Thinking about buying insurance for your dog?

If you are thinking about buying or rescuing a dog you should consider all the costs that are associated with responsible ownership. Of course owning a dog can bring lots of joy for you and the whole family but if something bad happens what next! Vet bills can be astronomical and without insurance in place you could be faced with an agonising decision about the future of your much loved pet. 

Things to consider when buying insurance for your dog.

In order to be a responsible “parent” to your new dog, it’s worth researching pet insurance. Cover will help ensure you can pay the unexpected vet bills and your pet will be looked after in the case of an emergency. 


Insurance, like for anything, is there for emergencies. With pet insurance, most policies will not include routine maintenance in their cover, for example routine check-ups, neutering/spaying and/or vaccinations. Like with human health insurance, policies will not cover treatment of pre-existing conditions (which is anything physical your dog had wrong with it when you took out the policy)
Insurers are sneaky and will try and back out of any pay-outs so sometimes, if the dog’s illness would have been prevented by vaccinations that were missed, they won’t pay. Finally, if you choose to take your dog on an international trip, policies will not cover vets’ fees abroad. 


Providers will want to know how much you donated or paid for them, the age of your dog, its gender and whether it’s been spayed/neutered and whether they have been microchipped. Since 2016, it’s now illegal to own a dog that is not microchipped. If your dog is not microchipped, your insurance in all probability will be invalidated. The devil is very much in the detail.

It's worth bearing in mind that the age of your dog will have a great deal of influence over the cost of the policy. Puppies can be sick in infancy with vaccinations etc, while aging dogs are prone to more health issues. 


There are actually four main types of insurance for your dog

1.    Lifetime 
2.    Maximum Benefit
3.    Accident Only
4.    Time Limited

Lifetime insurance covers illnesses, accidents, and conditions throughout its lifetime, as long as you’re paying continuous cover (as ever, Mr Insurer recommends you always read the terms and conditions carefully). Maximum Benefit is the insurance that’s the best if your dog has a pre-existing chronic condition. It has a capped pay-out for each condition but there’s no time limit for when you can claim for. Accident Only insurance covers your dog if it has an accident, NOT if it has an illness or any medical conditions. It’s the cheapest policy but does only cover a small number of instances of why you might need to get your dog treated. Time Limited will cover any new conditions your dog develops in a 12-month period and usually the policy stipulates you can make just one claim, on which there’s a financial limit. If that condition returns, the insurance does not cover follow up treatment or medication.  

The main comparison sites have some useful tools like how policies can be affected by insuring pedigree breeds, or if your dog has been abroad etc. Here are a couple of useful sites:

Mr Insurer recommends insurance for your dog. You don’t want your financial situation to determine the future of your cat should the worst happen. If you spend time comparing the various policies available and maximizing cashback offers it can be less expensive than you think. Often 1 uninsured trip to the vet in an emergency costs more than annual cover! 

It is always worth looking at reviews from other pet owners that have had to use their insurance and of course speak to your vet! Some vets will favor certain insurance providers and as such the process of making a claim can be much easier. A good place tom start in our opinion is Pet Plan!

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