Cats, dogs, kittens, birds and even your beloved tarantula called Terry, find their way into our hearts and we’d do anything to look after them. Yet with vets fees ever more expensive, pet owners without the right insurance can easily face bills costing thousands of pounds, something that without the right pet insurance can leave us in huge financial difficulty.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) last year announced that an estimated 84% of cats and 67% of dogs in the UK do not have pet insurance. Startling figures considering the high cost in vet fees and no other solution available such as the NHS.
For a small monthly cost, you can have peace of mind that your pet will be looked after properly if and when needed, without putting a strain on the family finances. Our expert team have researched and listed below what you need to look for when shopping for pet insurance, what cover is and isn’t needed, and some of the best deals on the market right now.
Is pet insurance necessary?
If you have the money to pay vets fees comfortably then no you don’t have to have pet insurance, it’s not a legal requirement. Yet be careful as vet fees can exceed £10k in some instances. If you can’t afford to pay vet fees when needed then we highly recommend getting insured.
What does a typical policy cover?
Pet insurance typically covers the following costs:
- Vet fees and certain medical expenses
- Death by accident or illness is covered by most policies but there are age restrictions so please check with your provider first. You are normally able to get the full cost of your pet at his or her death for the amount you paid for it.
- If your pet goes missing most insurers will help with the cost of posters and possibly paying a reward if found.
- Third-party liability, such as legal costs, expenses and claimant’s expenses if your animal injures a third party or causes damages to their property. Cats do not require this as they are considered free spirits and their owners cannot be held responsible for their animal’s actions.
- Overseas travel insurance – check this with your insurer if needed.
- Kennel or cattery fees are covered if you are unable to look after your pet for at least 2 – 4 consecutive days due to being in a hospital.
- Euthanasia, cremation or burial will normally be covered but only a contribution towards the final cost and not the full amount. Please check this when purchasing your policy.
- Dental is covered yet normally only for accidents unless specifically requested to be otherwise
What does pet insurance NOT cover?
Things to be aware of when looking for pet insurance that is often not included are as follows:
- Damage caused to your home by your pet, including biting, scratching, chewing and fouling are not included in policies. So if needed, please ensure you discuss this with your insurer. Also, be aware that this may be covered in your home insurance policy, so again please check first.
- If you don’t keep your pet up to date with its vaccinations it could mean your policy is invalidated. If this happens by accident simply inform your provider as soon as possible. Also, make sure you store your vaccination certificates safely as you may need them if you make a claim.
- Pre-existing conditions
- Routine check-ups at the vets
- Preventive treatments such as neutering and vaccinations
- Dental treatment
- Behavioural issues
Top pet insurance deals in September 2019
|Pet type||Provider||Policy details||Monthly cost|
|• Time limited policy|
• £1000 per condition
• £4000 annual policy limit
• For 12 months from date condition first noticed
• £99 excess
|Cat||Vets Medi Cover|
|• Time limited policy|
• £2000 per qualifying accident
• No annual policy limit
• Up to 12 months from treatment
• £90 excess
Please note the costs above may change based on animal type, breed, age and health.
Looking for holiday insurance?
Check out our latest article on what you need to cover and some of the very best deals around right now.
All the information shared in this article is to help you make your own decision. It is NOT intended as financial advice so use the information at your own risk as we can’t accept liability if things don’t go as you intend.