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Do I need pet insurance?
Pet insurance gives you quick access to care when your pet is in need, and depending on what your policy includes, it may also cover you for some costs at the vets, such as your pet's annual check-up and vaccinations, up to a certain sum.
As you compare pet insurance quotes, check what is included as standard. Your policy may provide cover for illness, injury as the result of an accident, death, theft or loss and damage caused by your pet to third parties.
How much does pet insurance cost?
Get informed about pet insurance
How to get a pet insurance quote
Setting your pet up with a suitable policy is straightforward, so long as you have this information to hand:
- Your personal information, such as your name and address
- The breed, age and gender of your pet
- Where your pet lives
- Its purchase price
- Whether it’s microchipped
- Medical history, including any pre-existing conditions, if it’s been spayed or neutered, and if its vaccinations are up to date
- Details about its behavioural history
You can opt to pay for pet insurance monthly or annually, and you can also adjust the amount of excess you're comfortable with.
- There were 8.5 million pet dogs in the UK in 2016
- 17% of households played host to a cat
To help you choose, we'll show you star ratings and helpful information from independent financial researcher Defaqto.
When you’ve got a favourite, you can buy online or phone the insurer if you have any questions.
How to reduce the cost of pet insurance
The cheapest policy may not offer the right protection, so check what will really look after your pet before signing up with the most affordable insurer.
There are several categories of pet insurance and some tend to be cheaper than others:
Accident-only pet insurance covers treatment if they're involved in an accident
Time-limited pet insurance covers treatment for a capped amount within a 12-month period. If you renew the policy after one year, you won’t be able to claim again for that condition
Maximum benefit pet insurance gives you an annual sum to claim on throughout the year, either per policy, per condition, or both
Lifetime pet insurance pays for ailment or illness with no time limit on each condition
Be aware that some policies are 'co-insurance’, meaning you’ll have to pay a percentage of the remaining vet’s fees after the excess is deducted.
Keeping your pet insurance premiums low
- The specific conditions associated with your pet's breed or pedigree - if there's a great risk of illness or injury, your premium may be higher
- If the vets' fees in your area are affordable, or more expensive
- Your pets' age
To keep your pet insurance premium within your financial grasp, there are a few tricks to try:
- How much is your excess? Insurers may offer a more favourable premium if you're prepared to pay a little more upfront
- Keep up with their vaccinations so they're in the best preventative health
- Microchip your animals for increased security. If they wander off or get stolen, you've got a greater chance of finding them
What's excluded under pet insurance?
Find out more about pet insurance
If you have any unanswered questions about insurance for your pet, explore the guides in our Pet insurance library.
You can read about vet fees, cover for older pets, third party liability, co-insurance, dental cover, kennel and cattery fees, previous medical conditions, foreign and holiday cover, pedigree breeds, accidental damage, alternative therapies, cremation costs, excesses and missing pet cover.
We’ll walk you through buying and owning pets, travelling with them, microchipping, vaccinations, and great small pets for young kids, plus lots of money-saving tips.