Llama and alpaca insurance

A llama or alpaca can make a great addition to the family. Find out more about the type of insurance you'll need for your exotic pet.

Key points

  • You can insure llamas and alpacas as pets or livestock
  • Exotic mammal pet insurance will cover death, theft and vet fees
  • If your llama is to be used as a source of profit it's classed as livestock

Llamas have become infamous for their spitting abilities - it's what most of us associate them with, but this is an unfair depiction of what can be a sweet-tempered creature.

Llamas and their cousins the alpacas can be friendly and usually only spit at humans if they weren't raised with their own kind. Llamas and alpacas are also surprisingly cheap to keep, making them ideal pets.

While the animals themselves are generally easy to look after, getting the right pet insurance for them can be a little more difficult.

Should I insure my llama/alpaca as a pet or livestock?

Image of llamas

If you're keeping your animal as a companion, you may want to think about taking out pet insurance. Under this type of insurance, your exotic pet will be covered for death and theft, as well as vet fees for accidental injury or illness.

However, if your llama or alpaca is to be used as a source of profit, they're classed as livestock.

Llamas and alpacas can be made profitable through breeding and their wool can also be sold for use in clothing. Livestock insurance doesn't include vet fees but will instead cover things like slaughter and infertility.

You may also want to consider third party liability insurance in case your llama or alpaca injures a member of the public, especially if you would like to take your animal to a show or event.

How do I insure my llama/alpaca as a pet?

As llamas and alpacas are classed as an exotic animal, they're not usually covered by pet insurance providers.

However, Gocompare.com's partner ExoticDirect[1] offers exotic mammal insurance that will cover your llama or alpaca as a pet.

Simply click the 'Get Quotes' button to enter Gocompare.com's pet insurance comparison service and select the option that asks whether you'd like to cover a pet other than a cat or dog.

Once you're taken through to the ExoticDirect site, click on the exotic mammal option and follow the on-screen instructions to receive your quote.

What does exotic mammal insurance cover?

ExoticDirect offers three insurance policies, ranging from basic to premier.

The basic policy covers death from an accident, illness or injury as well as theft, fire and weather perils.

The essential policy covers vet fees for accidental injury or illness.

And the premier policy covers death from an accident, illness or injury, as well as vet fee cover. It also includes theft, fire and weather perils cover.

Where should I keep my llama/alpaca?

For a list of alpaca suppliers in your region, take a look at the British Alpaca Society directory.

Llamas and alpacas need a lot of outdoor space to roam around in.

The British Llama Society suggests a minimum of three quarters of an acre for one llama or alpaca and also recommends dividing the space so that the grass is able to rest.

You'll also need to make sure that there's sufficient fencing around the enclosure as llamas and alpacas can chew their way through trees and bushes.

Having a shelter for your animal can also be beneficial to provide protection from extreme weather, as well as keeping hay dry for them to feed on.

Can I keep my llama/alpaca with other animals?

Yes. In fact, your llama or alpaca should ideally be with one of its own kind. Their calm demeanour means they could also get on well with other animals, including domestic pets such as dogs.

A male llama can even act as a guard for other smaller animals like sheep or chickens.

Where can I buy a llama or alpaca?

It's best to buy your llama or alpaca from a reputable breeder to avoid any potential problems with the animal.

For a list of alpaca suppliers in your region, take a look at the British Alpaca Society directory. 

When buying a llama, it's worthwhile going through the British Llama Society which provides important benefits, such as checking that the llama is not inbred to prevent health problems.

Llamas can live to be over 20 so it's worth investing in a healthy animal that can provide you with years of companionship.

By Alice Morgan