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Pet insurance – do you need it?

An image of a dog running

The number of pets owned in the UK an estimated 51 million, however, it is estimated that 84% of cats and 67% of dogs do not have insurance!


The costs of a pet

A recent report from MORE TH>N, based on a study of 10,000 cat and dog owners, reveals insight into the associated costs of looking after our beloved companions:

British dog owners are spending an average of £240 on their pooch each month, with costs incurred including food, treats, professional grooming, pet insurance and vets fees. Cat owners meanwhile are spending £100 on similar items in comparison. This equates to a whopping £24.5 billion being spent on dogs, and £9.6 billion being spent on cats, in the UK each year.

Average monthly spend on a dogAverage monthly spend on a cat
Food £58£36
Treats £34£12
Toys £27£9
Professional Grooming £29£6
Dog Walker £22£10
Pet Insurance £34£11
Medication/Vet Bills £37£17
Total £240£100

For more on this study click here.

One of the biggest expenses when it comes to larger animals is their health, there is no free NHS to treat them and vet’s bills can be very expensive.


Do you need pet insurance?An image of a dog on a vets table

Pet insurance is designed to cover all sorts of health conditions, covering expenses that you would otherwise have to pay our of your own pocket.

See some estimated dog condition costs:

ConditionAverage condition cost
Tumour£621.10
Arthritis/DJD£230.48
Lameness£392.13
Cruciate rupture£1,060.53
Gastro-enteritis£482.14
Lump£420.53
Wound£356.71
Wart/growth£387.19
Lipoma£449.15
Otitis externa£271.68
Epilepsy/fitting/seizure£300.92
Injury£411.72
Vomiting£419.01
Gastric condition£512.64
Poisoning£380.51
Dermatitis£245.77
Pancreatitis£560.45
Injured/infected claw£263.20
Skin condition£241.76
Corneal ulcer£360.84
Respiratory condition£597.85
Mast cell tumour£638.53
Diarrhoea£306.91
Vomiting and diarrhoea£414.43
Liver condition£383.71
Cushing’s disease£319.03
Diabetes£321.54
Skin allergy£239.97
Atopy£224.51
Patella luxation£908.10
Eye condition£339.75
Hip dysplasia£485.73
Heart failure£288.13
Hypothyroidism£152.29
Ear condition£285.42
Heart condition£433.29
Coughing£376.63
Back/spinal condition£630.85

Source: Based on the total amount of all closed claims for cats received by Tesco Bank Pet Insurance from July 2015 to August 2016. The average costs provided for illustration costs only. Actual costs will vary. Tesco Pet Insurance.


Insurance checksAn image of a smiling Golden Retriever

Things you need to check:

  • Certain breeds of dog are not covered under any form of pet insurance so it is important that you discuss this with your insurer in detail.
  • Make sure you declare any known medical conditions exactly as you would with your own travel insurance for example.
  • Pets over a certain age will not be insurable as the risk is simply too great; this is something you really need to plan ahead for.
  • There are multi-pet policies available if you have more than one pet which should bring down the total premiums.
  • Consider the amount you wish to pay in excess. As with all insurance, the higher the excess the lower the monthly premium.

For a little further insight, the excellent Mila Araujo of The Balance has written a hugely informative article titled ‘The Top 10 Questions to Ask When Buying Pet Insurance‘ focusing on all the pertinent questions.


Self Cover?

Another option is paying a little a month into a savings fund to cover you in case of an emergency.

You might, however, find you have to dip into the savings too soon or you have unexpected legal bills.An image of a small dog asleep

For smaller pets like rabbits, hamsters and guinea pigs you can usually get help and advice for simple issues from a local pet shop.

After an £80 bill to treat two guinea pigs with mites, a friend learned that buying the treatment and having the pet shop owner administer it was a much better option!


The cost of pet insurance

The cost of insurance can vary greatly dependant on the species of your pet, and age. 

This article runs through the costs in much greater detail and is a great read.

So the next step of finding out the insurance premium that you may be faced with is to get some quotes. For example, moneysupermarket.com provides a compare service that does this.


A difficult choice?

It often comes down to the cost of insurance versus the likely costs of treatment.

So if you do not take out insurance, there could be a scenario where if the vet’s bills are unaffordable, you may have to choose not to undertake the treatment, and instead have to put your beloved pet to sleep!

A difficult choice indeed, but one that should be thought about, and decided upon one way or another.


Please note we are not insurance brokers, and nothing in this article constitutes advice in any way, just hopefully some helpful tip of things to think about relating to your pets.



About Us

We help those who may be unlucky enough to have a poor credit rating to get access to more affordable loans.

This website specialises in comparing the guarantor type of loan, which typically has lower rates than other “bad credit” type loans.

We, therefore, take time to write articles on ways to save money, as the best way to avoid the interest costs of any loan is to not have to take one out in the first place.

So if you have insurance cover on your pets, this may one day help you avoid large vets bills, and the need to take out a loan?

We hope this article was helpful?


 

Clare McDonald
Clare McDonald
As a mother of two, Clare knows the importance of being careful with money, so writes posts from personal experience.Clare also loves to find great deals, so shares her finding here.

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