Guide to Pet Insurance

Dog

Like all insurance, pet insurance
is there to help with unexpected
events and costs. Typically, it is
used to pay vet bills should the
worst happen.

What is included?

Like all insurance, pet insurance is there to help with unexpected events and costs. Typically, it is used to pay vet bills should the worst happen. It does not cover vaccinations, neutering, worming and flea and tick treatments, however some vets do have “clubs” that you can join to spread or reduce these expected costs.

There are limitations to all policies and you need to look at each provider carefully. Some policies have limitations on how much they will pay out, how long they will cover your animal and exclusions depending on your pets age.

How much does it cost?

The cost varies on the type of cover you require. For instance, we looked at costs for a one-year old Labrador Retriever and found that policy costs vary from as little as £3 a month for accident only policies up to £40 for a high value lifetime policy.

How much could I get towards bills?

The cheapest policies offer about £3000 of cover for accidents or £500 cover per condition for vet bills. Once we looked at policies over £7 per month on the popular comparison sites we saw these rates start to increase with the highest price brackets offering up to £15,000 cover per year.

How long will they support treatment?

This is an important thing to look for once you get to mid-range policies. You’ll notice polices are either described “Time Limited” or “Lifetime.” Typically, Time Limited policies offer cover on a condition for 12 months, after that time, or if you’ve reached the maximum pay-out figure on the policy, the support will stop, and the condition will not be covered at renewal.

A lifetime policy will support your pet for as long as your pet has the condition if you stay with the policy provider. There will be a maximum pay-out on each condition, so you may have to pay something yourself if treatment exceeds this value. Once you renew each year, this figure will reset so you will be able to claim again the following year if you stay with that insurer.

What is Third Party
Liability Cover?

This section of a policy covers your legal liability. For example, if your dog causes an injury, accident or damage. It doesn’t cover you, your family or employees but does include members of the public.

What else is included?

In most policies except the very entry-level ones you’ll often find cover for the loss or death of your pet as well as emergency boarding fees, holiday cancellation and travel cover. Read the small print if these are important to you but keep focused on the main features of the insurance policy.

Tips on choosing a policy

Use an online comparison site but make sure you click through and read the policy summary carefully before purchasing.
Don’t choose a policy based on free gifts.
If you don’t have access to an online site, then get at least three quotes.

The contents of this article are provided for entertainment purposes only. Always consult an expert on the topic.

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