Do you have dog or pet insurance? It may sometimes appear to be an unnecessary expense when you have a number of pets, yet the cost of vet bills and other treatments can be hundreds of pounds or more.
We were using treats to distract him from the vet manipulating the needles. It worked wonders as he loves food!
Sam looking as cool as can be.
Websites on pet health.
Lungworm in dogs - a Bayer plc website on how your dog can contract lungworm. Always see your vet for regular checkups to make sure your dog remains healthy.
Before I start I need to give a disclaimer, first I am not giving you financial advice and secondly I am not specifically recommending any insurance company, I am not qualified to do this. I am a person who cares deeply for my own dogs and have pet insurance on them, I write from my personal experience and viewpoint.
Let us start with what is pet insurance. Pet insurance is similar to any other type of insurance where you pay a company to take a certain amount of risk, in the case of pet insurance this risk is that if your pet becomes ill they will pay for your vet costs you incur over a certain minimum amount. Often this amount will increase with the age of your pet and recently this excess reached £100 for our dogs as due to their age. This means that you have to pay the vet cost to this amount and then the insurance company will pay for the remainder of the treatment. Each payment claim has it’s own excess payment so if you may three claims in one year you will still be faced with paying this excess charge three times, unless the illness is the same.
Why have pet insurance for your dog, cat or other animal? I suppose you have to consider a number of things before deciding if you need, or want to take out pet insurance. In our case I had run up a fair amount of debt that had to be paid off and even though I earned a fair bit of money I did not have much left after I paid off my debt each month. In my situation if a large cost happened due to an accident or serious illness then I simply did not have the money to pay for this. The alternative was to spread the risk and insure all of our three dogs and while the cost of this has been nearly £55 a month it is a lot less worrying that not having the money to look after the dogs if and when they became ill. We infact had to use our insurance policy a fair bit over the last few years as one of our dogs became progressively ill with a degenerative illness.
Of course you may be in the lucky position of having plenty of money and the decision to spend a couple of hundred pounds on vet treatment may not be an issue with you. Just hold that thought, a couple of hundred pounds may not be an issue, what about a couple of thousand pounds? Would you still be feeling as smug about saving money each month on pet insurance when you need to use your credit card to pay the vet or veterinary hospital money to treat your dog or cat (and other small pets)? Yes that is the kind of money that can be incurred when carrying out operations and long term treatment on your pets. I have a number of friends who did not take out pet insurance and ended up spending a considerable amount of money.
Let us summarise so far:
Pet insurance covers the cost of pet illness
There is an excess you need to pay for each claim (different illness)
Treatments of small animals can cost hundreds and sometimes thousands of pounds
Small animal insurance give pet owners peace of mind
Some of the reasons not to take out pet insurance include having enough money to pay for our pet vet treatments ~ just remember that this can be hundreds or even thousands of pounds. It is simply easier to pay a small amount each month to make sure we have expensive treatments covered.
Dog insurance has other important and useful policy conditions; they may for example give you third party liability insurance for your pet, or help pay for the costs involved in finding a lost dog. In some cases it will also help pay the cost of getting another dog in the event of a puppy dying. You need to check all the small print although most of these will be in large print as they are some of the advantages you get with pet and especially dog insurance.
Are you thinking why on earth would I need public liability insurance on my dog? Or maybe what is third party liability insurance? As mentioned earlier I am not an insurance expert, I am a pet “owner” (I hate that term as I feel our dogs live with us not that I own them) so this is not legal advice, just my understanding of the matter.
Third Party Liability insurance is where an accident if caused to someone other than yourself, and in this case caused by your dog. For example your dog runs out onto the road and a car swerves to miss the dog and crashes into another car, the accident may be deemed to be caused by your pet and you may be liable financially for the cost of repairs to both cars. While you are confident that you can afford to pay vet bills how about the repair to car(s) and other possible costs involved if someone was injured.
As many people will already know buying a pet can be an expensive business, not that I would know as we tend to love dogs that need re-homed from rescue centres or just need a good home. That is not true of many people who want a specific breed of dog and a pedigree. You know how much you paid for your dog, £500, £1000, more? Sadly some dogs are lost, others are stolen and you may end up with no dog, heartbroken and need a dog for company or to make up to the kids for the loss of your pet. I have always felt it sounds so callous to think of money from insurance to replace a loved pet, yet the reality is sometimes this is necessary. Many pet insurance policies provide cover for this eventuality.
We have always had pet insurance on our dogs and while I hope that I will never need to use the insurance policy I know that I have the security of my pet being looked after in the event of an accident or serious illness, and yes we have unfortunately had to claim on 2 of our dogs over the last few years. Sadly our terrier has now died after 3 years of being on permanent treatment for a heart complaint and other illnesses.
While nothing can replace a loved dog or pet, by having pet insurance you know that your faithful pet will be looked after in the event of a serious illness.
Like us most people love their pets and if your dogs are like ours then you know that dogs are wonderful and always faithful. We of course want the best for them. Sometimes the best can involve expensive veterinary treatment.
We may have decided to save our money towards the cost of vet treatments, sometimes the cost can be more than we can afford and this can put most of us in a very difficult, if not impossible position. Yet, by taking out monthly affordable pet insurance we know that an expensive operation will be paid for and the decision to pay or not to pay for the operation will not be made based on our financial position, it will be based on the best interests of our dog and pet.
So yes we feel that pet insurance for our dog is a good thing and suggest that you should consider this if you have not already done do.