How much will pet insurance set me back?
It depends on your policy. There are four main types of insurance:
- Accident only – where your insurer will only cover your pet for accidents. This is the cheapest insurance option available and premiums can start at as low as £2.94 for cats and £2.99 for dogs**.
- Time limited – which covers illness and accident for (usually) 12 months, you can usually only claim for a particular illness or condition once and in most cases there’s a cost limit.
- Max benefit – this covers accident and illness indefinitely (as long as you renew), there is usually a fixed cost limit and once this is reached, you won’t be able to claim anymore.
- Lifetime – this is the most comprehensive policy available and will cover accident, injury and illness for your pet’s lifetime regardless of how many times you claim for something. There is usually a fixed cost per condition.
Recent ABI data shows that customers paid an average of £146.06 for the year for their cat insurance but the average claim cost actually came to far more at £541.53. The average claim cost for dogs was £729.79 but the average annual premium was only £275.24.
What else should I consider before getting pet insurance?
Be aware that the age of your pet will influence the size of your premium. Older animals do cost more to insure and after a certain age, you may find very few insurers are willing to cover your pet at all. Pet insurance providers will also take into account other factors such as the breed of animal you have and whether it’s a mongrel, pedigree or exotic.
Pet insurance won’t cover the cost of routine vaccinations and treatments and if your pet becomes ill because a routine vaccine has been missed, you may invalidate your policy.
Whether you think pet insurance is worth it is down to you. But chances are your pet is a bona fide family member and as such you’ll want to do everything you can to help and care for them. So don’t wait until you’re forced to make a choice you’d rather not make – start comparing the market and insure your pet today.
*All cheapest price amounts based on Comparethemarket.com data in April 2017