We have insurance for our cars, our homes, our lives and even our debts; but what about the furry members of our family? Because no NHS type scheme exists for animals, the cost of vet fees and medications can skyrocket if adequate precautions aren’t taken in the form of pet insurance.
Statistically, there are more claims on pet insurance policies than there are on home insurance ones, and the majority of these claims are to cover vet fees. Yet, despite the obvious need for insurance, a vast majority of the UK’s pets remain uninsured.
So, what are the benefits of having your cat or dog insured? Standard things such as boosters, worming and neutering aren’t covered but it’s a very lucky owner who only has to contend with these things throughout their pet’s life! Most owners will face paying for at least one bout of canine or feline illness; more if their pet is allowed to roam or mix with other animals. Pedigree animals are more susceptible to illness than mutts or moggies, and older pets may need more vet care than younger ones.
As well as covering unforeseen illnesses, pet insurance can cover the costs of boarding fees if you go away, especially useful if you travel regularly as kennel fees can be high. Your pet can also be covered if it causes damage to another person or their property; this is known as third party liability and is a legal requirement if you own a dog listed under the Dangerous Dogs Act, such as a Pitbull. Usually this type of policy includes legal cover should you have to go to court and settle damages compensation.
If your pet has a tendency to wander, some policies will provide funds for advertising, and even a reward for the person finding your pet. For an unruly pet, look at getting a policy which covers the cost of an animal behaviourist. If your animal has a monetary value, you may want to take out a policy which will reimburse you with the purchase price in case of your pet being stolen or passing away.
Pet insurance varies greatly in cost, with the highest premiums reserved for pedigree or elderly pets. You can expect to pay around, 13 for a dog and, 7 for a cat, per month, depending on age, breed and where you live. Pre-existing illnesses such as diabetes will usually not be covered, and some insurers won’t cover a pet past a certain age.