Best Pet Insurance
As Of September 2021
We did the
Protect Your Furry Friend With The Best Pet Insurance Policies
We are sure by now, you have done everything necessary to protect your pet. You probably take them for regular check-ups at the local vet, have neutered them and if you have several pets, probably have a cattery. All of these offer your pet the necessary protection against diseases, especially when you keep the animals in separate kennels.
But, this is not the only protection you need for your pet. Pet insurance offers you an extra layer of financial security, ensuring you get refunds for some of the costs you spend treating your pet.
Did you know that average treatments for pets can cost you an average of £550 on the lower price side to as high as £5,000? Tesco Bank offers a detailed report of how much it costs to treat various illnesses for different pets.
Imagine spending over £4,000 to treat your pet and not getting reimbursement for that cost?
These prices will vary from one provider to the others. With many pet insurers in the market, it can get overwhelming to choose the best insurer.
We are here to educate you on what you need to pay attention to when shopping for an insurer. Think about what affects the policy's price, what does the policy cover and exclude? Do you get a dedicated direct line or helpline for emergencies?
What is pet insurance?
Pet insurance is an insurance policy that reimburses you when you pay for vet fees to treat your animal friends if it is ill or had an accident.
Believe it or not, whether you are making regular or irregular trips to the vet, the bills add up to unimaginable amounts. For just a few pounds in premiums, pet insurance will save you hundreds of pounds in the future if you need treatment for your pet.
Why is it important to invest in pet insurance?
Have you ever calculated how much your pet spends on veterinary treatment? No matter how much we love our furry friends, the bills can pile up over the years. From vaccinations to regular check-ups and emergency treatments. Especially during the first year of your pet’s life, the vet expenses are high.
Investing in pet insurance saves you from using a significant amount of cash from your pocket when your pet needs treatment. Better still, you can count on your pet’s treatment even when your bank account has no enough money to cover such bills.
What does pet insurance cover in most cases?
The level of cover differs between insurance companies, but there are basic cases that all insurers offer. Regardless of the policy price, you will always find an illness cover, accident cover and emergency cover.
An illness policy will cover the specified illness your pet might suffer while still under the policy. Accident covers will pay for the pet's treatment if it gets injured during an accident or if it happens to harm other people. On the other hand, an emergency cover will take care of bills for your pet's temporary care if you fall ill and are not in a position to care for the pet.
How to choose the right insurance level for your pet?
To choose the right level of your pet’s insurance, ensure you understand all the details regarding your pet. This includes the pets:
- Medical history
- Behavioural patterns
- Current health conditions, like whether it is neutered
All of these help you research illnesses that might affect your pet. This way, you can easily anticipate the amount of money you might spend on vet bills. It will also help you choose a cover that meets your pet's current and future needs.
When you start looking for your pet's best insurance cover, you will receive quotes from different insurance companies. These quotes will be different, and the price should not be your only concern. Even if you are trying to save money while providing the best protection for your pet, it's important to pay attention to other details.
These details are usually the differentiating factors, so pay close attention to them when comparing pet insurance:
1. Pet’s Age
Pet insurance companies use the pet’s age to price the policy, and the older the pet is, the higher the cover. Why? Because older pets are more susceptible to illnesses than younger ones. The insurer assumes that your elderly pet will be heading to the ER more often than a younger one, leading to high medical bills.
Ensure you check the pet insurance provider's age limit for the pets they are covering to determine whether your pet makes the cut.
2. Pre-existing Medical Conditions
Similarly, a pet with pre-existing conditions will lead to a higher-priced insurance cover than a healthy pet. Some insurers do not even offer insurance covers to pets with pre-existing or chronic conditions. They consider this as a risky business and probably a loss-making one at that.
3. The Type of Pet
Yes, the pet type you have matters. A lot! If you have a bunny, a guinea pig or such small pets, your insurance quote will be lower than an individual with large pets like dogs and horses. Also, exotic pets will cost more to cover than non-exotic pets.
4. Multi-Pet Coverage
How many pets do you have? Does the insurance company offer you a multi-pet discount to insure multiple pets? Luckily, some insurance companies provide multi-pet policies. It could be a cat insurance cover, dog insurance, or another different species, as long as it is more than one pet. Other providers customise their policies to cover pets from different species, e.g. a multi-policy coverage for cats and dogs.
