Pet insurance: Is it really worth it?

by Avant Homes - 10 May 22

With as little as 25 per cent of pet owners in the UK choosing to protect their furry family member with an insurance policy, a lot of owners are finding themselves in a financial pickle and unfortunately having to make some tough decisions when their pets become poorly or injured.

To make sure you don’t end up in an unwanted situation regarding your paw-fect little friend’s health, read our latest guide and learn all about the cost of pet insurance, the options available and whether it’s worth it!

 

The advantages of pet insurance and what it covers

With various levels of pet insurance cover available across different companies, it’s important to look at all the options before choosing a policy and determine what advantages each offers. With that said, read on to find out the main benefits of pet insurance.

 

Protection against vet bills

There’s no avoiding that at some point your pet will get sick or injured during its lifetime, and with treatments ranging from £50 all the way up to a dizzying £4000, its undoubtedly a big advantage having a pet insurance premium in place.

Just think, your next visit to the vets could be accompanied with the reassuring feeling that the cost of treatment will mostly be covered, if not all!

Dental Treatment

Not always covered by all pet insurance policies, and often overlooked by owners, we think this is a must to lookout for when choosing your cover. Dogs, cats and most other pets can suffer from rotten teeth and gum problems, so keeping their gnashers in check is vital.

Third-party liability

Much like how car insurance works, third-party liability only covers the cost of damage and injury to someone else or their pet. Although not essential, if you don’t opt to included it within your cover you could be facing some steep legal bills if any damage is caused by your pet. Extreme scenarios can even see costs run into the millions!

Image of cat on examination table

 

What options are available?

Now you know the advantages of having pet insurance cover in place, let’s see what options are available for you to choose from:

Reinstatement or lifetime cover

Reinstatement, also known as a lifetime policy, offers ongoing cover for illness and injuries and usually covers your pet up to a set amount each year. This tends to be most expensive option but does offer the most cover.

Maximum benefit policies

When choosing maximum benefit policies, a fixed amount of money for each illness or injury is provided by the insurer to help cover the cost for the treatment. However, once this limit is reached your pet will no longer be covered, so it’s important to renew each year.

Time limited

Usually, a time limited policy will typically cover the cost of treating a specific illness or injury for 12 months from its start. When the time limited has ended, or the fixed amount has been reached, your pet will not be covered for the same injury or illness again.

Accident only

If you go for the accident only option, your furry friend will only receive a fixed sum for each accidental injury to help pay for treatment. Some policies may also include a set amount towards emergency treatment for illness too.

 

How much does it cost?

The age-old question springs to mind ‘how long’s a piece of string?’ when it comes down to talking about cost, as there are several aspects that need to be considered when pricing a policy. Age, breed, location and size all factor in to how much the overall cover will cost.

According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the average pet premium in the UK is now around £271 a year, with insurance for dogs at an average of £274, and insurance for cats averaging around £116 in 2022. Generally, the more protection and peace of mind you want for your pet, the higher the overall cost will be.

Image of dog on examination table

 

Is pet insurance a legal requirement?

Pet insurance is not a legal requirement in the UK. However, with the average claim for treatment nearing a whopping £848 in 2021, you’ll need to be sure you can stump up that cash from your own pocket if your pet isn’t protected.

 

Other helpful information

Unfortunately, the majority of pet insurance policies don’t cover regular treatments such as annual jabs and boosters, and the cost to spay or neuter your pet. This is something that you should keep an eye on not only for your pet’s general health, but failure to keep up with routine treatments may result in your insurer refusing to pay out if you need to make a claim.

Also, keep a lookout in fine print when you’re choosing your policy for procedures around pre-existing conditions, bilateral clauses, loss or theft and death by illness or injury.

 

by Avant Homes - 10 May 22