Should I Get Pet Insurance?

Mintel recently published a survey showing that every year, 1 in 3 pets have to be taken to the vet for an unexpected visit (ie for an accident, injury or illness). This means that the chances of you taking your pet to the vet are a lot higher than you making a claim on your home & contents policy or your motor insurance.

It’s the unexpected visits to the vet that always cost an astronomical amount. Vaccinations and worming and other ‘planned’ visits can’t be covered by insurance, nor can treatments that you choose such as neutering. Essentially, all the reasons why you would routinely take your pet to the vet cannot be covered.

It’s the accidents and the injuries that cost medical science has improved and all kinds of previously untreatable maladies are now treatable. So you could be faced with the choice of paying 700 or more to have your cat nursed back to health after an accident with a car. The X-rays could cost 400, an MRI scan 1,000 or more, it’s a lot of money and many people don’t have funds set aside for unexpected events such as these.

Here’s the low-down on the 3 main types of pet insurance:

You cannot claim for more than a set amount for each condition or event that occurs;

You have a set total annual payout that cannot be exceeded;

The payout is capped and will only cover your pet for 12 months of treatment this is the cheapest type of pet insurance.

There are similarities between the policies: they will pay out if your pet dies, and if you make a claim, you’ll have to cover the first 50 -100.

The cost of the policy essentially depends on the type of cover you get, the excess, pet type and breed, and age. In some cases, your post-code can raise the premium, for example in Chelsea where vets charge higher rates. Because there are so many different variables, it’s impossible to give a good estimate of the costs involved, but an industry estimate puts premiums at 30 – 200 per year for cats and 50 – 500 for dogs.

Young pets attract the cheapest premiums, and you can insure your pet from the age of 8 weeks old. You can then continue the insurance for the animal’s lifespan, therefore getting the best rates. If your cat is already 9 or 10 years old and you want to get it insured, you’ll find it very difficult to get a good deal. There are two reasons for this: firstly, older animals cost a lot more because there’s a far higher chance that they will get ill. Secondly, pet insurance exclude existing health conditions so you could find that your pet isn’t covered for a variety of illnesses, so the insurance won’t be worth that much to you.

To get lower premiums, think about having your pet identity chipped, many insurers offer a discount for that. Also, most insurers offer quantity discounts, so if you insure more than one pet with them, you will save some money on their initial quote.

If you have decided that you do want to get pet insurance, be sure to check out the Internet. It’s the best place to look for cheap insurance, that means home, car and travel as well, you’ll be sure to find the cheapest deal there. There’s no reason why peace of mind can’t be found at a low price!

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