

What is co-insurance (also known as percentage insurance) in pet insurance?

This is when the insurer and policyholder agree to share the cost of treatment in the event of a claim. It is quite often applied to older animals where in the event of a claim, the pet owner is charged a percentage of the remaining vet fees after the excess has been deducted. The percentage can vary from policy to policy, but you will be required to pay a share towards the cost of your claim after your flat excess has been deducted.

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