Insurance companies are up there with estate agents in the popularity stakes! If you are already forking out for policies on your car and your home, you may not be feeling inclined to contribute any more to the coffers of the insurance companies. Particularly if you have struggled to get them to pay out on a claim in the past. However, insurance could prove crucial if your pet has an accident or falls ill. Without decent cover, you may not be able to afford the treatment that your animal needs.
Would you want to take that risk?
The Potential Costs
Medical treatment for your pet can prove very costly indeed. The most recent statistics released by the insurance industry indicate that the value of the average claim in 2016 was £757. Treatment for a serious condition could run into the £thousands. But only 25% of pet owners in the UK currently insure their animal.
There were a total of 932,000 claims in 2016 with pay outs totalling £706milllion. Some of the more unusual claims made were for the treatment of an anorexic Burmese python, a spaniel who had swallowed a turkey baster and a cockatoo with respiratory problems.
Pet insurance can be expensive and so you might feel that you would struggle to afford the monthly premiums. You may never need to make a claim. But at least you will have the peace of mind of knowing that you will never have to face an enormous veterinary bill.
An Alternative to Pet Insurance
You do have the alternative of simply saving money every month to build up a safety net to cover your costs should the worse happen. But saving requires a great deal of discipline. Many a pet owner has started out with every intention of putting money aside but has then failed to actually save much if anything at all.
How to Make Savings
If you are going to insure your pet, there are ways to save at least a little of your hard-earned cash.
- Decide from the outset whether you are going to insure your pet or not. The younger your pet is when you first approach the insurers, the cheaper your policy will be initially and the lower the cost is likely to be over the lifetime of your pet.
- Choose lifetime cover rather than a 12-month renewable policy. Lifetime cover can look more expensive at first but you are less likely to have trouble getting your insurer to continue to cover your pet if they do experience health issues. If you find yourself unable to renew a 12-month policy, this can result in a massive increase in cost when you have to move to a different insurer.
- Check the terms of the various policies carefully. Certain policies may not be appropriate for your pet because they do not cover existing conditions or animals over a certain age. Some policies will offer more comprehensive cover than others. Be sure that you are comfortable with the quoted excess and read every clause so you know exactly what your animal is covered for. The cheapest policy may not be the best value overall.
- You may be able to get a better deal if you microchip your cat. Dogs must be microchipped and so this process will not improve your premiums.
- It can be worth accepting a higher excess to get a lower premium.
- If you have more than one pet, look for multi-pet deals.
Pet insurance isn’t the best choice for everyone but it is certainly worth considering. If you do decide to go ahead, it pays to do your homework!