There are many pet lovers around the world that find it difficult to make the decision on whether or not to go for pet insurance. Believe it or not, pet insurance is on the up and it’s rapidly growing amongst British people. According to figures, sales have more than doubled with a staggering 1.5 million policies now being sold annually, while more and more families are choosing to have pets.
With the sheer number of animals in the UK, it’s really not surprising that Insurance companies who don’t normally offer this type of cover are taking advantage of this situation, tapping in to the market and offering pet insurance. With hundreds of polices available these days there is a lot to choose from, and the cost on one’s true love can go as far as £300, and on rare occasions, sometimes more.
Ask yourself – Do you really need Pet Insurance?
This is going to depend on how you feel, regarding your pet. Is your pet classed as a family member or a close friend? Or did you fall into the trap of just buying a pet for sake of it. The latter, I sincerely hope isn’t true.
The age of your pet will usually determine how frequent a visit to the vet comes around. In most cases the first years of their lives won’t affect your pocket in terms of hefty vet bills. After the age of 7 or 8 for cats and dogs, depending on how well they are looked after, you’ll be feeling a little less light in the pocket. This time round things change dramatically when they reach a certain age. Just like humans they are more prone to illness when they get old.
If a trip to the vet is needed:
• It can cost up to £3500 for a dog to have its hip replaced
• If a dog eats something sharp and requires bowel surgery following a hospital stay, it can cost up to £2000
• If your cat is injured and hurt by a car, that can be in the range of £2000
Later on down the line you may be reading this in 2 years’ time, the cost will most likely have dramatically increased. Who knows? But let’s stick to the facts here.
Why do vet bills cost so much?
The more knowledge vets have these days is substantially more than they used to have. Procedures are more sophisticated and the equipment needed has changed over time. Also, with technology changing nearly every year, things cost more due to the capability and price of equipment. Those who have pet insurance are not really bothered by the cost of the vet’s bill, but would you be if you had cover?
Unfortunately with the cost to someone who has no cover at all, this results in the cost of insurance rising and all these costs need covered somehow. It’s estimated that 1/3 of all pet owners eventually use their cover. Even more so, not everyone is willing to pay these amounts of money without cover, and that leads on to the next question that may be in your head.
What does Pet Insurance actually cover?
There are many different policies and too many types to list here, but your average policy will cover the following:
• With basically every policy vet’s fees are included and price varies widely
• Third party liability, if your pet runs out in front of a car and causes an accident, were a claim against you for costs or damage is successful
• Death, theft or loss will result in compensation for you
• If a pet is lost, advertising and reward costs can be covered
• If you are hospitalised kennel fees can be paid
• You may be reimbursed for a holiday cancelation if your pet falls ill
Planning on buying Pet Insurance?
There are many factors that will ultimately determine the price you pay. For example, rare and exotic pets will play a huge factor in the amount some insurers ask you to pay. There may be insurers who specialise in these types of pets, so keep in mind the type of pet you wish to keep before considering insurance if at all possible.
Some breeds are more prone to particular illnesses than others. They are also more likely to be stolen. There are many different breeds of animals and some are more subject to illness, while others are more prone to specific illnesses and diseases. Again it would help to research which pet you want to keep before taking insurance, but obviously this isn’t always possible with people deciding to get insurance later down the line.
Perhaps the most obvious factor in buying pet insurance would be the age of the animal. It’s going to be a lot more expensive the older the animal is, and insurers are going to be less likely to insure if your pet is old and more prone to illness.
Surprisingly the location in which you live plays a role in the cost of your insurance, and London is the dearest place in the country to insure an animal. And not last but not least, if your pet has had previous illnesses and you’ve had a claim history with another insurer, the cost usually will be dramatically higher. Really it’s like us humans having a bad credit history and trying to get credit with someone, were previous we haven’t been too great with our past experiences. We would usually be asked to pay upfront costs if the company is to give us credit, and this is the case for pet insurance were the more you’re willing to pay on your behalf, the cheaper your insurance premiums will be.
When it comes to making the decision and biting the bullet to buy pet insurance, always keep in mind, you should shop around for the best deal. But don’t be tempted by the cheapest out there, meaning, there is usually hidden small print that you’ll miss out on and being too hasty will catch you out in the long run. If there comes a time you’re forced to make a claim, check before buying that the insurer doesn’t raise the premiums in this situation. Or if you are taking a new policy, make sure the new policy isn’t excluding anything you claimed for before. And finally, if you love to travel or go on plenty of holidays with the family, and your pet is traveling with you, make sure your policy allows foreign travel. I know some of us can’t afford the safety net of pet insurance, but I wish you good luck and no headaches in your quest to find the policy that suits you. Just remember if you really love your pet, then you’ll do the right thing.
Aaron Johnston is a senior writer and publicist for Monkey.co.uk a leading pet insurance quote site. Monkey goes the extra mile with the mantra “Savings that Matter” to ensure a reliable and honest insurance quote.