Always pay attention to what the pet insurer excludes from their policy. Many pet owners do not consider this and end up with unpayable claims. The insurer could exclude pets with chronic conditions, older pets or specific pet types.
Apart from these, insurers exclude items like:
- Routine check-ups
- Dental illnesses
- Behavioural issues
- Preventative care
The good news is that some pet insurers in England provide customised covers. In case the cover you are interested in excludes your pet for whatever reason, you can always get back to a provider with a customised policy. This might cost you some extra pounds, though.
6. Customer Reviews
One of the best ways to tell whether any service provider is offering its customers the best service is to read their customer reviews. Online communities have made it quite easy for customers to rate and write detailed customer reviews. Reviews from previous and existing customers will give you a good sense of how the insurer handles insurance claims. Also, you can get recommendations for the best vets in the UK.
What are the available types of pet insurance?
Accident Only Insurance
This is the most basic and affordable pet insurance cover. The accident only insurance takes care of vet bills if your pet has injuries from an accident. Some policies also cover vet fees you might incur if your pet gets ill due to an accident. However, not every insurer will include this in their policy, so ensure you go through the available policies to see if they offer you such an option.
If you are worried about a specific condition affecting your pet, a timelimit pet plan could be a great idea. However, note that this cover is only for a limited period, usually a year. After this, you will have to pay for your pet's treatment for that particular condition.
Maximum Benefit Insurance
Also referred to as per condition insurance, this policy allocates a specific amount of money to cover each injury or illness. For example, if you have a set limit of £6,000 for accidents, the insurer will pay any vet fees that you claim due to an accident.
Lifetime Pet Insurance
Lifetime policy is the most expensive cover pet insurers offer in the UK. Expensive as it may be, it is the best cover you can get for your furry friend or any other pet you have. Lifetime cover is comprehensive in terms of what illnesses it covers and the amount you can claim.
Mostly, lifetime pet plans in the UK allow you to claim up to £12,000 or above every year for whatever condition. The figure is not fixed and will depend on the insurer.
Is it expensive to insure your pet?
Pet insurance can be affordable or expensive. The covers have an average premium rate of £145 per year as of 2020. This, of course, is an average price for all pets and does not mean it is the premium you will get for your pet.
The premium you get will depend on the levels of cover your pet needs and the provider.
But, do not dismiss the cheapest pet insurance covers you see. Your pet could be healthy enough and require minimum protection. In that case, you can buy cheap pet insurance with basic coverage.
How to save money on your pet insurance?
Just because you love your pet doesn't mean you cannot save money off the available plans. The money you save today from an affordable insurance policy can go into getting your pet play toys, food or treats. So, how can you save money on your pet insurance?
First, do your research. Do not settle for the first quote you get from a recommended provider. Shop around, get quotes from different insurers, and you might find a cheaper plan that covers what the competitor has. Also, if you want a new pet, research the kinds of illnesses it's prone to. This will give you an idea of what's ahead in terms of vet visits and expenses.
Second, take great care of your pet's health right from the beginning. There are preventative care plans that offer services like vaccinations and microchipping. Also, have regular vet visits to stay on top of your pet's health.
Third, microchip your pet, especially if you own a dog. As of April 2016, dog owners in the UK are required to microchip their dogs. While this is not a legal condition for all pets, microchipping other pets, too, might get you a cheaper insurance policy.
Another way to save on pet insurance is by getting a cover for all your pets, rather than focusing on only one pet. Many insurers will offer a discount for pet owners with multiple pets, making it cheaper for you to get a cover for all pets at once. However, this will not only work if you have more than one pet.
You can also do self-insurance. This is where you save money in a different savings account to take care of your pet's vet expenses. Instead of putting this money in your current bank account, you can save it in a high-yield and liquid savings account. These allow you to liquidate the account in a short period. The money will still be earning you interest.
Pet insurance covers might seem expensive, especially when it is your first time purchasing one. But, the price is more affordable than paying for some of the pet’s healthcare needs with your money. An insurance cover will pay for some of these bills, like accident and illness treatments.
Before settling for any insurer, ensure you understand what conditions the policy covers and what it excludes. You do not want to be stuck with a cover that does not come through for your lovely pet when you need it the most. Here you will find the best pet insurance that will take care of you and your pet!