Around half of cats and dogs in the UK are insured. It’s not compulsory, but I personally think it’s a good idea. You may be suddenly hit with a huge vet bill of several thousand pounds. If your pet was seriously injured or ill, you’d have enough to worry about without financial pressures as well.
Types of Pet Insurance
There are different levels of pet insurance. The cheapest is ‘accident only’, which is exactly that, it only covers you for an unforeseen accident, not illness.
The middle level of insurance covers you up to a certain amount per condition per year. If your pet has the same condition twice in the same policy year, you’d only be covered for the first set of treatment. This would count as a claim, so your policy price would go up at renewal. 80% of pet owners stick to the same insurance provider year after year, because once you’ve made a claim, you’ll find it harder for a different provider to accept you; you’ll probably find that they won’t cover any pre existing medical conditions.
The best and most expensive level is lifetime cover. This means that they’ll cover any illness or injury, even pre existing (recurring) illness. Check the amount of vets bills that they’ll cover you for. Most providers let you pay a higher excess in order to bring the annual policy price down. The excess is the amount that you need to pay yourself, on top of the insurance price.
Shopping around for the best insurance deal
Once you’ve decided what cover level you want, it’s time to shop around. I recommend that you visit a price comparison website to get a benchmark on how much it will cost. Make a short list of the providers that offer the right level of cover for you, what the excess is, any t&cs, whether they pay the vet directly in the event of a claim etc. Then, I recommend that you visit a cash back site such as top cashback or quidco. If you can see the same providers from your short list also offering cash back, then you should be able to save yourself around £60. Put this £60 in a savings account. You’ll probably need to wait a few months for the cash back to be validated. You can use it to put towards the excess if you need to make a claim.