A new puppy can be an exciting addition to any household, but it can also end up costing you a lot of money.
Purchasing puppy insurance can help to protect you against the costs of things like medical treatment for your dog and can give peace of mind that you'll be able to afford to care for your dog both now and in the future.
Different types of puppy insurance
There are lots of different providers offering pet insurance and policies that specifically apply to puppies and dogs. These can range from basic insurance that pay for vets’ fees, to insuring against the theft of a valuable breed.
The majority of basic policies cover your pet for a year and claims can be made to pay for vets’ fees if your dog falls ill or is injured.
However, this generally won’t cover long term illnesses or chronic conditions, so you may need to purchase extra cover if you want to be insured for this.
If your dog develops a long term condition and it has not previously been insured you will not be able to obtain cover for the long term condition as insurers exclude pre-existing conditions.
Puppy insurance can cover:
- Accidental damage
- Third party liability
- Advertising or reward of your dog is lost
- Theft or straying
- Kennels or boarding fees
- Trip cancellation
- Death benefit
- Veterinary fees
However, not every policy will cover all of these and some insurers will offer other add-ons, so it might be a good idea to check the small print of any policy that you are considering carefully.
Third party liability
If your puppy causes a third party to have an accident, by running in front of a car for example, or causes damage to someone's personal property, most basic insurance policies will pay out, but it is always a good idea to find out exactly what figure your company will provide. Most insurers will pay between £1 and £3 million.
Many insurers will offer policies that protect against having to cancel a holiday if your pet falls ill or has an accident, which can be particularly useful if you travel a lot.
Some things that are often excluded from pet and puppy insurance policies include:
- Illnesses or injuries that happened before the insurance was purchased
- Castration and spaying
- Flea control
- Grooming and maintenance
Puppy Insurance terms explained
There are lots of different terms used when purchasing puppy insurance and sometimes it can be difficult to know exactly what they mean and what you are covered for. The most commonly used terms are:
If you choose to opt for lifetime cover your premiums will generally increase, but in the long term your policy will be cheaper than re-purchasing a new one each year. In general, lifetime cover will pay for any long term medical conditions that your pet develops after the policy has been purchased, but you won't be able to change providers.
Dental cover is often overlooked but it's extremely important for puppies and dogs as dental treatment can be very expensive. Dogs can be susceptible to dental problems like tooth decay and tooth breakages are common, but many policies don’t include dental cover as standard so you may be required to purchase it as an add-on.
As with any type of insurance policy, if you opt to increase your excess the cost of your policy will be reduced. The excess is the amount you are required to pay towards any treatment you make a claim for. Always check the details of your excess as, on some policies, if you make a claim for more expensive treatment you could be required to pay up to double the excess.
Some providers offer specialist insurance for pets and this can apply to puppies that are a rare or expensive breed. When choosing a policy, always find out if it covers rare breed and expensive puppies, as not all basic polices will do this.
Most insurers will accept monthly payments for pet insurance although you can pay for insurance in a lump sum and you'll often be offered a discount if you choose to do this.
If you already have other types of insurance it's worthwhile to find out if your company has a pet plan as you'll often get further discounts for purchasing more than one policy with the same provider.
Monthly insurance payments can either be lunar or calendar, which means you could be paying every 28 days or every month, so make sure you know which type of policy you have or you could end up paying more than you expected.
Choosing the right puppy insurance
The price you pay for puppy insurance will be determined on a number of factors such as the medical history, breed, sex and age of your puppy, the price you paid for the pet and the cost of vet’s fees.
Making sure your pet is fit and healthy is the best way to keep them free from illness and disease to avoid the cost of taking them to a vet. In some cases your premiums can be reduced if you guard against theft or loss by having your pet fitted with an identity chip. This is a simple procedure that can be carried out by most vets and will allow you to locate your puppy if it is lost.Back to top