Compare tortoise insurance quotes and learn more about buying and owning one of the most long-lived of pets.
ExoticDirect offers tortoise insurance and is the UK's only insurer to offer tortoise theft cover
If cats are too common and dogs just aren't distinctive enough, you might want to consider a slightly more exotic pet.
And if you have a taste for life in the slow lane, a friendly tortoise could be your ideal companion!
It's difficult to estimate how many tortoises are owned as pets in the UK, but there's a long tradition of people choosing to keep them.
They can be expensive to buy and are sometimes targeted by thieves because of their value, so buying tortoise insurance is worth thinking about.
As well as paying out if your reptile is stolen, insurance can provide cover for accidents, illness and weather perils such as storms, lightning and floods.
If you search for pet insurance you'll see that many providers only offer cover for animals such as dogs and cats and don't offer cover for more unusual beasts such as birds and reptiles.
However, Gocompare.com's partner ExoticDirect offers tortoise insurance and is the UK's only insurer to offer tortoise theft cover.
When you click the 'Get Quotes' button to enter Gocompare.com's pet insurance comparison service, you'll immediately see an option asking whether you're looking to cover a pet other than a cat or dog.
If you're looking to insure a tortoise, follow that link through to the ExoticDirect site and look for the tortoise!
Answer a few quick questions about your pet and input your basic personal details and you'll be presented with your quote.
They can live for more than 100 years, so plan what will happen if you can no longer keep your reptilian friend
ExoticDirect has three different options when it comes to insuring your tortoise.
The first is a vet fee only policy covering treatment for injuries or illness.
The second policy covers your reptile in the event of death, theft and weather perils, while the final type of tortoise insurance is a combined policy including cover for death, theft, weather perils and vet fees.
Vet fee cover applies per policy rather than per pet, which means that the additional cost of adding extra animals to the policy is kept to a minimum.
Policyholders typically have to pay an excess on tortoise insurance claims.
Reptiles are sometimes traded illegally, with significant sums of money changing hands.
Go to a reputable breeder, as they will comply with regulations and there'll be a better chance of the animal being healthy.
You might even be able to find tortoises in need of new homes through animal rescue centres, particularly those that specifically rescue reptiles.
If you do choose to use a breeder, under EU regulations they're required to have a specimen-specific certificate (SSC) if selling certain breeds.
For more information about SSCs, visit the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)† website.
Healthy adult tortoises need to be kept in a secure, well-ventilated environment such as a greenhouse, with access to an outdoor pen.
Indoor vivariums and tanks are unsuitable for tortoises as they don't provide enough space and can lead to a number of health issues.
Choosing to insure your tortoise with ExoticDirect will give you peace of mind about what will happen if your unusual pet does become ill or have an accident
Some species of tortoise need to hibernate throughout winter, but in the UK we have shorter, wetter summers than many countries and adults might need to be brought into an indoor habitat, such as a tortoise table, for a month or two prior to hibernation.
The breeder you buy your pet from will be able to advise you on how to prepare your tortoise for hibernation.
You also need to think about the future. Tortoises can live for more than 100 years, so plan what will happen if you can no longer keep your reptilian friend, or if you have to move to a smaller property.
Choosing to insure with ExoticDirect will give you peace of mind about what will happen if your unusual pet does become ill or have an accident - and you won't have to 'shell out' on expensive vet fees!