Pets are a valuable part of the family and as such, your best friend being hurt, ill or injured can be a source of real stress and anxiety. No one likes their pet to be in pain. With vet bills ever-climbing and unexpected expenses popping up every day for pet owners, you can soon find yourself thousands of pounds out of pocket from surgery or an extended stay at the clinic for your dog or cat.
Not only does this put owners in an awful dilemma – choosing between helping their furry friend or facing the pain of putting them down due to costs – it also leads many pet owners into debt over sudden, unexpected expenses and visits to their local vet. It’s not enough to directly go with the first pet insurance you see or are offered, with claims often hitting more than £700, having the best deal for your money is a must.
So how can you ensure your pet is happy and healthy, and you’re getting the best value for money with your insurance choice? By taking the time to compare pet insurance you can soon be in the know about the best insurance options out there. You’ll be in the green when it comes to the health of your best friend – and the inside of your wallet, too.
Why insure your pet?
From average household animals like dogs and cats to more exotic choices like reptiles or birds, millions of families across the UK have pets that could generate costly bills should something go wrong with their health. From simple accidents such as your pooch swallowing something they shouldn’t to health concerns and illnesses such as cancers or allergies, there are thousands of ailments that could affect your pet, and being prepared for those circumstances is one of the ways you can be an excellent pet owner.
Pet insurance isn’t taken out with the expectation that your pet will get sick, need a vet visit or otherwise require veterinary services. Taking out insurance on your pet is preventative, allowing your four-legged friend to be treated as quickly as possible without the need to raise funds and spend time getting the money together.
Pet insurance is there to cover the unexpected and unforeseen. Very often, just like people, when something happens to our pets we don’t see it coming beforehand; and pet insurance provides us with a safety net that, should the worst occur and your pet becomes very ill suddenly, you’re covered on the costs to provide them with all the care they need. This is one of the reasons you want to compare pet insurance carefully, to ensure you’re covered for just about every eventuality at a price you can afford.
Why having insurance is a must for a responsible pet owner
We’ve discussed why you should invest in pet insurance, but it’s not just the welfare of your animal friends to consider when it comes to getting insurance for your animal. As with other types of insurance, pet insurance doesn’t act as if you’re living in a bubble; it provides protection and support in the real world, and that makes it a highly important factor to consider when you adopt or bring a new pet into your family.
If you can’t afford to pay vet bills at a moment’s notice, the costs of which can reach as high as an eye-watering £30,000, it makes perfect sense to ensure you’re covered for those costs by an insurance policy. Though it may be tempting to think of self-insuring, or putting money aside just in case, that method relies on your pet not becoming ill before you’ve saved up enough to care for it. If multiple pets become ill at the same time your savings will soon be depleted.
Not having insurance for your pet can open up many problems when it comes to the care of your valued family member, from not being able to provide them with the best treatment to even being sued if your dog causes an accident that results in, for example, a car crash. If you don’t have pet insurance, you’re liable for those costs yourself – which is another drain on resources that you might not expect. As a responsible pet owner, ensuring you compare pet insurance and pick the type that’s right for your family is a must.
What does pet insurance cover?
With so many things capable of happening to your furry friend that may lead to a visit to the vet or even further care and medication, it’s important to be aware of what exactly the average pet insurance policy covers. Though this can vary depending upon the type of cover available – and even on the breed of dog, with some breeds such as pit bulls unable to be covered under insurance as they are considered a dangerous breed.
Insurance can cover the average pet for general accidents and emergencies that require a vet visit and treatment, as well as unexpected illnesses that may occur – or longer-term conditions in the case of some policies, such as arthritis or kidney problems, provided these are uncovered during the time your policy is active. Liability cover may also be included in your pet insurance, as well as boarding for your pets should you be in hospital yourself.
It’s also important to know what isn’t covered in insurance, to ensure that your pets can receive the best possible treatment, and so you can plan to put aside money for these purposes. Preventative treatments like spaying and neutering generally aren’t covered by insurance, as well as dental procedures, check-ups and conditions that existed before signing up to your insurance policy. However, some veterinary practices have plans in place that can cover your pet for their inoculations, neutering and more in a monthly cost, so it’s always worth asking.
