If you are a pet owner, you don’t need us to remind how much joy and love they can bring to a family and that when they’re poorly or injured, you want to do everything in your power to fix them. However, as there’s no health service for cats, dogs or rabbits, us owners can be left facing a hefty bill. With prices for operations starting at around £1,000 for most pets, owners are faced with a bleak choice to either pay up or have their pet put to sleep.
This sad tale is the simple reason why pet insurance is so important. For a relatively small layout each month, typically the cost of a few doggie treats, you can insure your pet, which should cover those vet bills. However, due to the number of different animals that we keep as pets, and the dizzying number of shapes, sizes and breeds they come in, finding the best pet insurance can be a daunting task.
The first thing that you need to do is ensure that your pet is eligible for cover. A number of insurers won’t cover a pet that is over 10 years old due to the much higher likelihood of vet bills. Similarly, pets who are seen as dangerous or in danger (i.e. dangerous dogs or working dogs respectively) can be difficult to insure. If your pet is exotic or a pedigree, you may also need to look for specialist insurance or at least expect to pay a higher premium.
Taking your pet abroad
If you plan to travel abroad with your animal, you need to check that all relevant injections are up to date and that your animal has a ‘Pet Passport’ (NB not all countries are in the Pet Passport scheme so check before you travel) and only take cover if the UK is your permanent home.
Pre-existing medical conditions
You should always make sure that your pet’s health is checked before you take insurance as your policy may become invalid if it is found that your pet has a pre-existing medical condition and, like all types of insurance, don’t ever lie to your insurers.
UK Money Market Recommendations
So where can you find the best cover? If you own an exotic pet (even a budgie) you should first talk to Exotic Direct who specialise in every species you can think of. If you are a horse owner, your first port of call should be The British Horse Society (cover comes free with membership) or Petplan Equine.
If you own a dog, cat or other popular animal, the best current deal is with More Th>n who are offering a 25% online discount and Tesco Bank who are offering 20%. If you are looking for a higher cover, John Lewis gives you up £10,000 as do VetsMediCover. Or, if you fancy the insurance company with the talking dog then give Churchill a call. Their cover isn’t the best but by no means is it the worst with a low £55 excess and up to 12 months claim limit.
Check out our other best value insurance recommendations and advice.