Pet insurance for animals is much like life insurance for humans. It's there to support you should the unexpected happen and your pet needs vet help. Vet treatment can be expensive, especially if they need treatment long-term. That’s where insurance can help against unexpected fees that can run into the hundreds or maybe even thousands of pounds.
There's a lot to consider when deciding whether you need pet insurance. What are the different cover levels? What’s the cost of pet insurance? What is self-insuring? It’s time to get answers to your questions so you can make an informed decision about whether to cover your pet.
Benefits of pet insurance
Help towards vet fees for accidents and illnesses
Your pet can fall ill or have an accident at any time during their life. Unexpected vet fees can soon add up to an expensive vet bill for you to pay. Pet insurance could help you during these times by paying towards these vet bills. This amount will vary depending on the level of cover you choose.
Cover against accidental damage
If your pet damages someone's property, pet insurance could help you pay towards the damage. The amount you can claim to cover damage costs depends on the level of cover you pick for your pet.
Third party liability cover for dogs
For dog owners, legal responsibility for injury to others or damage to property lies with you. For instance, if your dog runs across a road and causes an accident. That's why our pet insurance includes third party liability cover. The amount you can claim can go up to £3,000,000 depending on which cover you choose.
Cover if your pet goes missing
It's unthinkable, but your pet might go missing during their life. Should this happen, pet insurance could help. With help towards the cost of advertising that your pet is missing and a reward for their safe return, you can focus on finding your loved one.
Emergency boarding cover
Sometimes it's you, and not your pet, that needs a helping paw from pet insurance. If you need to stay in hospital for more than 4 days in a row, focus on recovering while your pet is being looked after. Have peace of mind with emergency boarding cover and claim back your pet's boarding fees. The amount you could claim will vary depending on the cover level you have.
Cover if you take your pet abroad
When travelling abroad with your pet, having cover that can support you if they fall ill is important. Pet insurance can cover you in certain European countries up to the vet fee limit on the cover you choose.
Support when it's time to say goodbye
When the day comes for you to say goodbye to your four-legged friend, we will pay for the cost if your pet is humanely put to sleep by a vet. We will also pay for the cost of cremation or burial.
Many pets can be a handful, but your pet insurance doesn't have to be. Save time and money by placing your pets under one policy and get a tail-wagging 10% discount.
Is self-insurance an option?
Self-insurance is where pet owners put money aside for any vet bills that may come their way. Although this is an option, there are some things you may want to consider:
- Pets can get ill or have accidents at any age. If you start self-insuring when you get your pet and they fall ill, you may not have enough saved to cover vet bills.
- Accidents and illnesses happen unexpectedly, so knowing how much to save is tricky. If your pet needs ongoing treatment and you know how much that costs, it can be easier. But insurance can offer help and support.
- You'll need to be strict with your savings so you have money available should you need it.
- You won't have cover for third-party liability on damages or injuries caused by your dog.
Before self-insuring, consider the age, size, breed of your pet and health conditions they are vulnerable to. This will help you decide whether it's a smart move or if pet insurance offers better cover for your pet.
Cost of vet bills
It can be hard to plan for unexpected vet bills when you’re not sure how much they might cost.
To give you an idea, in 2019, these were the most common illnesses or injuries MORE THAN pet insurance customers made claims against, and what we paid:
Top 5 illnesses or injuries in 2019
Number of claims in 2019
Average cost of claims in 2019
Foreign body (gastric)
Top 5 illnesses or injuries in 2019
Number of claims in 2019
Average cost of claims in 2019
Road traffic accident
Without pet insurance, the owners of these pets would have been paying those costs without insurance help.
What types of pet insurance are available?
Accidents only - We could cover your pet for unexpected mishaps, but not for illnesses. If you make a claim and have any remaining cover benefits you wish to use in the next policy year, you must renew your policy with us and there must be no break in cover.
Basic - Also known as time limited cover. This covers illnesses and accidents for 12 months or until the vet fee limit is reached. If you make a claim and have any remaining cover benefits you wish to use in the next policy year, you must renew your policy with us and there must be no break in cover.