If you know what you want to be covered in your insurance policy and what you are happy to leave out, when you compare pet insurance you can have a clearer idea of what choice is the best for you and your pet. These comparison tools make it more practical to switch or introduce policies that do exactly what you want and need them to.
What are the types of pet insurance?
Once you’ve decided you’re considering insuring your pets, the next step is to get a little more educated on what exactly pet insurance is, and what it entails. There are a variety of different options out there that might be suitable for your family, so it’s important to compare pet insurance not just for best value for money, but also for everything you need to be covered by that monthly cost. Here are four of the main types of policy you might choose from for your furry friend:
This insurance covers your pet in the event that something unexpected occurs that results in a vet visit or even further treatment. These policies often include a fixed sum of money to cover accidental injury, whether it’s a broken bone, a run-in with a car or some cuts and scrapes. These types of policies don’t include other forms of illnesses or disease, however, so may not be suitable to cover all eventualities.
Known often as a 12 month policy, this type of pet insurance in fairly easy to decipher; it offers your family a fixed amount of money to cover injuries or illnesses within a span of time, often a year, to cover treatment and recovery from that condition. Longer-term diseases or complications would not be covered by this kind of pet insurance, but for shorter-term accidents and illnesses it can be a good fit.
One of the more common and practical forms of pet insurance, lifetime insurance offers ample cover for the furry members of your household, with a policy that requires renewal every year and covers just about every eventuality, from long-term illnesses to unexpected accidents or problems. As long as the sickness rears its head after insurance is in place, and that policy continues to be renewed, your pet can be provided with the best possible care for chronic or ongoing conditions.
A shorter-term version of other pet insurance policies, maximum benefit insurance works a little differently, by providing a maximum amount of money paid to cover each accident or illness that occurs. Once the cost of care and veterinary support exceeds that amount, no more is paid out by the insurance company to help care for your pet.
Depending on your circumstances and requirements, any of the above policies and pet insurance methods might be suitable for your family. The great thing about pet insurance is how customisable it can be to your needs, especially when you compare pet insurance to find the best deal for you.
What insurance is right for my pet?
Once you have a clear idea of what pet insurance is available, and how it works, you’re able to make a more informed decision about what policy is the best fit for your family, what you want to be covered and how you want that cover to work. It’s important to have clarity when it comes to making the best choices for the health of your pet – as a valued member of your family, keeping them healthy and happy is a must, and ensures you can care for them when they need it without worrying about large bills or unexpected costs.
There are many factors to consider when picking the right insurance for you, but one of the best things you can do is to get your dog or cat insured when they’re as young as possible. This means that any pre-existing conditions that occur later in life, from sudden onset of disease or health concerns through to illnesses that occur in older dogs such as arthritis, will all be covered as part of your plan.
It’s also important to be honest when you’re signing up for pet insurance. If your furry friend has health concerns you haven’t declared, you may be getting a cheaper deal in the first place, but your claims for your pet’s next illness might be rejected if the insurance company believes you lied about the health of your pet. When searching for the best policy for your pet, honesty is a must to ensure that both you and your family are getting the best value for money and the best care possible.
Why compare pet insurance?
As with any kind of insurance, it’s essential to compare pet insurance as it gives you a far better overview of what’s out there in the market and a better understanding of the costs attached to each type of insurance policy. With so many variables and different types of pet insurance out there, using a comparison tool can help sort what policies cover all your needs, as well as which are the best value for money.
If you already have pet insurance, or your furry family member has a pre-existing condition, it’s still worth considering using a comparison site to cover your pet for other needs and possible vet visits. In some cases, it can be cheaper to switch or introduce an insurance policy that might not cover that one illness but will include a whole host of others.
If you’re looking to insure your pet and keep them safer and happier for longer, comparison is the way to go. Ensure you’re getting all you need at the best possible price: after all, you’d do the same for every other family member – so why not for the four-legged ones?