A lot of my clients ask about pet insurance, who are the best companies? Should we have pet insurance? What is covered on pet insurance? Isn’t it a game of luck? Often clients have either had bad experience with their pet insurance companies or have never had to claim. It is a difficult one but you wouldn’t even consider not insuring your house or your car and yet how often (hopefully not often) have you had to make claims using these insurances?
The total UK pet population is 54 million and the average pet insurance claim rose to £793 in 2018, with pet insurers paying out £785 million in 2018. We cant get away from the fact that owning a pet does improve our quality of life, yet can we afford to pay for what they need especially if they need specialist care?
Another question we are asked is “why are vets so expensive?” We are so lucky in the UK to have the NHS where we don’t have to pay for our healthcare. But unfortunately vets are the equivalent to private human health care which does cost as we have the direct over heads of running the building we see our patients in, the equipment to help make our diagnoses and all our support staff (lovely nurses and receptionists) to help make the experience at the vets less stressful for both owner and patient.
So pet insurance…… What are vets thoughts? As a vet I do have pet insurance as although my knowledge is free the equipment to make diagnoses and perform surgery still costs and I want to have the option of referring my dogs to a specialist centre if they need more advanced medical or surgical treatment.
The tips we have for which insurance company to choose are as follows:
1. Like everything in life you get what you pay for.
2. Check the small print – is the cover for each condition for a year or for the life time of the pet?
3. Care when thinking of switching insurance companies for what ever reason as often any medical conditions that your pet has had up to this point will be classes as a pre existing condition on your new insurance.
There are so many other tips that your vet can discuss with you from why certain breeds cost more to insure i.e. English Bulldogs (the equivalent of insuring a Ferrari) to being aware that most new insurance policies won’t cover your pet for a certain number of days after the policy start date. Insurance won’t cover routine treatments such as flea prevention, worming or neutering costs.
If you want to have a chat more about insuring your pets please contact your local Swayne’s branch.