Picking the right insurance policy can seem overwhelming, but here at Money Expert we are here to make your life easier. Comparing pet insurance policies with us is quick and painless, and we've got plenty of hints and tips to help make sure you keep your furry friends covered, for less.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is pet insurance?
For many of us, pets are considered part of the family, and this means that we want to make sure that they are properly looked after. The issue many find is that having a pet can come at a high cost with trips to the vets and the general costs of keeping an animal potentially running into very expensive territory. One way that many pet owners get around this is by getting pet insurance which means that if you have to pay something to do with your pet, your insurer will step in - assuming you have the correct cover. There are different types of policies available relating to a wide range of different animals and situations so before taking out insurance it’s important to know what your covered for.
What does pet insurance cover?
Pet insurance will generally cover one of three things.
1. Medical Bills
The most common reason that people will take out a pet insurance policy is to cover any costs incurred by trips to the vets. Your insurer will pay up to a certain amount each year to cover any veterinary bills that your pet incurs. This can be broken down into pet accident coverage, accident or illness coverage, or a more comprehensive policy that will include routine trips to the vets as well as things like vaccines and dental care.
2. The Cost of Your Pet
This type of cover will ensure that if your pet dies then you will receive the price that you paid for it. This acts as a life insurance policy for your animal and is advisable for those who own expensive pets.
3. Third Party Liability Insurance
This insures you in the case that your pet does damage to either a person or someone else's property.
Other things your insurance might cover…
- Costs of keeping your vet in a kennel
- Cover for your pet if you are travelling abroad with it
- Costs incurred for retrieving your pet should it go missing
You will be unlikely to be able to get cover for your pet if it is above a certain age or has a pre-existing health condition. For this reason many people choose to get their pet’s insured earlier on in their life to avoid being refused a policy.
Do you need pet insurance?
This question will be down to a few factors and it is important to fully assess your needs and the potential costs associated with your pet before taking out insurance. One thing that a pet insurance policy will give you peace of mind in the case of an unexpected cost. If you have an inexpensive pet that is not predisposed to health issues then it may be easy to think that you do not need insurance as it is relatively unlikely that you will need to make a claim. For these situations many opt for pet accident or accident & illness policy. They are less expensive than more comprehensive pet insurance and are just there to ensure that you are not left out of pocket in the case of the unforeseen.
There are certain types of animals however which will be more predisposed to health problems such as certain types of purebred dogs. If you own one then taking out a specific policy early on in the dog's life to cover this would be advisable as the chances of it needing medical attention will be relatively high. The value of your pet and cost of treatment should also be factored in when making this decision. Horses are examples of pets who will in most circumstances require some level of cover as they can be extremely expensive both in terms of purchase and upkeep. A broken leg will be extremely expensive to pay for by yourself and therefore may warrant taking out a specific policy for horses. Similarly If you have an unusual pet such as certain type of lizard or snake then you will want to enquire about exotic pet insurance, they can be expensive and difficult to treat so it is important you have the correct cover.
How much does pet insurance cost?
As with any type of insurance the cost of your premium will be down to three things, the likelihood of you making a claim, the potential cost of that claim and the level of cover that you decide to opt for. Insurance for a non-pedigree cat for example would not be very much compared with an older pedigree dog breed that has a tendency towards health problems. Insuring a horse or exotic pet will in most cases cost more than insuring a dog or a cat horses require specialist vets to treat them which means they will cost more than a normal vet. An insurer will also take into account what exactly you use the pet for, if you have a hunting dog or ride your horse regularly then an insurer will see your pet as a higher risk and may decide to charge a higher premium.
There are a variety of different types of policies that will affect the cost of a premium outside of what type of animal they relate to. A basic level of cover will generally pay out in terms of unforeseen accidents or illnesses while there are other more comprehensive policies which will include routine trips to the vet as well as any dental costs. There are also policies which will provide cover outside of medical expensive such as third party liability or the cost of keeping.
How to get cheap pet insurance?
While pet insurance can be expensive depending on the level of cover you opt for there are ways to make sure that you get the best deal possible. Firstly, it's important that you get the appropriate level of cover for you, while a fully comprehensive policy may seem attractive it might not always be necessary for your situation and result in your spending money on something you do not need. At the same time you need to make sure you don’t have too little cover as this could result in an insurer not paying out resulting in you having a useless policy. If you have multiple pets that you want to cover you can also look into a multi-pet policy which will give you a discount on the price you pay per pet.
The type of pet you have will pay a massive part in how expensive your insurance is, when choosing a dog for example a good way to ensure your insurance is not toe expensive is to pick a breed that does not have a tendency towards hereditary illnesses.Making sure that your pet has all the appropriate vaccinations is another way to make sure that you get the best possible rate. While they can come with an upfront cost, the lower premium can pay for itself as well as reducing the chance of a claim which can in many instances come with an excess. The amount of excess you pay will also affect your premium, if you are happy to pay a higher excess then your monthly cost will be lower although it’s important to make sure if you opt for a higher excess that you can afford it.
The most effective way to get a good deal on your pet insurance is to shop around. You're unlikely to find the best deals available if you only search through a few different options which is why here at money expert we cover the market to compare quotes from different providers. This way we can ensure that you have all the information that you need to find the best option for you. It only takes a few minutes to enter your details into our price comparison engine and we can show which options are available for the best price.