Why you need rabbit insurance
Unless you're thinking of those outlandishly large giant rabbits you often find at petting zoos, rabbits tend to be small animals. For that reason, many rabbit owners think they can do without pet insurance for their floppy-eared pets.
But, just as with dogs and cats, rabbits can quickly become treasured members of the family. If they should be injured or fall ill, the cost of treatment at the local vet can easily run into hundreds of pounds - it really is a case of size doesn't matter.
What's more, as injuries and illnesses are generally sudden and unexpected, there's no opportunity to plan or save for the resulting vet bills. For a small amount per month you can enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that the cost of any unexpected veterinary care your rabbit needs will be covered by your insurer.
What rabbit insurance covers
Most rabbit insurance policies provide cover for vet's bills - with the exception of routine treatment such as vaccinations and elective ones such as spaying and neutering - up to a maximum amount per year depending on your pet and circumstances.
However, some will also set a maximum that can be paid out per condition, so it is important to check that this is sufficient to cover all potential costs.
You will also pay an excess towards any claims. If, for example, your policy has an excess of £15 and you have a vet bill for £40, you will therefore pay the first £15 - leaving £25 to be covered by your insurer.
If the treatment cost under £15, you would pay the whole thing.
Other types of cover often provided by rabbit insurance policies include money for advertising or offering rewards to help recover lost or stolen rabbits, and boarding fees for your rabbit should you have to go into hospital, for example.
Types of rabbit insurance
There are two main types of rabbit insurance: Lifetime, which is reinstated at the start of each year, and Annual, which lasts for 12 months.
With lifetime cover, you can claim up to the full vet fees limit year after year, even if the illness involved is recurring or on-going, as long as the policy continues being renewed.
These policies are more expensive, though. If your main concern is protecting against the high initial costs of treatment after an injury or an illness, an annual policy may therefore prove a more attractive option.
These generally impose similar monetary limits on the cost of treatment, but will not pay out for vets' bills relating to the same condition after the policy runs out.
Whether or not you stay with the same insurer, this condition will therefore need to be declared as pre-existing on renewal, which will mean you footing the bill for any ongoing treatment.
Rabbit insurance exclusions
As mentioned above, rabbit insurance policies do not usually cover bills relating to routine veterinary treatment including vaccinations and spaying/neutering.
Your insurance company may, however, require your rabbit to have the standard vaccinations, live in proper and appropriate housing and be taken promptly to the vet should a problem arise.
Failing to abide by these conditions could therefore lead to any claims being rejected because your cover is invalid.
Other common exclusions include pre-existing conditions that may require longer-term care (unless you opt for lifetime cover prior to these conditions developing).
Importantly, some policies also exclude vet bills relating to dental problems, which are common in rabbits.
If you have a baby rabbit, or a rabbit that is getting on a bit in years, it is also worth noting that many insurers impose age limits - particularly for new customers.
Most companies, for example, refuse to insure rabbits of less than eight weeks of age and will require an animal to be insured before it reaches the age of five.
If you have an annual policy, you will therefore not be able to renew the policy once the animal reaches this age. A lifetime policy, however, can be renewed as long as the rabbit is alive.
Compare rabbit insurance
Shopping around for rabbit insurance using MoneySupermarket can help you to find the cheapest cover on the market.
Remember, though, that the protection provided by rabbit insurance policies can vary significantly, so it is important to read the small print before choosing an insurer.
Cheaper insurance may save you money in the short term, but you could end up regretting your choice if your rabbit needs treatment that is not covered by your policy.
MoneySupermarket allows you to look through a list of leading UK pet insurance providers, meaning you can easily find the best deal for you. For more information read our pet insurance guide.
Compare pet insurance for other pets on our home page.