Following our successful post about pets making the best co-workers, we take a look at Pet Insurance to see if it is worth having and its benefits. Some people choose to either save money every month or just use a credit card, but is Pet Insurance a safer bet? In today’s guide we will be changing gear slightly. But feel free to check out our guides section for other interesting posts.
Today’s Guide Includes:
What Is Pet Insurance?
Pet insurance is an optional protection policy that you can purchase to cover the costs of treating your pet. A policy can offer either time limited or lifetime cover if they were to suffer from an illness, or are injured in an accident. Similar to Car Insurance, you can choose to pay for a policy either annually or by month.
It is also worth noting that different insurers will have additional benefits to offer further protection for your pet.
These can include:
- Dental care
- Alternative treatments
- Lifetime treatment for your pet
- Loss or theft of your pet
- Treatment for behavioural problems
- Death by illness or injury
- Liability cover: Legal protection if a person, pet is injured or property damaged in an incident involving your pet
What Is The Best Type Of Pet Insurance?
Finding the best type of Insurance for your pet will depend on a few key factors. Which include monthly cost, age of your pet and if they have any ongoing issues.
Detailed below are the four main types of Pet Insurance:
Accident only: This level of cover is usually the cheapest protection cover available as your insurance provider will only cover your pet for accidents. Accident only cover will not offer protection for Illnesses.
Time limited: Also known as Annual Cover, this policy type will cover illness and accident for your pet for fixed time period. Which is usually 12 months.
Maximum benefit: A maximum benefit policy will provide protection for accident and illness indefinitely. A point to remember is that once you reach the cost limit, you won’t be able to claim anymore.
Lifetime: This protection type is by far the most comprehensive policy available and will offer cover accident, injury and illness for your pet’s lifetime. It also includes a renewing benefit amount for claims.
Before you decide on which policy to choose for your pet, please be very careful on your choice as cheaper is not always better. Comparing policies and considering if Pet Insurance is worth it for you and your family will need some research. By joining social media groups for your pet will also help you find Pet Insurance quotes which will suit your individual circumstances.
Who Are The Best Pet Insurers?
Many people will have heard of Petplan from family members, friends and their vets. But they are not the only insurance provider. Many vets prefer people to use Petplan because it is beneficial to them. However, other providers including Bought By Many offer similar levels of cover at cheaper monthly premiums.
Similar to Car Insurance, each insurer has different benefits available, which allows individuals to choose the best policy for them. To get the best Pet Insurance available always do research into what type of policy you need. Also join social media groups for your pets breed e.g. Labradors UK and ask advice.
Are Vet Bills Expensive?
In the UK we are very lucky to have the NHS which offers medical treatment to us for free, in many other countries like the USA and others they have a private medical system. The reason for mentioning this is to explain treatment costs for vets. Because treatment for pets and other animals are not nationally funded through taxes, all treatment costs are paid for by the patient’s owner.
All treatment your pet receives will have a cost and it depends on what your pet is treated for and where you live. The most recent data from the Association of British Insurers (ABI), shows the cost of an average claim rose to over £820 in 2019. Which should encourage many to buy Insurance for their pets. It is also worth noting that more people insure their pets than themselves
Despite the very expensive potential costs, some UK pet owners choose to not insure their pets. Also included in the ABI data figures show only 45% of the UK’s 8.5 million dog owners have pet insurance.
Do I Need Pet Insurance?
When making the choice on whether to insure your pet, there are a few things to consider for the longer term benefit of your pet which include.
Would you be able to pay for:
- Any vet treatment needed
- Lifetime medication costs
- Liability claims against your pet
If you are confident that the above costs would not impact you financially, then you might not need Pet Insurance. However, for the vast majority of pet owners having the reassurance of a policy to protect their furry family member is extremely beneficial.
What is Not Covered By Pet Insurance
Although a policy for your pet will offer many levels of protection, there are a handful of things that will not be covered which includes:
Pre-existing conditions: Most insurers will not offer cover for a condition prior to purchasing a policy.
Long-term conditions: Ongoing medical conditions will only be covered if you have a lifetime policy.
Your pet’s age: This will influence the cost of your premium. Older animals will cost more to insure and after a certain age, you may find very few insurance providers are willing to cover your pet.
Breeding and pregnancy: Some costs related to pregnancy are not always included, so if you are planning on breeding then make sure this is covered.
Vaccinations and check-ups: 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.
Can Monthly Premiums Be Cheaper?
Because there are so many different pet insurers available it is possible to get a competitive quote and save money on your monthly premiums including:
Choosing the right breed: If you are getting a new pet, choosing either a cross breed or a breed without medical conditions can save you money. Some cats and dog breeds can be more prone to some illnesses and some congenital diseases and hereditary issues.
Spaying or neutering your pet: This will reduce the risk of any problems associated with pregnancy.
Multi-pet insurance: Some providers do offer a discount if you cover more than one pet, which can vary between 5% – 20% of the annual premium cost.
Increase Your Excess: By choosing to pay a higher excess will reduce your premium. But you will need to make sure you can afford the pay the amount should you need to make a claim.
Co-Pay: This option is available by many insurers, by choosing this option will reduce your premium. But it will be very expensive if you need to claim, as you will be paying a percentage of the claim amount as well as the excess.
Protect your pet when they are young: Many breeders offer a few weeks of Pet Insurance when you purchase a pet. If you wait until they are older or start to have health problems you will find it hard to get the cover you want or have to pay more for it.
Will Pet Insurance Save Me Money?
For many pet owners the likelihood of saving money by buying a Pet Insurance policy does suggest that it certainly makes sense to cover you and your pet in case of emergencies. This type of Insurance will offer the reassurance that you won’t be met with a large and unexpected bill for an injury or illness.
The key point to remember is that if you had a choice of protecting your car with an insurance policy, would you? So does the same apply to insuring your pet for their lifetime?