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What are the main benefits of having pet insurance?

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What are the benefits of pet insurance?

The main benefits of pet insurance are that if your pet suffers illness or injury, you have the peace of mind that your insurance provider will take care of the costs.

As well as medical treatment for illnesses and injuries, it’s also possible to find pet insurance plans that cover:

  • Dental treatment
  • A compensation payment if your beloved pet passes away
  • A payment to cover the costs of advertising and offering a reward if your pet goes missing
  • The boarding fees if you become ill for more than a few days and are unable to care for your pet
  • Third party liability cover, for the legal costs and other expenses should your pet injure a person or another animal, or damage a person’s property (this feature is usually only offered for dogs)
  • The costs of treatment if you take your pet abroad and it needs to see a vet

What are the consequences of not having pet insurance?

If you choose not to take out pet insurance, then any medical costs or other costs you become responsible for concerning your pet will need to be met from your own pocket. A sudden unexpected bill of any kind can be extremely unwelcome.

In some cases veterinary treatment could run in to thousands of pounds. The costs of veterinary treatment are also rising all the time. Your pet may be unlucky enough to contract a complex condition that requires expensive treatment over a number of years – in these circumstances could you cope without having pet insurance?

The chances of an event occurring which could give rise to a claim are very high indeed. Pets, especially dogs, may spend a lot of time sniffing and licking the ground, so think about all the infections they could pick up as a result. They can get lost, could be the victim of a road accident, or can become involved in an incident with another animal or a human being. Some breeds may be vulnerable to hereditary illnesses and other conditions.

Some people decide to cover their pet to some degree, but don’t take out comprehensive cover. Clearly, less comprehensive cover costs less, but by saving money in the shorter term you are increasing the risk that you will be faced with a large bill in future because your pet insurance plan does not cover the event that has occurred.

For example, some policies are accident only, so there is no cover for any illnesses your pet may contract.

Some policies are time limited, so after 12 months you will either need to renew the plan or take out a new insurance policy. It’s important to remember that any new policy won’t cover pre-existing conditions, so if you take out annual cover and then your pet contracts an illness, once the 12 months are up you will have to meet all future costs arising from that condition.

Some policies do not offer cover for dental treatment, pets getting lost or liability cover if they are involved in an incident with another animal or a human. So if one of these events occurs and your plan doesn’t cover it, again you will be faced with the prospect of paying the costs out of your own pocket.

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Self insurance – what is it and what are the pitfalls?

Some pet owners choose to ‘self-insure’ rather than take out a pet insurance policy. This essentially involves placing the amount you would have paid in pet insurance premiums into a dedicated savings account each month, and thus building up a pot of money you can use should something happen to your pet. However, there are a number of potential problems with adopting this approach:

  • You could need the money before you have built up enough in your savings account, whereas with an insurance policy you are covered for illness as soon as a set period (typically 14 days) from the start of the policy has ended
  • You may be unable to resist the temptation to dip into your pet self-insurance account to spend the funds on other things
  • You may be the subject of a lawsuit involving your pet, especially if you own a dog. In this case the legal costs you incur could dwarf any amount you have been able to put aside in savings
  • In many cases, veterinary costs are rising faster than the annual interest available on a savings account

Is pet insurance mandatory?

It is not mandatory to have pet insurance, many pet owners in the UK do not have any form of insurance. However, if you are asking yourself ‘Should I get pet insurance?’ or ‘Is pet insurance worth it?’, then some of the reasons listed above may demonstrate why it is advantageous to have this form of cover in place. Why not start a pet insurance quote with us today? Tell us a bit about you and your pet’s needs. We’ll do all the leg work to find a policy that suits your needs. Just see how much you could save!

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