Do I need pet insurance?

As a pet owner, it's beyond question how much we love our animals. What we don't know the answer to though, is which health issues will affect them and when they could happen.

Having a pet insurance policy could help to guard against the unexpected cost such as sudden vet bills for major operations which could run into thousands. This risk is increased further if you have more than one pet, but there are discounts available for multi-pet cover which could help reduce the cost. So, when it comes to looking after your furry friends, pet insurance could help put your mind at east when it comes to managing unexpected costs linked to vet bills.

What does pet insurance cover?

Here are a few reasons why you may want to consider pet insurance:

  • The average claim for pet insurance is just under £800, which is a lot of money to have spare. If your pet has an ongoing condition the costs can quickly spiral out of control. Insuring your animal covers accidents, illness, behavioural issues and the need for costly treatment as the vet.
  • The average life expectancy of a dog is 10-13 years, while cats can live for up to 20 years (and over in some cases). Planning for the day they become ill is something that you should consider sooner rather than later. Pet insurance can also include farewell cover so that costs associated with your pet's passing (such as cremation or burial) are covered, subject to terms and conditions.
  • Pet theft is on the rise. Almost 2,000 dog thefts were reported to police in England Wales in 2018; up by 121 on 2017, with cat snatching increasing too! A pet insurance policy will help towards the costs of finding a missing pet, as well as the reward money.
  • Insurance is not just for your pet, but other pets and other people. Third party liability insurance covers you if your dog injures someone, or damages property, providing cover up to a specified amount.
  • Valuable pedigree animals are generally more vulnerable - both to health defects caused by over-breeding and theft. If you dog or cat is a pedigree, pet insurance is highly advisable.

Should I consider pet insurance for travel?

In the event your travel plans are disrupted by your pet's travel documents not being accepted; the expenses can be significant. That's why a policy with a travel insurance component could help to give you peace of mind. You can also find policies offering cover against having to cancel a holiday because your pet has fallen ill, or if accessories such as a cage or tracking device get damaged during transit.

What are the drawbacks of pet insurance?

Like most types of insurance, it won't cover you for pre-existing conditions or if your animal has not kept up-to-date with the required vaccinations. Consider the age of your animal and whether it is worth insuring them when you factor in premiums. Check your policy carefully to see exactly what your will be covered for and which exclusions may apply. Also bear in mind that some breeds of dogs will not be eligible for insurance.

Want to find out how much it costs to insure your dog or cat? Click here