Why do I need to compare dog insurance?
Why do I need to compare dog insurance?
There’s a lot we can learn from dogs. They live for the moment. They’re adventurous and bold. And they’ll fearlessly bound off into the unknown at a moment’s notice. But having such a lust for life also means they can get into any number of scrapes.
It’s likely your dog will get injured at least once in their lifetime, and veterinary treatment doesn’t come cheap. According to figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI), insurers paid out an average of £2 million per day to pet owners in 2017.
Sometimes it’s not until you’re faced with a pricey vet’s bill that you realise just how essential having dog or puppy insurance can be.
Why is dog insurance important?
There’s no NHS for pets, so if your pooch suffers illness or injury, the treatment costs can run into the hundreds or even thousands of pounds.
To give you an idea of how much treatments for dogs can cost, consider this: the cost of having a lump removed can set you back £650+; treatment for gastroenteritis is around £480; and treating a wound can cost up to £400.
However, if you’re looking at something more serious, like a torn knee ligament, the bill could be £1,200. If your dog needs an MRI scan, that can cost around £3,000.
If that doesn’t convince you to compare dog insurance quotes, have a look at the stats.
It’s estimated that around 30% of pets need to see a vet for some kind of treatment each year. With older pets that figure is closer to 80%. Even the most energetic of hounds is more likely to fall ill than have an accident.
Add the fact that veterinary fees are currently rising faster than inflation and you can see why so many owners take out insurance for their dogs.
But according to a report by the ABI, 67% of the UK’s dogs are uninsured.
It’s true that insurance is a gamble. Your dog may never need expensive vet treatment and you may never need to make a claim, but there’s always a chance they will. Accidents happen (as the figures show). For many doting dog owners, it’s all about having peace of mind.
What are the most common injuries in dogs?
Dogs love to play. Whether they’re chasing other dogs, fetching sticks or running around the park at full pelt, play helps them exercise and get rid of any excess energy. Unfortunately, it’s also how they can pick up injuries and how they end up wearing the cone of shame!
Here are just some of the most common injuries that could affect your faithful friend.
- Cuts and scrapes: Sharp objects can create wounds on a dog’s body or paws that may need stitches or antibiotics to prevent infection.
- Eye injury: Something brushing against the eye or debris getting into the eye can cause redness, discharge or swelling.
- Ear infection: Often caused by allergies, yeast or ear mites, chronic infections may need surgery.
- Vomiting: Anything from parasites to pancreatitis can cause your dog to be sick.
- Dermatitis: A bacterial infection on your dog’s skin must be treated with antibiotics, anti-inflammatories or steroids.
According to guidance issued by the RSPCA, some types of dogs are more at risk of serious health issues than others. For example, dogs with short faces can experience breathing difficulties, dogs with folded or wrinkled skin are prone to skin complaints, and dogs with bulging eyes can suffer from eye injuries.
Even the most vigilant dog owners can’t keep their mutts totally safe from injury. If you’re ever concerned about your dog’s health it’s always best to get them checked out by a vet as soon as possible.
Why use a comparison website to compare dog insurance?
Buying any kind of insurance can be complicated. Comparison websites make the process easy and help you find the best deal for your circumstances.
It’s estimated that more than 11 million people in the UK use comparison websites and it’s easy to see why.
First up, they’re convenient and save you time. With just a few clicks, you can compare multiple dog insurance quotes without the need to trawl through dozens of individual websites. Plus, by creating an account and saving your details, you only have to enter your information once.
Secondly, comparison websites give you access to a wide range of products. Offering an independent, unbiased comparison of providers, they allow you to compare dog insurance from multiple providers in one, handy place. Comparison sites do the legwork for you, selecting the most reliable providers and highlighting what makes each product unique.
Finally, the service is free and helps you find the right cover at the right price. Often including lesser-known insurers, comparison websites may find you a deal that saves you a significant amount of money.
The alternative is going direct to the provider, but in the weird world of financial products, you could end up paying more if you go down this route.
It’s important not to focus solely on price as the cheapest premium might not necessarily offer the best cover for your needs.
When using a comparison site to compare dog insurance, make sure you check the excess you’ll need to pay should you have to make a claim. The price difference between a policy with a £100 excess and a policy with a £200 excess could be as little as 50p. Use the filters to fine tune your search and get the very best deal for you (and your canine friend).
What do the different levels of cover actually mean?
There are lots of different levels of dog and puppy insurance, each with its own benefits. Different dogs have different needs and a comparison website can help you find the right level of cover for your hound.
Here are the different types of cover generally provided by insurers.
Accident-only policies: These cover your vets’ fees for an unexpected accident or injury (but not illness) up to a certain amount.
Time-limited policies: These cover the cost of treatment for a new illness or injury for the first 12 months from the onset of the condition.
