Dog Insurance – chances are you’ll need it

Another method of emptying your bank account even further when you own a dog, insurance has always been a bone of contention with me (nice pun eh). It didn’t exist 15-20 years ago, but then firms justify this by saying vet fees have increased dramatically, so now you’d be better off having it.

Of course if you’ve never had to make an insurance claim, you will curse at seemingly wasting money, as did I. When we got Lupo it was one of the first things we did. In hindsight, over reacting just a little by paying out £30 a month for the most comprehensive cover from Petplan. I justified this by thinking if anything happened to him or we discovered he had some condition that would need treatment for the rest of his life, we’d be sorted.

Now he is two years old, we’ve relaxed a bit – and saved some money in the process. I choose packages that cover what would be a push if we had to pay for ourselves, but don’t panic about the smaller things. Just like home and car insurance, you can now do market comparisons and I’d recommend doing this each year your pet insurance is up for renewal. This is how I went from Petplan to the PDSA and now this year we’ve signed up to Animal Friends. Using Compare the Market had nothing to do with getting a free Meerkat toy, honest.

pet insuranceAnimal Friends are what they say on the tin, as well as providing insurance for our pets, they regularly make donations to various animal charities. Definitely the one company with some ethics, which is rare in this market. Choose from a basic to premium package, according to your budget and what you need cover for. The main thing to look out for is to the small print on whether a condition is ‘covered for life’. If you think you would struggle to pay for regular treatments, make sure you get a package that doesn’t cap the amount you can spend each year.

I decided to write this post as it can be a minefield deciding what you do and don’t need, but also as I’m just about to make my first claim. Lupo was bitten (again this year) by a greyhound off its lead. He has an open wound, only an inch wide but still nasty, on his side and has needed a stitch and antibiotics. Numerous check ups and prescriptions mean all this adds up, so as it’s more than my insurance excess I’ll be filling in a claim form and asking my vets to do the same. Hopefully it’s not going to put the premium up too much but I’ll do an update next year if it does.

So from one previous insurance cynic, chances are you’ll need it – especially if you raised a very soft dog who doesn’t stand up for himself. Do you have pet insurance, and have you had to use it?

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