How you can reduce pet insurance cost
Welcoming a pet into our lives is a wonderful moment. Before long we’re completely smitten and willing to do anything for them. Sadly just like us, our beloved pets can get sick or injured and when they do, the vet’s bill can come as a nasty shock. That’s why vets’ fees are a common reason why people take out pet insurance. If you’re not sure you can justify paying the pet insurance cost, here’s 5 things worth thinking about before you decide.
1. The alternative to pet insurance
What makes pet insurance cost what it does? The reality is the cost of basic treatment by a vet can be hundreds of pounds and for a more serious condition, it might run into thousands. According to the Association of British Insurers the average pet insurance claim now tops £793*.
So give some thought to the alternative. Paying the vet in full for your pet’s treatment at the time it’s needed, each time it’s needed. So if, for example, your pet needed emergency surgery, you’d have to find the money to pay the bill quickly. If you didn’t have the funds readily available, there’s a risk your pet would go untreated or you’d be left in debt.
2. Insuring your pet as early you can
If possible, buy pet insurance when your pet’s young and in good health. The older they are the higher the chance of a health problem arising that could make pet insurance cost more or be harder to get. Starting young could also be difficult if you rescue a dog or cat, but it’s still worthwhile arranging cover sooner rather than later.
3. The type of pet insurance you need
The most common type of pet insurance covers our most popular pets like cats and dogs, and this is what we’re talking about in this article. Other animals like horses, birds or more exotic pets may require specialist pet cover.
The level of cover you choose depends on your pet and your budget.
Be aware, that all types of pet insurance will require you to pay the first part of any claim ("excess") yourself.
4. What else you might have to pay for unexpectedly
Maybe not on the same scale as the kids, but pets can prove to be more expensive than you think. On top of vets bills, there are a number of other things that could be costly if they crop up, so consider adding extra cover to your pet insurance.
Typical optional extras include:
- Dental cover
- Cover to locate your pet if they go missing, and replace them if necessary
- Cover for the cost of having your pet put down
- Burial or cremation cover
- Legal cost cover — if your pet causes an accident or damage to others
- Cover for veterinary costs when abroad
5. Take steps to reduce pet insurance cost
As well as starting as early as possible, there are a few other steps you can take that may help bring down the cost of insuring your pet.
- Keep your pet fit and healthy. A healthy pet is less likely to need the vet.
- Make sure your pet is micro-chipped.
- Stay up to date with annual vaccinations.
- Consider having your pet neutered or spayed unless you intend to breed.
- If you’ve got more than one pet, look out for multi-pet discounts.
Finally, don’t forget that no insurance policy will cover every possible eventuality. When looking for pet insurance be sure to check the exclusions and limitations of the policy, to see what isn’t covered.