Pet insurance is mainly designed to cover costs of veterinary care in the event of illness and injury. It serves as a safety net for unexpected vet costs. In the ideal world, every pet owner must get a pet insurance to ensure that pets can get the care they need when they need it. However, in reality, many pet owners view it as an unnecessary expense.
The decision ultimately lies on the pet owners. Some are happy to take their chances and pay for the vet fees out of pocket in the event of pet illness, whilst others think that pet insurance is something worth paying for if it means having a peace of mind.
Here are cost estimates of some veterinary treatments for dogs and cats:
- An MRI scan will cost around £1000.
- Knee surgery at around £900
- Spinal surgery may be at £2000
- Treating a twisted stomach may run around £2000
- Uterine infection may be at £900
What does pet insurance actually cover?
In general, pet insurance covers vet fees and other medical expenses. It may cost around £500 to £12,000 depending on the transaction and the pet insurance company. Most pet insurance include:
- Death by accident or illness
- Cost of advertising and rewards for missing pet.
- Third-party liability
- Overseas travel cover (vet treatment when abroad)
- Cattery and kennel charges
- Euthanasia, cremation, and burial
- Dental care required due to accident (does not include cosmetic work)
One of the important things to consider is the type of policy and cover limitation of the provider as well as the benefits offered. Check your options by assessing some of the best pet insurance in the UK.
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Argos Pet Insurance
Argos pet insurance is underwritten by the Royal Sun Alliance Insurance (RSA). They offer three plans: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Gold and silver cover annual fees whereas Platinum covers a lifetime policy. The latter has an annual limit of £7,000 that covers all complications whilst the Silver Policy has £2,500 limit and Gold policy has £4,000 limit per condition.
Why opt for Argos Pet Insurance?
- There are three varied pet cover options.
- They are known to have low basic excess.
- There is no need to pay for a percentage of vet fees for older pets.
Argus Pet Insurance limitations
- Dental cover is only given for accidents.
- There is a limitation of 5 hydrotherapy sessions under Silver/Gold policies and 10 sessions for the Platinum policy.
Petplan is amongst the most popular pet insurance companies. Petplan is under the Allianz insurance group of companies that was established since 1976. They offer a variety of policy options that help suit you and your pet’s preferred option.
Why opt for Petplan insurance?
- They offer lifetime policies.
- There are optional death benefits.
- They accept dental cover for illnesses and accidents.
- As they are known to most vets, it eliminates the risk of having to reclaim.
- Limited payment on food prescriptions. They only cover food payments on the first incident with 40% coverage for six months. Liquid food obtained from being hospitalised covers a maximum of 5 days.
- Hydrotherapy sessions are limited to 10 per condition.
- There is a high fixed excess on some cats policies as well as for dogs.
The Kennel Club Insurance
One of the oldest kennel clubs in the world, The Kennel Club’s pet insurance policies are underwritten by Agria International Forsakring AB. They only offer a single lifetime policy with coverage limits of two. The highest cover limit is around £15,000 a year.
Why opt for the Kennel Club insurance?
- You have the option to pay for an increased excess or a percentage of vet fees as a contribution payment in exchange to acquiring a lower premium.
- It is optional to acquire benefits for death and loss, boarding/holiday cancellation, and travel.
- The cover on breeding risks is also optional.
- Dental cover is made available for illnesses and accidents.
The Kennel Club’s limitation
- A payment of 10% is required for dogs 5 years of age or more.
- There is a maximum of 20 hydrotherapy sessions per condition under the insurance.
John Lewis Insurance
John Lewis Insurance was initially recognised as Greenbee. Their insurance policies are underwritten by the Royal Sun Alliance (RSA). It has two lifetime pet insurance policies with standard benefits.
Why opt for John Lewis insurance?
- They offer lifetime policies.
- £60 low excess cost.
- To get a lower premium, you are free to increase the excess to £80, £100, £250 or £500.
John Lewis’ limitation
- Their dental coverage is limited for accidental injury only.
- Holiday cancellations are only applicable to planned EU trips.
Tips in choosing the best pet insurance
Insurers offer different covers and limitations. Consider the following in getting the right pet insurance:
- Evaluate your pet’s health.
You can get the best pet insurance coverage if you know what your pet needs. Discuss your pet’s health with your vet to know common health issues that may arise in the future. If your pet is found to be vulnerable to certain conditions, you have to take that into account when researching for pet insurance coverage.
- Compare the coverage of pet insurance providers.
Make a list of reputable pet insurance providers and make a side-by-side comparison on the type plan, premiums, coverage, limitations, exclusions, deductibles, and other insurance features. This way, you’ll get a snapshot of the differences in their coverage. Choose the one that ticks all the boxes in your list of insurance requirements.
- Read the insurance fine print.
Pet insurance plans have exclusions for certain health conditions. If your pet has a pre-existing, congenital, or hereditary condition, you must take that into consideration. More often than not, these conditions are not part of the coverage or insurance providers may apply restrictions on the coverage when you file a claim.
- Review the cost with respect to the coverage, value, and benefits.
Don’t enrol your pet in a pet insurance policy just because it’s cheap. The cost shouldn’t be the only consideration. You must get a policy that covers your pet’s needs.
- If you want your pet protected against diseases, you can opt for a policy that covers routine wellness which includes vaccinations, heartworm prevention, and wellness tests.
- If you are more concerned about emergencies and unknown medical care, you can check the coverage for hospitalisations, surgeries, accidents and injuries, and lab tests.
- If you are interested in getting insurance that covers everything including hereditary conditions and wellness, choose the complete care coverage.
- Don’t forget to ask about discounts.
You may be able to get pet insurance discounts if you have multiple pets. If your employer offer pet insurance benefits, you might get a policy discount as part of the company’s benefits package.
What is the best pet insurance? Pet owners have varied definitions of what is important. As such, take your time to consider your options. Click here for more pet advice articles.