Make sure you’re covered for the unexpected
When times are tough, we all review our financial commitments and look for ways of saving money. Your dog insurance could be a policy that you consider cancelling. It’s a monthly cost that you see no benefit from – until the worse happened.
I met a lady walking her recently adopted rescue Labrador, we got chatting and she told me he was recovering from a nasty injury. He had been kicked in the jaw by a horse while on a walk.
“It all happened so quickly” she said “and it cost me £1,500 as I hadn’t had time to sort out insurance for him.”
Certainly a painful injury for the lab and his owner.
And it’s not just accidents we have to be able to pay for. Puppies and dogs develop illnesses all the time and they all cost money to treat. Even simple diarrhoea or sickness causes by your dog eating something they shouldn’t will cost money to treat, and if you’re on a budget it can be hard to find the cash.
Some dogs develop chronic conditions such as arthritis or kidney problems that need lifelong treatment and the cost for regular medications can really mount up. While our dog was young he needed treatment for an allergic skin condition. Half a tablet a day cost over £40 per month with the vet visit for diagnosis on top, so it’s not hard to imagine how expensive treating a more serious chronic condition could be.
If we decide to have a dog then we have a responsibility to look after then and make sure we can cover their medical needs and get them the treatment they need. There is no NHS for our dogs and accidents or illnesses can happen at any time, which is what insurance is for.
Is saving each money each month a viable alternative to insurance?
Some owners prefer putting money away each month to cover any accident or illness, but as the young Labrador owner found out, if an accident happens when the dog is young you may not have enough saved to cover the vet costs.
According to Many Pets, of all their claims in Nov 2020-21 over 25% were for puppies under one. Puppies are more accident prone than adult dogs. Many Pets say 22% of puppy claims for accidents while only 10% of adult dog claims were for accidents.
This option does work for some owners but as the stats show, it’s a bit of a gamble. If you consider vets fees its easy to see how an overnight stay, some diagnostic tests and treatment or an operation could quickly outstrip your savings.
How can I keep my insurance costs down while protecting me and my dog?
There are lots of ways of reducing your insurance premiums while still ensuring you’ll have the financial protection you need should the worst happen to your best friend.
If you’d prefer a Lifetime Cover policy that will cover all accidents, conditions and illnesses for life consider taking out a policy with lower vet fee cover. The top of the range policies can offer up to £15,000 of vet fees cover per year, but would you get peace of mind with less cover? Maybe a policy giving £4,000 or £5,000 of vet fee cover would be enough?
You could also consider taking out a Maximum Benefit policy. This type of policy will cover each accident, condition or illness up to the maximum amount of cover you select, and then won’t cover that particular illness or condition after that maximum pay out is reached. It will continue to cover other conditions. These policies are generally cheaper as they provide less cover overall, but maybe this option would provide enough cover to give you peace of mind?
Alternatively you could consider a Time Limited policy. These policies are similar to Maximum Benefit policies in that the vet fee cover for any one accident, illness or condition is limited by the amount of cover you buy and a period of time; usually 12 months. This means that if you receive pay outs for any one condition or illness for 12 months the cover then stops, even if the maximum amount covered has not been reached. Again this is a cheaper option but could give you the peace of mind you and your furry friend need.
The cheapest type of policy is an Accident only policy and as its name implies, only covers you for accidents, not illnesses or conditions. Could this be the right option for you?
Is dog insurance worth it?
That is a question that you can answer for yourself by getting quotes for the various types of policy on offer so you can weigh up which type of cover fits your budget and provides your dog with the cover they need.
Compare lower Lifetime Cover policy limits, Accident only, Maximum Benefit and Time Limited policy options to help balance your monthly budget and make sure you and your best friend have a safety net when it’s needed. Vet treatment fees can mount up quicky and it will give you peace of mind and the confidence you can provide your dog with the treatment they need when the unthinkable happens.
You can compare what customers think of pet insurance providers to help you choose the right one for you by reading reviews from your fellow dog owners.
Good luck in finding the right provider and policy for you, and don’t forget to leave your review with us!
The information above is non-specific to any particular pet insurance policy and should be regarded as a basic overview of the type of features that may feature in a policy. The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author. Always refer to an insurer for specific, accurate information on their policy features.