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Is pet insurance worth it?

Is pet insurance worth it?
Image source: Getty Images


Pet insurance can be worth having as a safety net. Without adequate cover, it might be difficult for a pet owner to pay unexpected veterinary bills. Then again, the cost of pet insurance can be significant, and you might wonder if it’s really necessary.

Here are some of the key pros and cons of pet insurance you should consider when deciding whether to invest in a policy for your furry companion.

Pro: Pet insurance will cover large bills

According to the Money Advice Service, the average pet policy offers up to £5,000 to £6,000 of coverage per year. If your pet needs life-saving surgery or is involved in a serious accident, having insurance to pay for a large bill can make a world of difference.

Pro: Insurance might cover more than medical care

In addition to care for illnesses and accidents, many pet insurance policies also pay for loss and theft of your pet (including the cost of advertising when trying to find a lost pet). Some cover kennel fees if you (the owner) has to be hospitalised. A number of policies also cover the cost of treatment for behavioural problems.

Pro: Some pet insurance offers liability cover

In addition to protecting your furry friend, pet insurance can be worth it for the fact that many policies include liability cover. This means that if your pet injures somebody or causes property damage, your pet insurance may pay for it. Although coverage varies among companies, third-party cover can be as high as £1 million.

Con: You have to insure your pet when it’s young

Many pet insurers won’t accept older dogs and cats. For large and giant dog breeds, ‘older’ can be as young as seven years old.

Plus, if you sign up for annual coverage, you might not be able to renew your policy once your pet reaches a certain age.

Choosing a lifetime pet insurance policy is worth it if you want to guarantee that your pet will continue to be covered even in old age.

Con: Pet insurance doesn’t cover all of your pet’s veterinary care

Most insurers don’t cover routine care. This means you will have to pay for vaccines, check-ups, spaying and neutering or getting a pet passport out of your own pocket. Pre-existing conditions are often excluded as well.

Con: You may pay for a long time and never use it

As with other forms of insurance, one risk of having pet insurance is that it will cost you even if you never use it. While £20 to £30 a month for coverage may not seem like much for the peace of mind it offers, it can certainly add up over the years.

Con: Some breeds are more expensive to insure

According to Which.co.uk, some breeds are significantly more expensive to cover than others. This is partly because those breeds are more prone to certain health issues or because medical problems are more expensive to treat in those breeds.

For example, French bulldogs are one of the most expensive breeds to insure at about £358 a year, while golden retrievers are significantly cheaper at around £187 per year.  

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