This National Love Your Pet Day, we look at the cost of pet insurance, and what happens if your pet gets ill and they are not insured. ⭐Pet Insurance ⭐Money Management
Thursday 20th February is Love Your Pet Day, and with the UK pet population reaching 54 million last year, it is clear that the Brits cherish their small friends.
While it is not the first thing we think about when getting a pet, the cost of one can very often become a little daunting. The average pet insurance claim is worth £750, with £785 million being paid out in 2018 by insurance companies in the UK to pay unexpected pet fees and bills.
Surprisingly, 3.8 million dogs are still uninsured, which is a staggering 43% of all dogs. This is due to many thinking that the insurance premiums are too pricey. With many UK adults owning separate savings account for their dog in case something were to go wrong.
Pet Insurance – The Pros and Cons
In the long run, pet insurance can save you a lot of money in vet bills. The chances are that at some point in your pet’s life, they will need some form of medical treatment. With vet bills increasing, if you are not insured you may be faced with the tough decision of spending vast amounts of money or letting them die.
General insurance manager at The Association of British Insurers, Mark Shepherd, has stated:
The cost of getting veterinary treatment for your pet can quickly reach thousands of pounds, particularly if they have to have surgery or need chemotherapy to tackle cancer.
Pet insurance gives you peace of mind that you won’t have to deny your pet life-saving treatment because the veterinary bills are too high.
The only real con to pet insurance is the monthly outlay. Rising vet bills have also affected insurance premiums, with averages increasing. Insurance costs can vary, but the monthly cost of insuring an English Bulldog, for example, currently sits at £159 per month. Cat people will be pleased to know that their furry friends are a little cheaper, with a Siamese average monthly cost of insurance being £28.80.
What’s Covered In Pet Insurance?
Pet insurance policies vary, but most include cover for a set of standard risks. These include:
- Vet fees – up to an annual limit in most cases. Policies can vary in relation to whether an illness is covered as well as accidents, or whether only accidents are covered
- Missing pet costs – the cost of advertising and recovering your pet
- Overseas treatment
- Boarding costs if you need to spend time in hospital and need your pet to be looked after
- Liability – If your pet causes damage to a third party
Many insurance policies don’t include cover for routine healthcare checks like vaccinations and flea control. You will also need to doublecheck in relation to the excess you need to pay should you claim. Standard excesses on pet insurance hover between £40 and £50 but make sure to read the small print.
The Average Vet Bill Costs in the UK
It is only when you discover vet costs that you understand the value of pet insurance. Vet bills can vary from a couple of hundred pounds for a dental procedure to a couple of thousand for a hip replacement. Here is a list of some treatments, from Animal Trust:
|Cost of Vet Treatments|
|Dental (Including Extractions)||£235|
|Total Hip Replacement||£3,940|
|Intestinal Foreign Object Removal||£705|
|Lung Lobe Removal||£1,250|
|CT Scan||up to £725|
There are some things that aren’t covered by pet insurance. Many insurers will not cover chronic conditions such as a heart condition that the pet had at the time you took out the insurance. Most insurers also do not cover the cost of pregnancy. So, it is a good idea to ensure your pet is neutered or spayed to avoid unwanted bills, as well as more pets.
There are also hidden costs revolving around your pet and their cost. For example, to ensure you don’t waste any unnecessary money on your pet, always sign up with a vet in advance. If you take a pet to a veterinary surgery that they are not listed with you may incur an additional fee. An assigned vet will also have their details on record, so can use any past medical history to determine the best treatment. It will save you the potential cost of determining an issue through a CT scan or X-ray.
What if I Can’t Pay a Vet Bill?
This is potentially the worst nightmare for a pet owner. As the thought of not being able to pay a vet’s bill comes with the idea you may have to put the pet down. There are options, however, for pet owners who find themselves stuck.
If you have no insurance, or the issue isn’t covered by your insurance plan, the first point of call would be the veterinary themselves. Some vets allow you to pay for the treatment your pet needs in monthly instalments if the upfront cost is just too high. However, not all vets will offer this method.
The next solution could be to borrow from friends and family. Your loved ones will understand how much your pet means to you. And the emotional strain it could put on you should you need to put them down.
The other option for many pet owners is taking out a short-term loan. These sort of loans are the perfect solution to those who need some money in a hurry. Short-term loans are usually in your bank much quicker than other forms of loans. And with the opportunity for a fixed rate of interest, you will know exactly how much your loan is going to cost.
LoanTube can offer pet owners a loan comparison service which is free to use. We compare short-term loans with real interest rates across a range of our lending partners. To get a free, quick quote today, enter your how much you want to borrow on our application form.