Classic - Also known as maximum benefit cover. This covers accidents and illnesses up to the vet fee limit. Once this limit has been reached, you won’t be able to claim for that accident or illness. If you make a claim and have any remaining cover benefits you wish to use in the next policy year, you must renew your policy with us and there must be no break in cover.
Premier - Also known as lifetime cover. This covers accidents and illnesses up to your chosen vet fees limit each year. You must renew each year without a break in cover.
Cover may vary depending on which insurance provider you decide to buy from.
Is pet insurance a legal requirement?
Unlike microchipping your dog, pet insurance is not a legal requirement. Pet insurance is there to help cover your pet should they unexpectedly need a vet, saving you from footing the bill by yourself. So, although it’s not a legal requirement, it’s worth considering.
Things to think about when choosing pet insurance
When deciding which pet insurance to get, think about your pets:
Age - the older your pet, the more likely they are to fall unwell and need visits to a vet.
Breed - owning a pedigree breed can mean higher pet insurance premiums. Such breeds can be more prone to ongoing health conditions, with lots of vet help and treatment costs.
Health - your pet's health is important. Ongoing or chronic health conditions, such as arthritis, can impact your pet for the rest of their life. Vet bills and the price of ongoing treatment to ensure the quality of life for your pet can add up quickly. Pet insurance can support you if you choose the right policy for your pet.
Cover - there are different cover options available to choose from. Cover can vary from accidents only to a lifetime of cover. Be sure to look at each cover level and choose what suits your pets needs best.
What to look for in a pet insurance policy
It's important that you pick a pet insurance policy that covers the needs of your pet. Be sure to look out for:
The vet fee cover amount
Our pets can fall ill or have an accident at any age resulting in costly vet fees and treatment. This is why it’s important to select the correct vet fee amount for your pet.
The health of your pet and if there are any health conditions excluded from the policy
If your pet has a condition before you get pet insurance, it is likely that that condition will not have cover. Be sure to double check whether there are any exclusions that could impact your pet.
The reasons that could increase the cost of your policy.
There are a few factors that can impact the cost of your policy in years to come. For instance, if you make a claim, it might cause your renewal price to increase. Also, as your pet ages, they are more likely to get ill and can increase the price of your policy.
How much does pet insurance cost?
The cost of pet insurance varies from pet to pet. The price will depend on several factors, such as their age, breed, and if you have made any claims before. The cost will also change based on the cover level you choose. If you pick less comprehensive pet insurance cover, it could cost you less as the cover will include less.
How can I save money on pet insurance?
There are some things for you to consider that might save you some money on your pet insurance:
Keep an eye on your pet's health
Keeping an eye on your pet's health and spotting early signs of an illness can make a difference to your premium. If your pet falls ill and you need to claim, your pet insurance premium could rise the following year. Keep your pet healthy by:
- Feeding them a healthy diet
- Exercising them regularly
- Keeping their vaccinations up to date
- Giving them worming and flea treatment
- Looking after their dental health
- Grooming them
- Taking them to regular vet checks.
Get the right cover for your pet
There are different cover levels available for pets. With cover for accidents only or accidents and illnesses, it's worth thinking about what suits your pet most. Think about their age, breed and general health.
Edit your excess
Excess is what you pay in the event of a claim. To bring the cost of your insurance premium down, you can pick a higher excess. Think about what you can afford to pay if you did need to make a claim and only pick what you can afford to pay. When getting a quote online with us, you will see some helpful excess examples.
Research your breeds
Before you get a pet, be sure to research different breeds and their conditions. Some breeds are more prone to illness than others, which can make them more expensive to insure. Once you have your pet, make sure you know the conditions they are prone to so that you can keep an eye out and take steps to prevent them from developing.
Look for discounts
You might be eligible for a discount, which can help you save on your pet insurance.
It can be hard to imagine our pets unwell or injured but preparing for the unexpected can help you in the long run. If pet insurance is for you, we've got four cover levels to choose from with some great optional extras to cover your pet when they need it most.