What kind of insurance do I need?
Insurance is something we know we need, but don’t always like the idea of paying for. Just as your home and car need protecting – your furry friends are no exception. It’s never pleasant to think of your pet falling victim to sickness or injury, but with costs of pet ownership continuing to rise, an unexpected (and hefty) vet bill could have a significant impact on your rainy day fund.
As pet ownership has risen over the years – 56% of consumers in the UK say they own a pet – so has the understanding of the benefits insurance can bring, as the industry was valued at over £1 billion for the first time in 2016.
However, 53% of the nation’s pet owners are still without pet insurance. Below, we’ve outlined some of the key considerations to make when weighing up your pet insurance needs.
Why do I need pet insurance?
From premium payments to multiple medical conditions, there’s a lot to think about when you’re taking out pet insurance. Ultimately, pet insurance can help to cover the costs of vet bills if your animal falls ill or needs emergency medical treatment. Nobody likes to talk money matters, however in 2016, the average claim for dogs and cats was £676 – with the average pet insurance claim totalling £757. However, policies are not limited to trips to the vets – it would likely feel like little consolation, but the price you paid for your pet could also be covered if they’re lost or stolen. Some levels of cover will pay out if you have to cancel your holiday because your pet needs emergency surgery.
The cost of owning a pet is rising
Given that trips to the vet account for 26% of total spending on pets – insurance can provide peace of mind when managing unexpected fees. Our research has shown that dog owners typically underestimate the price of owning a dog over its lifetime by 10%, with the true figure being £15,303. On a smaller scale, pet owners spent an average of £4.60 per week on their pets in 2016, up from £4.20 the previous year. Over half of pet owners (53%) who opt for cover are happier to prioritise the level of cover provided as opposed to the cost (49%). It’s worth noting that 72% of policyholders have either a high or medium level of cover, while just 19% have a basic annual policy, which shows that many pet owners would rather be prepared if something were to go wrong.
What kind of insurance do I need?
From accident-only or accident and illness to lifetime cover – there’s a broad range of policies available. You need to find the right protection for your needs as well as your furry friend, so it’s important to do your research and determine what will provide the most value. Much like any other form of insurance, pet policies can vary widely. Of course, they will inevitably come with exclusions, the most common being pre-existing medical conditions and routine veterinary care such as vaccinations or spaying.
The majority of pet owners are confident in their insurance
There’s a high level of satisfaction across the pet insurance market, as 75% of policy holders feel confident that their cover is sufficient for what their pet might need, compared to just 15% who disagree. Similarly, 71% of policy holders feel confident that their insurer would pay out if they made a claim, compared to just 16% who disagree.
It’s important to remember that taking care of your pet’s health and wellbeing is not a responsibility to be taken lightly. Not claiming on your insurance is not money lost – it just means you've had the good fortune of having a healthy, fit and happy pet.
We love our pets and they’re an important part of our family, they're reassuring and a constant presence in our lives. Pet insurance provides peace of mind and can help to cover the cost of unexpected vet fees when your pet needs treatment due to an accident or illness.