Pet insurance can cover unexpected costs if your pet needs to see a vet, but it depends on your policy. That’s why it’s vital to compare policies to see what suits you and your four-legged friend.

The latest figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) suggest that the average pet insurance claim costs £750, with pet insurers paying out £1.8 million every day on claims.

Fees associated with going to the vets

Stephanie Corbett, head of pet at says: “The increase in pet insurance claims reflects the increasing costs in vet bills and range of treatments available. A typical vet bills costs £300 according to the ABI, with consultation fees starting at typically £35.

Owners of dogs are twice as likely to insure their pet, than owners of cats. Just 16% of the cat owners in the UK are thought to have pet insurance. However, the average cost of treating a cat with diabetes can cost up to £1,060.

It’s worthwhile checking affordable premiums to prevent being caught out by unexpected vet fees.”

Treatments that could land you with vet bills are many and varied, and include:

  • Surgery
  • Dental treatment
  • Overnight stays at a treatment facility
  •  Medicines
  •  Spay treatment for infections
  •  X-rays
  • Blood and other routine tests
  • And if the very worst happens, the costs of having your pet put down

Examples of more specialised treatment for which you might have to pay vet fees include:

  • Skincare treatments
  •  Physiotherapy
  • Eye treatments
  •  Orthopaedics
Which vet fees could my policy not cover?

Which vet fees could my policy not cover?

Pre-existing medical conditions are routinely excluded from cover under pet insurance plans. It’s also very unlikely that a pet insurance policy will cover the costs of vaccinations, routine check-ups, neutering or microchipping.

Depending on the policy you purchase, the costs of vet fees associated with the following may or may not be covered, so it’s always a good idea check the details of your policy:

  • Dental treatment
  • Alternative therapies
  • Breeding complications and hereditary illnesses
  •  Pregnancy complications

What should I consider before getting pet insurance?

There are various pet insurance policies; it’s important to consider all your options and to balance the likelihood that you’ll make a claim against the cost of your premiums.

Cost of insuring your pet: the more comprehensive your cover, the more it’s likely to cost. However, the less your policy covers, the more you might have to pay in vet bills if something happens to your pet.

Getting the right policy: it’s very important to get the right cover for you and your pet. Pet insurance can vary, so think about how you would deal with an unexpected bill.

The level of excess: excess is the amount of any claim you need to settle out of your own pocket. Typically the higher your excess, the lower your premium, but make sure you can afford to pay any excess you agree to.

Maximum amount of cover: make sure you know the maximum amount of cover your policy provides towards vets’ fees.

Consider risks with your pet: an older pet can cost more to insure and has a higher chance of needing medical attention.

Different breeds can be more susceptible to hereditary conditions and on-going illnesses that may not be included in your cover.

What pet insurance options are available?

Before you buy a policy, check that it covers what you need it to, using our pet insurance comparison service.

As you may know, there are four main types of pet insurance. However, some policies have their restrictions. These include:

Accident only – as the name suggests, if you have this type of cover, you’ll only be able to claim for the costs (subject to your agreed excess) of treatment following an accident, and not those associated with an illness.

Time limited – the length of time for which you can claim for a particular condition is restricted, usually for up to 12 months, and there will also be per condition limits in place.

Max benefit – the amount that can be claimed for a particular condition is restricted to a set amount, so if your vet bills are higher than this limit, you’ll need to pay for anything over it.

Lifetime - this is the most complete type of pet insurance available. It covers accidents, injuries or illnesses for the lifetime of your pet, subject to limits as advised in the policy. These policies can include extras such as dental cover and expenses for burial.

What pet insurance options are available?

We know how important it is to find the right protection plan for your pet. To make things simple, use our pet insurance comparison service to compare your options and get the right cover for your pet.

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