The nation's favourite pet, it is estimated that almost 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, having a canine companion can be a costly affair and you may be wise to consider taking out a dog insurance policy to help towards any unexpected vet bills.
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 vet 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 under your policy.
Dog insurance can sometimes offer more than you would expect, depending on the policy. This can include the likes of:
Covered under some policies, dental problems are fairly common in dogs and can cause other health issues such as heart and kidney disease, so ensuring your dog's dental health is included in your pet insurance could be a smart move.
Should your dog go AWOL or is stolen, some pet insurance policies will cover the cost for advertising your missing pet and even for offering a reward for their return. While no amount of money can truly compensate for the loss of a loved family member, some providers may offer a payout to replace your pet if they're not found. Just bear in mind, you may require proof of purchase.
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.
If your dog causes damage to property or injury to another person or dog, it's possible you may find yourself facing expensive legal fees. Some policies will offer third-party liability to help towards these legal costs, as long as your dog does not have history of aggression.
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 often 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 the average per insurance claim currently at £822, perhaps it's something worth considering
Here are a few things you could consider doing to lower the cost of your premiums.
By selecting to pay a higher excess, you are committing to contribute a greater part of the bill should you need to make a claim, which could mean the insurer will charge you a lower premium. Consider what you could realistically afford though, so you don't end up facing financial hardship.
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 may view your pet as lower 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.
If you share your home with multiple furry friends, a multi-pet insurance policy could work out cheaper than purchasing several individual policies. Always check the price of single policies too though, so you know you're getting the best deal.
Using a comparison site such as Compare Cover allows you to compare multiple quotes from a range of 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 needs.
For more information on pet insurance, take a look at our pet insurance guides.
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 quotes!