As pet owners and animals lovers, we’d do anything for our small ones (or big ones). We hate the idea of our helpless pets falling ill or suffering through an accident. But, anyone who’s been to the vets recently knows how expensive it is. Vet bills have recently shot upwards, making the cost of care unaffordable for some people.
That’s where pet insurance is a life-saver (literally). In this post, we’re looking at all the basic facts about pet insurance, covering everything you need to know. We’ll look at what options are available, how much it costs, and how to keep the price down! Let’s jump straight in, shall we?
What types of insurance are available?
Just like your typical car insurance or home insurance policy, there are different options to choose from. Each with their unique costs and benefits. We’ll start with the cheapest coverage. It’s called accident only, and it covers you pet if they receive treatment after an accident. As the name suggests, your pet is not covered if they develop a disease or illness. That’s where condition with (/without) time limit comes in. This policy covers your pet if they develop an illness or condition. Some have a time limit of, say, 12 months after diagnosis. Some have no time limit, but are more expensive. Finally, there is lifetime insurance which covers everything, ever.
How much does it cost?
Well, it varies according to a variety of factors. Naturally, you need to find the best insurer for your type of animal. There are specialist horse insurers that are more suitable than a general pet insurer, for example. The premium also varies according to how old your pet is, and what conditions they live in. The size and current health of your animal is also considered.
Is it worth the risk?
I’m afraid that answer is entirely up to you! Unlike car insurance, pet insurance is not a legal requirement. You are not obliged to insure your animal. Many pet owners do take the risk, especially for smaller animals like rabbits and guinea pigs. These pets typically incur much smaller vet bills. But, when you consider that cancer treatment for a dog can reach into the thousands, it starts to make sense.
How can I lower the cost?
There are three big ways to lower the cost of insurance. The first is to neuter or spay your pet. This drastically lowers their aggression levels, making them cheaper to insure. Secondly, you should insure them as early as possible. That way, you’ll take advantage of a cheap policy while they’re in their prime. Once they’re older, you’ll be offered a much higher quote. Take a lifetime policy early, and you’ll save money. Lastly, get them microchipped. Most insurers charge less if they chipped because they’re easy to identify, and less likely to get lost.
Our final piece of advice is not to worry if you can’t afford the cost. Some pet charities offer complimentary insurance on a means-tested basis. So, visit your local pet charity today, and see if you qualify. We hope you feel a little more clued up on pet insurance now. If you have any further questions, we’ll be happy to answer!