Dog insurance

  • Cover vet fees & treatments from £13.84** a month. On average, an X-ray can cost £300 & an MRI scan £1000
  • Enjoy a whole year of Meerkat Meals & Meerkat Movies*

**50% of people could achieve a quote of £13.84 per month for their dog insurance based on the monthly cost when paying for the policy in one annual payment, excluding any interest charged on instalment payments. Based on Compare the Market data in November 2020.

Why do I need dog insurance?

Dogs aren’t like us. They get into potentially dangerous scrapes, have no self-control when it comes to scavenging and don’t think twice about chasing rabbits/pheasants/other dogs into the unknown. With vet bills rising every year, taking out insurance for your dog could help protect them from harm and you from unexpected medical bills. And those bills can be considerable, going into hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds.

How much does dog insurance cost?

You can insure your dog from £167 a year, based on Compare the Market data in November 2020**.

**50% of people could achieve a quote of £166.08 per year for their dog insurance, based on Compare the Market data in November 2020 for all cover types.

What affects the price of dog insurance?

The price of your pet insurance depends on several factors, including your dog’s:

  1. Age – as a general rule, older dogs are more expensive to insure as they tend to need more medical care. You could also find that there are more policy restrictions if your faithful hound is over a certain age. And be aware that, if your dog has a ‘pre-existing’ medical condition, this probably won’t be covered by your dog insurance policy.
  2. Breed – breeding can bring with it certain breed-specific ailments, which your insurance provider may take into account. For example: Bulldogs are prone to breathing problems, Labradors tend to suffer from hip and elbow conditions and larger breeds typically cost more to insure than smaller ones.
  3. Pedigree dogs are generally more expensive to insure, as they’re more prone to hereditary illnesses than cross-breeds.

What are the different types of dog insurance?

There are four main types of insurance for dogs. All policies come with an excess that you’ll need to pay towards treatment for your pet. They also have limits on how much they will pay out per condition and/or a yearly limit.

1. Accident only offers cover for your vet bills if your dog is unlucky enough to have an accident.

  • doesn’t cover illness.
  • is usually the cheapest type of policy.

2. Time-limited

  • covers new illnesses or conditions that your dog develops.
  • you can only claim once for a particular illness or condition. It will be covered for a maximum of 12 months or up to the limits of the policy, whichever happens first. Once this happens, it’s no longer covered by the policy even if you renew.
  • if the condition returns after the 12-month period, you won’t be covered to treat it.

3. Maximum benefit

  • covers illnesses and accidents.
  • there’s no time limit on how long you can claim for a condition, but once you use up the limits of the policy it’s no longer covered on the policy even if you renew.
  • has a claim value limit, and once you’ve reached that limit you won’t be able to make any further claims.

4. Lifetime cover

  • covers your dog for accidents, illnesses or conditions throughout the lifetime of the policy. Conditions are covered up to the limits of the policy for the year. Once you use up the limits for that year, the limits restart again the following year if you renew and you can continue to claim for the condition
  • You’ll need to stay with the same provider to cover on-going conditions, unless you switch to a policy with pre-existing condition cover or if you decide you no longer want to cover the condition.

What isn’t covered by dog insurance?

When choosing a dog insurance policy, be sure to look out for any exclusions. Have a good read through the T&Cs so you know what’s covered and what’s not.

Common exclusions:

  • Pre-existing medical conditions – any medical condition your dog has before you take out the policy will usually be excluded. This could be a chronic condition, such as heart problems or hip dysplasia. Historic conditions that your pet may have suffered in the past are also, generally speaking, excluded. So, if your dog has an old injury that flares up again, you might not be covered for treatment.
  • Routine treatment – routine and preventative treatment, such as vaccinations, castration, flea and worm treatments, aren’t usually covered by pet insurance.
  • Pregnancy – any treatments relating to pregnancy, giving birth and new-borns aren’t typically covered.
  • Waiting period – when you take out a dog insurance policy, there may be a ‘cooling off’ period, usually the first 14 days, when you won’t be able to claim. Check the waiting period of your policy, since it can vary among insurance providers.

Frequently asked questions

What are the most common dog health problems?

Illnesses that could affect your furry friend include:

  • ear infections – these can be caused by allergies, yeast or ear mites. Surgery can be needed for chronic infections.
  • worms – worm infestations can be serious for your pet. Your vet can prescribe medicine, depending on the type of parasite.
  • fleas – your vet can give you advice on the best flea treatment for your dog.
  • dermatitis – this bacterial infection can become more bothersome if left untreated. Your vet can prescribe antibiotics, anti-inflammatory treatments or steroids.
  • vomiting – this can be caused by anything from parasites to pancreatitis.

Does dog insurance cover pre-existing medical conditions?

Most policies won’t cover pre-existing medical conditions, especially breed-specific health problems. For example, King Charles Spaniels often suffer from eye problems and heart conditions, while Pugs can develop serious respiratory problems due to their flat faces. It’s unlikely that these types of conditions will be covered by your dog insurance.

However, there are a small number of pet insurance providers who offer cover for recent medical issues. That is, problems your pet has suffered before the start of your policy – usually within the past two years.

This sort of specialist dog insurance policy may be more expensive though, so shop around and compare to see if it suits your needs and budget.

What should I look out for when choosing dog insurance?

It’s always a good idea to check exactly what’s covered by your policy, as cover can vary among different insurance providers.

When it comes to choosing the best dog insurance for your pet, here are some things to look out for:

  • Are emergency boarding fees covered? Not all policies offer this.
  • Does your policy provide cover if your dog is stolen or goes missing? This could cover the costs of advertising your missing dog and, in some cases, a reward to help find them. If your dog isn’t found, some insurance providers even offer a one-off payout.
  • Is third party liability insurance included? This can cover you for any costs arising from accidental injury or damage to property caused by your dog.

Does where I live affect the price of dog insurance?

The cost of dog insurance can vary across the UK. There are no standard fees for vet treatments and every veterinary practice is different. Costs and overheads will differ between regions, so these will be reflected in your local vet’s fees – and your dog insurance premiums.

Also, vet treatments tend to cost more in towns and cities than rural areas. That’s because staff wages and premises costs are typically higher. In most cases, dog insurance will be cheaper for those living in the country than in a large city. But that doesn’t mean pet owners in the city can’t find a great deal on their dog insurance. Shopping around is one of the best ways to find the right policy at an affordable price; no matter where you live.

How do I find a good deal on dog insurance?

Your dog is a cherished part of your family, so you’ll want to be sure you can find the best dog insurance to suit your needs. We can help you find the level of cover you want at a price you’re happy with.

Get a range of quotes for insurance for your puppy or dog with our price comparison service. Just tell us a few details and get a quote in minutes.

What do I need to get a quote?

To get a dog insurance quote, you’ll need to give us a few details about you and your pet, including:

  • the age and breed of your dog
  • any pre-existing medical conditions your dog has
  • your personal details including your postcode
  • the type of cover you want for your dog.

Once we have the information we need, we’ll send you a list of suitable quotes to compare.

Start a quote

Mubina Pirmohamed

From the Pet team

"If you need to make a claim on your dog insurance, check with your insurance provider how this will be paid. Some providers will pay directly, while others will require you to pay the vet bills, then claim the money back."

Why use Compare the Market?

We compare 167^^ pet insurance products

50% of customers could achieve a dog insurance quote of £167^^^

^^Correct as of November 2020.

^^^50% of people could achieve a quote of £166.08 per year for their dog insurance, based on Compare the Market data in November 2020 for all cover types.

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