Equestrian, small or exotic pet insurance

Cats and dogs are simple to insure. For other small mammals, exotic pets and horses, you’ll need to speak directly to an insurance provider. Here’s what you need to know…

Is pet insurance worth it?

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.

A rabbit, hamster or ferret will typically come under small mammal insurance. For exotic pets like snakes, tarantulas and pot-bellied pigs, you’ll need specialist insurance to protect against the escape of your pet or thieves who target valuable animals.

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What things will I need to consider?

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. Think about:

  • The type of pet you have: we only provide insurance for cats and dogs. There are providers that will cover small mammals and exotic animals, but you’ll need to contact them directly.
  • 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.

When should I insure my pet?

It’s best to insure your pet as soon as you bring them home, so that you have cover should they get ill or injured. Just be aware that you might have to wait around eight weeks or so before insuring newborns.

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What does pet insurance cover?

Pet insurance policies vary but can typically cover for the following:

  • Dental treatment
  • A compensation payment if your pet passes away
  • A payment to cover the costs of advertising and offering a reward if your pet goes missing
  • Boarding fees if you become ill for more than a few days and are unable to care for your pet
  • Third party liability cover, should your pet injure someone or cause an accident.


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What is not typically covered?

With most types of pet insurance, the following is typically not included:

  • Treating pre-existing conditions – injuries and illnesses your pet was already suffering from when you took out the policy
  • Routine medical treatment, such as check-ups, neutering, spaying and vaccinations.
  • Cosmetic treatments, or any other medical treatment not recommended by a vet
  • A condition that could’ve been prevented had routine vaccinations been carried out
  • Costs of treatment if you take your pet abroad and it needs to see a vet.
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What is small mammal insurance?

Small mammal insurance, also known as small animal insurance, can cover a range of animals: ferrets, rabbits, hamsters, rats, chinchillas and guinea pigs. Similar to cat or dog insurance policies, it will provide cover if your furry friend goes missing or is stolen.

Although insurance for these types of animals may be more difficult to find, the right policy could protect you from unexpected vet fees.

What is exotic pet insurance?

Exotic pet insurance provides cover for your pet but can include more specific benefits tailored to the type of animal you have, such as pet housing and enclosure cover.

An exotic pet is loosely defined as any pet that’s not a dog, cat or farm animal. It’s less common for them to be kept domestically and if you have a rare or unusual pet, finding the right insurance can be more difficult.

In many cases, birds are grouped by insurance providers under the generic category of exotic pets. Other exotic animals include reptiles (iguanas, snakes, tortoises) and exotic mammals, such as micro pigs and hedgehogs.

You can find out what is classified as an exotic pet on the RSPCA website.

Gumtree - what is exotic pet insurance?

What is equestrian insurance?

Equestrian insurance, also known as horse insurance, varies widely in what it covers. Minimum cover for horses and ponies usually involves death, theft and straying. And if you’re not a member of the British Horse Society (BHS) or British Show Jumping Association (BSJA), public liability is typically included (BHS or BSJA members get public liability cover through their membership).

Other options include cover for vets fees, saddlery and tack, personal accident, permanent loss of use and trailers and horse-drawn vehicles.

Gumtree girl with a pony

If you have a cat or dog, or you’re thinking of getting one, then we do provide pet insurance to cover these pets. To make things simple, use our pet insurance comparison service to compare your options and get suitable cover for your pet.