Compare Dog Insurance
The UK is a nation of dog lovers, with nearly a quarter of all households having a resident dog. But giving your four-legged friend a home involves taking care of their health, and with vet bills rising by 12% each year, it can come with a hefty price tag. Fortunately, dog insurance can help towards paying for medical treatment and save you from breaking the bank.
Every year pet insurance providers handle over 700,000 claims for dogs, paying out a whopping £544 million. While you might think it’s barking mad to be paying for a policy each month, pet insurance covers you and your pet against any unpredictable events that may occur.
While you’re not legally obliged to have dog insurance, common complaints and illnesses can cost hundreds to treat. An infected claw could cost you around £285, skin disorders such as dermatitis could set you back about £485, and if your dog swallows something they shouldn’t, it could add up to more than £1,000 to treat.
Dogs registered on the Dangerous Dogs Act (1991) cannot be insured due their aggressive nature. If a dog has been cross-bred with any banned breeds, such as Pitbulls, Japanese Tosas and Brazilian Mastiffs, it won’t qualify.
It’s also worth noting that dogs used for commercial purposes such as racing, guarding, hunting or sheep dogs cannot get insurance. You may also struggle to get dog insurance for certain pedigree breeds. Policies can specifically exclude treatment for hereditary conditions, so make sure to check the small print.
There are currently four types of insurance for dogs:
- Accident only – Covers your dog if it has an accident, but doesn’t offer cover for any illnesses or medical conditions your dog might develop.
- Time limited policy – Provides cover for any new illnesses or conditions that your dog develops in a 12-month period. However, you’ll only be able to make a claim for a particular illness or condition once; if the condition returns after that 12-month period, you won’t be covered for any medication or treatment for it.
- Maximum benefit – Covers illnesses and accidents up to a maximum amount per condition. There’s no time limit on making a claim but there is a financial limit, and once you’ve reached that limit you won’t be able to make any more claims.
- Lifetime cover – Provides comprehensive cover for your dog throughout its lifetime. You will need to have continuous cover to ensure your dog is fully insured.
Thanks to changes in the law, pet insurers are now unable to unfairly reject customers’ claims if they’ve given the wrong information about a section of their policy that is irrelevant to their claim. However, it’s important to disclose any on-going or pre-conditions your dog has previously suffered. Failure to disclose any of your pet’s past conditions can result in your pet being refused cover.
You may also find that dogs with pre-existing conditions have a tough time finding an insurance policy that will cover them. Fortunately, there are now pet insurance brands who provide cover for pets with ongoing or past conditions. These brands are unlikely to be found on comparison sites, so make sure to do your own research before purchasing a policy. For more information, visit our guide on pet insurance and pre-existing conditions.
Unfortunately, the older your dog, the more likely they are to suffer an illness or injury. Many policies impose an upper age limit as well as additional contribution costs when you make a claim. For example, many insurance brands expect you to pay 20% of any treatment cost – in addition to the excess – once your dog reaches a certain age. While other pet insurers may not have an upper age limit, death from illness may be excluded from cover when a dog reaches a certain age. For more information about pet insurance and older dogs, visit our guides.
Self-insurance is where you regularly put money away, instead of paying premiums, so that there’s money to pay for veterinary treatment when it’s needed. If your pet never gets sick or injured, you get to keep the cash. However, there are two big dangers with self-insuring:
- Illness or injury before you’ve saved enough money – self insurance means having enough money on hand when the vet bill comes in. If your pet needs expensive treatment before you’ve saved enough, it could mean you getting into debt or facing the possibility of putting your dog to sleep.
- You get sued – Dogs aren’t covered for public liability without insurance, so if your dog causes a car accident and the driver sues, you will be liable for the cost. While this may be covered on your home insurance, it’s worth taking out a policy to avoid the risk.
We know how important it is to find the right protection plan for your dog. At Compare by Review, we understand that choosing the right type of dog insurance can be confusing and time consuming. That’s why we analyse thousands of real customer experiences to provide a simple, impartial comparison of pet insurers so you can purchase the policy that works best for you.