Insurance is big business in the UK, and COVID has certainly had an impact on premiums, particularly in light of the sharp increase in puppy prices and demand during the pandemic.
Whatever insurance company your choose, it’s important to make sure you understand exactly what your pet insurance policy covers (more importantly what is excluded). Particularly if you have a working dog for example or they compete at agility – be sure your policy will cover injuries sustained during these ‘working’ activities. Be honest about the level and type of work, condition of the dog and any previous medical history – there’s nothing worse than needing to put in claim to find the insurance wont pay-out when you need it to because of a minor detail you failed to disclose.
There are many different types of policy out there, don’t be tempted to simply go for the cheapest or one with the lowest excess. Check out the extent of cover or pay-outs under the various sections of the policy. You may find the excess varies dependent on the type of claim and the amount covered can also vary in the policy.
Some insurance companies offer ‘lifetime’ policies. This means that the policy is continuous, in so much that if your pet is diagnosed with a condition that will require ongoing treatment and medication during a policy year, this will continue to be covered even upon renewal of your policy. It’s important to understand if this applies to the policy you take out and how it works. Most policies as standard ‘reset’ each year so any pre-existing or recently diagnosed conditions may not be covered.
As with all insurances, pet insurance can be purchased online through many brokers and comparison websites. GoCompare have produced a useful report that reveals the cost of dogs and dog insurance during this most recent pandemic. It includes the average price of a dog by month, year and which breeds have been affected the most.
Our advice is always to speak to the insurers direct and ask explicitly to clarify certain aspects of your policy so that you are confident it meets your individual pets’ needs.
Do your research and if you have working dogs or are members of any associations for example BASC, check if they partner with a specific insurer as there may be further discounts available through your membership – BUT don’t assume. Always double check that the policy is right for you and your dog before signing up to a policy and ensure you read all the policy documentation as soon as you receive it. There is normally a cooling off period in which you can cancel if you find out in the fine print something which wasn’t made clear to you.
* This article has been written as guidance only and does not constitute legal advice. It is your responsibility to ensure any policy you take out is right for you.