What is accident-only pet insurance?
Accident-only pet insurance covers the cost of treatment for your pet if it’s been involved in an accident, but it doesn’t give you cover if your pet develops an illness.
Your dog or cat might need an unexpected X-ray or MRI scan, extensive surgery or ongoing treatment after an accident – and all that time at the vet could end up costing you a small fortune. Unless you don’t mind paying for treatment yourself, an accident-only pet insurance policy could be a solution.
What are the benefits and disadvantages of accident-only pet insurance?
Accident-only insurance policies vary in what they can provide, so you should always check the policy details carefully before choosing. However, they typically have certain advantages and disadvantages.
The main benefit of accident-only pet insurance is the price. Compared to more comprehensive types of insurance, it’s relatively inexpensive.
Some pet insurance for emergencies may offer compensation for delays to a holiday because of your pet suffering an accident or help with the costs of a funeral. Some policies could even cover you for illnesses that develop as a result of an accident.
You get what you pay for, and the main disadvantage of accident-only pet insurance is that it only covers accidents. It won’t compensate you for treatment if your pet develops an illness that has nothing to do with the accident or an ongoing health condition.
Be aware that most emergency pet insurance policies have a cap on the amount you can claim for each accident – and then it’s up to you to pay the rest. They also tend to last for 12 months, so they probably won’t cover ongoing treatment that lasts beyond that period.
Look to see if you’ll be covered for accidental poisoning, animal attacks and third-party liability.
Buying pet accident insurance could be a way to reduce the costs for younger dogs and cats that are unlikely to have health conditions. But just be aware that it could affect your chances of finding a more comprehensive plan at an affordable price when your pet gets older, especially if it develops a health condition. That’s because pre-existing conditions are typically not covered in new policies.
When is accident-only pet insurance not worth it?
Accident-only cover probably isn’t the right type of insurance for you if you have an older or sickly pet – and it won’t help you if your pet develops a health condition. However, it might be preferable if you have a young, healthy and adventurous pet, but a tight budget.
In the long run, you may be financially better off with a lifetime pet insurance policy. The insurance that best suits you and your pet depends on your pet’s personal needs and your budget.
What our expert says...
“Pets are often an extension of the family and if your cat or dog is involved in an accident, it can be a traumatic experience. Also, you could be facing huge vet bills if you don’t have insurance. If your budget doesn’t stretch to lifetime cover, accident-only pet insurance could help. It could give you peace of mind that you’ll be able to afford the treatment your pet needs to get them back on their feet.”
- Mubina Pirmohamed, Insurance expert
What do I need to get an accident-only pet insurance quote?
All we need are a few details about your pet to start comparing:
Their gender, name and age
Your pet’s breed or size and how much you paid for it
If your cat or dog has been neutered/spayed and chipped
What level of cover you want for your pet and when you want that cover to start.
We’ll also need a few details about you, unless you’ve compared with us before – then we can fill those in for you.Start a quote
Frequently asked questions
What are the other types of pet insurance?
As well as accident-only pet insurance, you have three other options:
- Time-limited pet insurance – can pay vet fees for a year from when the condition develops or until the money available is used up – whichever happens first. After that, you’ll have to pay for any costs yourself, even if you renew the policy.
- Maximum benefit pet insurance – this could cover you for illnesses and accidents up to a maximum amount per illness or injury. Once the amount of money is used up, the condition will no longer be covered, even if you renew your policy.
- Lifetime pet insurance – can cover conditions on an ongoing basis each year, as long as you renew the policy.