The nation's favourite pet, nearly a quarter of all households play host to a dog. Dubbed man's best friend, dogs certainly do make day-to-day life a little more fun. However, giving a dog a home can be a costly affair and with vet bills increasing every year, you may be wise to consider taking out a dog insurance policy. By taking out adequate pet insurance, you can help protect your canine companion against unexpected illnesses and accidents, and this needn't cost the earth.
There are four main types of dog insurance policy to choose from. You can typically choose between accident-only, time-limited, maximum benefit or lifetime pet insurance policies. We've summarised the main differences between them below, but for more information please read our guide to the different types of pet insurance.
Whichever policy you opt for, we advise you to read the small print carefully to make sure you have the right level of cover.
|Accident Only||Time Limited||Max Benefit||Maximum Benefit||Lifetime|
|Policy renewable every 12 months|
|Covers vet fees for sudden or unexpected injury or illness|
|Covers vet fees for each injury or condition up to a maximum amount following initial claim|
|Vet fees for each condition are covered for 12 months following initial claim*|
|Vet fees for each condition are covered without any time limit following initial claim*|
|Vet fees for each condition are covered up to a maximum amount, without any time limit, and the maximum amount resets every policy year**|
* You will need to renew your policy if the condition extends beyond your current 12-month policy
** Insurer may refuse or limit cover to exclude existing conditions at the renewal date
When you take out a dog insurance policy, some things may come as standard such as vets' fees in the event of injury, accident or illness. However, it's worth noting that dog insurance will not usually cover routine check-ups and treatments such as vaccinations, worming and neutering. Furthermore, if your pooch has a pre-existing medical condition you may find that you are not covered with a basic policy.
Dog insurance can sometimes offer more than you would expect, depending on the policy. This can include the likes of:
Dental problems are fairly common in dogs, so ensuring your dog's dental health is covered in your pet insurance could be a smart move.
Should your dog go AWOL, some pet insurance policies will cover the cost for advertising your missing pet and even for offering a reward.
In the event of an unexpected stay in hospital, you may have to arrange for your dog to stay in a kennel, and this can be costly. Some insurance policies will cover you for this up to an agreed financial limit.
Insurers will not usually cover accidental damage to your home as it is difficult to assess how well your dog has been trained. Many policies will however cover the cost of damage caused to another person's property (up to a specified amount).
Although money cannot compensate for the loss of your precious pooch, should the unthinkable happen, some policies will pay out a lump sum that covers the price you paid for your pet or the current market value.
Most of us consider our dogs to be part of the family so when they get ill or hurt, it's upsetting and usually expensive too. Dog insurance can provide a safety net to protect you against unexpected bills or at least limit the cost should your furry friend need any treatment. Although there's no law that says you must have pet insurance, with vet bills rising year on year, perhaps it's something worth considering.
Here are a few things you could consider doing to lower the cost of your premiums.
When you compare insurance policies for your pet, you may be asked whether your pet is microchipped. Although it is now a legal requirement, having your dog microchipped could be seen as an indication that you are a responsible owner and therefore could result in cheaper premiums.
By keeping your dog's vaccinations up to date, not only are you helping to protect your furry friend from preventable disease, you could also be rewarded with cheaper insurance premiums. Insurers will often see your pet as 'low risk' if their vaccinations are up to date. Furthermore, if you claim for a condition that could have been prevented with by a routine vaccination, your insurance provider may be reluctant to pay out.
Using a comparison site such as comparecover.com allows you to compare multiple quotes from a range of UK insurance providers. All you need to do is tell us a few details about your dog and we'll show you a list of quotes, allowing you to choose the right one to suit your budget and the needs of your dog.
Once you have a good idea of the cover level you require and the types of policy available, you're ready to start comparing pet insurance products!
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