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Pet insurance

Pet insurance can help protect your pet against unexpected vet bills, should they get ill or be injured. Though you might question if it’s a necessary expense (you yourself might not even have health insurance), it’s worth keeping in mind that unexpected vet bills can very quickly add up to hundreds of pounds, and there’s no NHS safety net for the furry/scaly/feathery members of our families.

Why should I get pet insurance?

Understandably, some owners can struggle to suddenly pay out a big lump sum in the case of their pet needing emergency treatment with the average pet insurance claim being around £750. All pet owners should consider whether taking out a policy could help to manage these extra costs.

As well as helping to keep your pet healthy, some pet insurance policies can also help cover the costs of your pet being housed should you be hospitalised, liability cover should your pet injure someone, and could even help towards advertising costs should your pet get lost.

When should I get pet insurance?

It is important to buy pet insurance as soon as you get a new pet because you won’t be able to find insurance to cover the cost of treating an injury once it’s happened, and most policies won’t cover the cost of treating pre-existing medical conditions.

Remember:

  • Shop around to find the insurance that best meets your needs; have a look at what coverage the policy gives your pet rather than just looking at the price alone.
  • Be aware that while moving to a new policy may be cheaper, it is likely the new policy will not cover your pet for any conditions your pet has had in the past or currently has.
  • Some insurers will only accept claims after a certain number of days from the start date of the policy (an ‘exclusion period’) – usually ten days.
  • The policy documents from insurers will tell you what your pet is and is not covered for. If in doubt, speak to your insurer.
  • It’s important that you answer the insurer’s questions honestly and in full. If you don’t, there is a risk that the insurer may not pay your claim and your policy may be cancelled. If you have any questions about what they’re asking, contact the insurer for clarification, or see if our glossary can help.
  • Remember to tell your insurer about any relevant changes to your circumstance to ensure your pet remains covered. For example, any change of address or if your pet gets neutered, spayed or micro-chipped.