We all love our pets, so when it comes to things like medical treatment, we want to ensure that we're giving them the very best that we can. But with so many different types of insurance available, it can be difficult to know which one is the right policy for you and your pet.
They key to solving this conundrum is to weigh up the individual needs of your pet against what is available on the market. Hopefully the following guide will help you to make a decision which is the right one for both you and your pet.
Which type of pet insurance should I choose?
Before you explore pet insurance, you need to understand your pet. Different animals and breeds are susceptible to different conditions, so if you're not sure about your pet, look for a pet advice guide online or ask your vet what medical problems your pet is likely to come up against.
Annual cover will insure your pet for a year and is generally paid monthly. It's worth noting that some companies will require payment every 28 days, whilst others will require you to pay once a month. This type of insurance will cover you for a wide range of things, but if your pet is receiving ongoing treatment and your policy runs out then you won’t be able to continue to claim.
Although it's less common, it's also possible to get insurance for younger and older pets. Most companies will not insure animals under eight weeks or over eight years old. So, if you have a pet that doesn't fall within this age bracket you will need specialist insurance. Insurance for younger pets can be very useful if, for example, you own a very expensive breed of dog.
What else does pet insurance cover?
Most pet insurance policies cover a number of other things, as well as medical treatments. Some policies will allow you to claim if you need to cancel a holiday due to an ill pet. You may also be able to claim for kennels while you are away.
The majority of policies will also allow you to claim if your pet is lost and you need to advertise or offer a reward. A policy should also include third party liability so you can claim if your pet causes someone to have an accident or causes damage to property.
What is excluded from pet insurance?
In most cases, things like dental treatment, vaccinations, spaying and grooming are not included within pet insurance, so it’s best to check your policy.
The majority of basic policies will cover:
• Ear infections
• Removing swallowed objects
• Cuts and lacerations
• Road traffic accidents
Some of the added extras you can insure against are:
• Behavioural therapy
• Dental work
• Treatment from a nutritionist
What if I want to take my pet abroad?
If you're visiting a country that's part of the Pet Travel Scheme you can take your pet without having to put it into quarantine, as long as you abide by the rules set out. Some companies will offer travel insurance for pets as standard, whilst others will offer it as an add-on.
How can I cut the costs of pet insurance?
The cheapest policy may not always be the best option for you and your pet, so always take time to shop around and find a policy that includes everything you need.
You can check price comparison sites to find different pet insurance deals and you'll also be able to look for specific types of pet insurance over and above basic cover.
Many insurance companies will also offer a discount if you buy your insurance online, so look for a company that does this.
Once you've decided on your insurance type, you can generally make a saving if you pay for your policy in a lump sum rather than paying in increments.
You can also save money by building up your no claims bonus, so it's always advisable to pay for smaller treatments yourself to help reduce your premiums over time.
In addition, you can make your premiums smaller by increasing the excess you're willing to pay. When you make a claim, your insurance company will pay for a certain amount and you will be required to pay the excess. Although increasing your excess can be an effective way of reducing your premiums, you must ensure that you can really afford to pay the difference if you need to.Back to top