How to choose insurance
When choosing insurance, look at what you get for it. You should be looking for a minimum of £1-2000 per condition per year. There are many extras which may or may not be important to you, such as the following:
- Amount paid per condition
- Is duration of each condition covered, or only per year
- Payment on death of dog
- Payment for advertising / reward if dog is lost
- Payment for lost holiday costs if a holiday is cancelled due to dog's illness
- Kennel fees paid if you are hospitalised
- Liability cover if your dog causes damage or an accident
They will not usually pay out for a disease where a routine vaccination is available, unless you can prove the dog had the jab but it has failed.
There will always be an excess to pay, i.e. you pay the first X amount of any condition, so it is not worth claiming for small amounts. However if you make your vet aware, they can keep a running total of any recurrent condition so that you can claim if it begins to mount up. Typical excess is £40 - 60.
You can often get a discount if you buy online.
Always remember to tell your vet that your dog is insured and the name of the company he is insured with.
Many of the popular household names in insurance also offer cover for pets.
However, I insure Cray through Animal Friends who offer a flat rate for any dog (or cat) based on whether they are older or younger than eight years old, irrespective of breed or where in the UK you live. You can choose what level of cover to buy, from Bronze to Platinum Super. After hunting around they were the cheapest and appear to give a good level of cover; I went for Silver Standard at £8.77 a month. Their customer service is good and I would recommend them to anyone. They even give their profit to animal charities!
Some pet insurance providers
Here are some of the popular providers - of course there are many more!
This page last updated: 10 January 2008
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