Maximum-benefit policies: These have no time-limit on new conditions, and cover the cost of any veterinary treatment up to a certain limit for each accident or illness.
Lifetime/ covered-for-life policies: These cover any treatment for all new conditions for the dog’s entire life. ‘Lifetime’ means you can renew the policy each year and the level of cover will be automatically reset.
When you compare dog insurance online, take the time to think about which level of cover will be right for your dog. Keep an eye out for what’s included in each policy. For example, not all policies cover emergency boarding fees, dental care, or if your dog is lost or stolen.
Can all types of dogs be insured?
The majority of dogs are easy to insure. However, certain breeds are more problematic.
In 1991, the government introduced the Dangerous Dogs Act making it illegal for a dog to be ‘out of control’ or to bite or attack someone.
As a result, four breeds of dog are banned in the UK: Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro. These are all dogs that have been bred for fighting, blood sports or hunting large animals. Dogs suspected of being one of these breeds are typically seized by the police.
If you do own one of these breeds, getting insurance is not straightforward. However, if you can prove in court that your dog is safe, you may be issued with a certificate of exemption. This requires your dog to be muzzled in public and specialist insurance that’s not readily available via comparison websites.
Crossbreeds including any of those types of dog may also be subject to the law, depending on their size and characteristics.
What factors do I need to consider when insuring my dog?
Before you compare dog insurance quotes online, there are a few factors to consider. If your dog has a pre-existing or long-term condition, it may not be covered in a policy of insurance (or may only be covered in lifetime policies).
Getting cover for older dogs can also be harder and more costly. An ageing pooch is more likely to suffer illness or injury so policies are often pricier. Using a comparison website will help you identify policies with no upper age limit, and you can check for extra contribution costs in the small print.
Larger breeds can often cost more to insure than smaller ones. The same goes for pedigree dogs that are more prone to hereditary illnesses.
It’s also worth remembering that routine vaccinations, check-ups, spaying and neutering are not usually covered by dog insurance. And if your dog misses a routine vaccination and becomes ill, your policy may become invalid.
How to keep your dog healthy
A healthy dog is a happy dog. There’s lots you can do to keep your dog in good health – and avoid high vet bills in the process. Here are some things you can do.
Your vet will play a key role in your dog’s health. Starting with vaccinations and initial examinations, and continuing with annual check-ups and shots, this regular care will create the foundation for your dog’s overall health.
Daily exercise helps prevent weight and behavioural problems in dogs. Dogs generally need between one and two hours of exercise a day, depending on the size and breed. So take your hound for long walks, let them swim in a lake, and play fetch to keep them (and you) in great shape!
What your dog eats directly affects its skin, coat, weight and energy levels. Give your pooch a well-balanced diet, keep treats to a minimum, and avoid certain foods such as chocolate, cooked bones, grapes and fruit pips.
Invest in some doggy toothpaste and a toothbrush to help prevent tartar, gum disease and tooth loss. If your dog’s not convinced, try rubbing toothpaste on a cloth onto the teeth and gums.
Love and affection
Spend time with your dog, talking, playing, stroking and including them in your daily life. As with people, little actions go a long way in building a loving relationship with your lovable hound.
Is self-insurance worth it?
Self-insurance is where, rather than paying premiums, you put money to one side to cover vets costs if your dog gets ill. But, be aware, it’s impossible to predict what treatment your dog might need in the future, let alone how much it might cost.
A better option might be finding a low-cost policy with a high excess and having enough money set aside to cover that cost if you need to make a claim.
The other problem with self-insurance is that dogs are not covered for public liability without insurance. This means that if Fido causes a car accident and the driver sues, you’ll be liable for the cost. Cats, on the other hand, are considered ‘free spirits’ by law, so owners are not legally responsible for their actions.
The less risky option is always to take out a policy. It only takes a few minutes to compare dog insurance, but it could save you a bundle in the long run.
How to find a good deal on dog insurance
When you crunch the numbers, it makes sense to insure your dog in case of an emergency. Being faced with an ill or injured pet is bad enough, the last thing any dog owner needs is the added stress of a pricey vet’s bill. Knowing the cost of vet treatment is covered is one less thing to worry about.
Every dog is different, so it’s important to find the right level of cover for your four-legged friend. And if you have more than one pet, our multi-pet insurance can save you money and make it easier to manage cover for all your four-legged loved ones.
The best way to know you’re getting a good deal is to compare dog insurance quotes through a reliable pet insurance comparison website.
At Go Get it, we compare dog insurance quotes from a range of leading insurance providers to help you find the right level of cover.
From Great Danes and Golden Retrievers to Pugs and Poodles, man’s best friend will always have a lust for life. But by taking out quality dog insurance you can make sure they’re protected, whatever the future brings.