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Insurance for dog and cat in the UK – you need to know this

Insurance for your dog and cat in the UK - you need to know this

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You become responsible forever for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

I don’t think we’ve ever started a blog post with a quote until now. In this case, however, we are making an exception, because the passage from “The Little Prince” quoted above fits perfectly here. We would like to refer a little more to the policies you ask about surprisingly often. So let’s see if insurance for dog, cat or any other pet pays off.

Insuring your dog, cat and other pets can save you from many unforeseen expenses.
Insuring your dog, cat and other pets can save you from many unforeseen expenses.

Insurance for dog or cat – Pet Insurance

At the outset, we must point out that Pet Insurance is not the same as Pet Healthcare Plans and Pet Plans, which are offered by veterinary clinics and which only cover vaccinations, deworming and annual health checks for your pet.

A well-chosen pet insurance policy should cover the widest possible catalog of health problems, and the sum insured indicated in the policy must, in our opinion, be sufficient to pay for basically any veterinary procedure. Of course, even the cheapest product, which may cost £5-7 per month, is much better than no insurance coverage at all, but by adding a little more, you get a much better service.

Why do I need cat or dog insurance in the UK?

Why do I need cat or dog insurance in the UK?
Why do I need cat or dog insurance in the UK?

First of all, let’s establish that insurance for dog or cat in the UK is voluntary – absolutely no one will require it from you, but it is at least reasonable to have it. Why? Because more and more pet owners are gaining awareness of how expensive veterinary treatment can be. Unfortunately, we acquire this knowledge when we least expect it, when our dog, cat or other animal suffers a serious injury or becomes ill.

Like any insurance, dog policies in the UK also protect you against the consequences of unpleasant events. Their purpose is to protect you against the cost of surgery, medication as well as veterinary consultations.

Our story

This article is intensely personal – in addition to being the owner of Extend Finance, I also own two cats – both insured, of course.

In December 2020, we were doing some renovations at home. The work wasn’t very complicated and this article is completely not about that, so I’ll just say that one of my cats ate the metal staples we used to connect the paint film. As you can easily guess, the result was disastrous.

The cat had to be taken to the vet for urgent surgery in no time. We did everything we could to make sure the poor thing stayed with us. It’s hardly surprising – a responsible owner cares about his pet regardless of the cost of treatment or temporary inconvenience. Unfortunately, the treatment was really expensive:

  • Initial visit: £200 (anti-emetic injections, general inspection);
  • X-ray: nearly £800 (the animal must be sedated before the X-ray under medical supervision);
  • Hospital stay: £1,200 (3 nights, £400 each per night);
  • Surgical removal of staples: £1,800.

The total cost of the therapy was £4,000, which accrued over several days. Fortunately, all expenses were covered by our insurer, Waggel. The paperwork for the claim was minimal, in addition, we didn’t have to use our own credit card, as it was the vet who took care of contacting the insurance. It was only on my side to fill out a not very long form and provide all the necessary data.

Now ask yourself, can you afford such expenses? If you have doubts, consider buying insurance for your pet.

How much does insurance cost for a dog in the UK?

Well, the policy worked, and the insurer paid out £4,000. How much do you think such a product might cost? Contrary to appearances, not that much at all.

For a pedigreed cat of 5 years old, the total premium cost will not exceed £15 per month if you only need a policy of £4,000. For more extensive insurance, for £10,000 and in addition with a nominal excess, the premium will be higher, but still should not exceed £30 per month. This is really not much when you consider your mental comfort.

The situation is a little worse if you want to insure an older pet. As with life insurance, premiums increase with age – for a 14-year-old cat, the monthly cost will be about £40 (a £4,000 policy) and £60 for £10,000 insurance.

Of course, it all depends on a number of factors – we analyze, among others, the postal code, the breed of the animal, its age, whether it is neutered, its past, sex as well as the age of the owner. If you want to know the exact premium, please contact us.

Insurance for cat or dog in the UK – what is the best choice?

Insurance for a cat or dog in the UK - what is the best choice?
Insurance for dog or cat in the UK – what is the best choice?

Insurance for dog or cat in the UK can take 4 basic forms. We can divide them by coverage:

  • Accidental cover only – this is the cheapest and most basic policy option. Such insurance for dog covers post-accident treatment necessary after a broken paw, for example, but will not work for diseases such as cataracts, for example. Considering the cost of surgery, such a product definitely makes sense, although more extensive offers are worth considering;
  • Full insurance for dog (Maximum Benefit) – is a policy with broader coverage, including both illnesses and accidents of your pet. It is a more expensive, but more secure product.

Or because of the protection period:

  • Annual or Time limited insurance – insurance taken out for a limited period of time, covering the cost of treating your pet for, say, one year after the onset of illness. When its term expires and you do not renew the policy, all costs fall on you;
  • Lifetime insurance for dog (Lifetime cover) – this is, in my opinion, a better policy option. If you remember to renew regularly, your pet will be covered for the rest of its life.

It is important to stay with the same insurer if your pet already has any illnesses. When switching to a new insurer, current or past illnesses/health conditions WILL BE EXCLUDED!!!

As you can easily guess, in our opinion, the best would be full and lifetime insurance for dog or cat, which, although more expensive, will provide you with the maximum level of comfort.

Let’s mention two more parameters that have a decisive impact on both the premium and the reasonableness of the policy itself. These are the sum insured and the amount of the insurance deductible. The first parameter determines the maximum amount your insurer will reimburse, while the second determines the amount you will have to spend out of your own pocket when you go to the vet. Usually, it falls within the range of £0-£250. The lower it will be, the higher the premiums, of course, so sometimes it pays to buy cheaper insurance, which you will use only in case of more serious problems.

What do the insurance premiums for dog or cat in the UK depend on?

When calculating premiums, we consider factors such as:

  • Animal species – statistically speaking, insurance for a dog will be more expensive than insurance for a cat;
  • Breed of animal – certain breeds of dogs and cats are particularly prone to the occurrence of certain diseases and injuries. For example, German Shepherds often suffer from hip and spinal problems;
  • Your pet’s age – The older your pet is, the greater the risk of age-related diseases;
  • Your preferences – some policies offer particularly broad coverage, while others are much more limited (but also usually cheaper);
  • Your pet’s gender;
  • Zip code;
  • Your age.

Due to the very extensive range of insurance companies, it is definitely worth contacting a broker such as Extend Finance – we will take care of finding the insurance that will best suit you and your pet’s needs completely free of charge. To contact us, fill out the form or click on any banner.

Does insurance for dog in the UK pay off?

Well, on this subject, everyone will have their own opinion. Dog insurance is inexpensive as a rule, especially in the more basic variants, and this makes it worth opting for even a small, basic package with a monthly price comparable to a coffee in town. It’s an extra guarantee of security that can have a positive impact on your household budget, as it won’t compromise your financial cushion at a critical moment.

From our perspective, insurance for dog or cat will be especially justified if your pet is still young – this is when accidents such as the aforementioned staples, fractures and other injuries are most common. Of course, the risk of cancer increases with age, but these types of treatments are more spread out over time and, while still expensive, probably won’t force you to borrow money from friends or the bank.

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Your Home (or property) may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debts
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Your Home (or property) may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debts secured on it. Conveyancing services are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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