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Dog insurance

Compare pet insurance for your dog

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Why do I need dog insurance?

Your dog is part of the family and it’s upsetting to think they could become seriously ill or be injured in an accident. But it’s important to think about how you would meet the cost of vets bills should the worst happen.

There is no free health service for dogs. Treatment for a broken leg could run into hundreds of pounds, for example, while operations or treatment for more complex conditions could be much more. Getting good quality pet insurance for your beloved pet can give peace of mind that you’ll have help towards these costs.

Some dog breeds are more susceptible to conditions that can cost a small fortune to treat. This is when dog insurance can prove invaluable.

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There are four types of dog insurance

Our pawsome pals are all unique, so when you’re shopping around for dog insurance, there are a few different cover options available:

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Accident only

This covers vet bills if your dog is injured in an accident. It’s the cheapest type of pet insurance.

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Time limited

This type of policy insures your pet for a specific time, usually 12 months, to cover accidents or short-term illnesses.

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Per condition

Also know as ‘maximum benefit cover’, per condition policies allocate a fixed amount of money to treat each illness or injury.

What’s covered by dog insurance?

Before buying insurance for your dog it is important to understand what is and isn’t covered under the policy. You will usually be able to claim for most vets bills, although there are likely to be exclusions and limits on some claims – so always read the terms of the cover.

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    Covered as standard

    When you take out a pet insurance policy, some features come as standard, such as:

    • Vet fees for medical treatment

    • Cost for treatment of injuries

    • Third party liability

    • Kennel costs if your dog has to stay for recovery

    • Advertising and recovery costs

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    Often not covered

    Check the small print to see what the exemptions are, before you take out your policy. Generally speaking, most insurers won’t cover the following:

    • Routine check-ups

    • Pre-existing conditions

    • Preventative treatments

    • Behavioural problems

    • Neutering and micro-chipping

How much is dog insurance?

The premium you pay to insure your dog will depend on a range of factors, including it’s age and general health, breed and size as well as where you live in the country. Vet costs vary from region to region, for example costs in London and the South East can be much higher, and this is reflected in premiums.

Older dogs tend to be more expensive to insure because it is more likely they will become unwell as they age and need medical treatment. Bigger dogs also cost more to insure as their vet treatment is likely to cost more should they need to claim.

 

how much is dog insurance?

According to Stickee data, accurate as of September 2020

What do I need to get a dog insurance quote?

You’ll need to provide the following information so we can help you find dog insurance quotes. Insurers use this information to calculate the cost of insuring your dog:

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Your dog’s age

Older dogs tend to cost more to insure

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The breed or size of your dog

Some breeds cost more to insure

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The health of your pet

And if it has been neutered

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How much you paid for your dog

If you bought it rather than adopting it

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Your dog’s behavioural history

If your pet has shown signs of aggression

What difference does dog breed make to premiums?

Insurers will also look at the breed of your dog when assessing the risk and quoting you a premium price. Pure breed and pedigree dogs are typically more expensive to insure as they are more prone to certain illnesses and conditions than cross-breeds. Some breeds, in particular, are more likely to suffer from particular conditions.

 

average dog insurance premiums by breed

According to Stickee data, accurate as of September 2020

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Can I get pet insurance if my dog has a pre-existing condition?

Most pet insurers won’t cover pre-existing conditions. But you can usually get insurance for your dog if it has a pre-existing condition by going through a specialist insurer. Expect to pay a bit more for the insurance depending on the specific health condition and age and breed of your dog. There are also likely to be restrictions and limits on the claims you can make relating to the pre-existing condition.

Unfortunately, most chronic conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes or allergies, for example, are not covered by insurers. This is because if your dog has a chronic condition the treatment is likely be ongoing throughout its lifetime.

 

What add-ons are available with insurance for my dog?

Many dog insurance policies offer additional extras – at an extra cost – so weigh up whether they might be useful:

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    Liability cover

    This pays towards your legal liabilities if your dog causes injury or damage to another person or their property

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    Boarding fees

    The policy might meet the cost of boarding your dog if you need to go into hospital or are otherwise incapable of looking after it through no fault of your own

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    Cancellation cover

    Cover for any losses you incur due to a cancelled holiday because your pooch is ill or injured

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    Straying/theft cover

    Compensation if your furry friend is lost or stolen. There could also be a contribution towards a finder’s reward

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    Death

    The policy might pay a cash sum if your pet is killed in an accident (but not if it dies of an illness or old age/natural causes)

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    Overseas cover

    Some policies can be extended to provide cover if you take your dog overseas

Find cheaper dog insurance

It’s important to compare dog insurance quotes to see what different insurers have to offer. You can avoid paying more than you need, although it’s not always worth opting for cheap pet insurance for dogs.

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A policy tailored to you

The type of policy that’s right for you will depend on what breed of dog you have, along with their age and other factors - and the price you’re happy to pay.

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Choose the right amount of cover

Select the amount of cover which is right for you. Make sure you’re not under-insured, risking you being unable to meet vet bills to get your canine friend on the road to recovery.

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Insure your pooch in minutes

Our dog insurance comparison search is free, quick and simple to use. For more information about pet insurance policies, read our pet insurance guides.

Rose Howarth

Our expert says

"“Whether it’s a Great Dane, a dachshund or just a lovable mutt, our pet dogs are precious to us, so getting good quality insurance is important. Vets bills can run into hundreds and even thousands of pounds. But insurance can help towards these costs should your pet be injured or unwell.”"

- Rose Howarth, head of niche insurance

Compare policies and deals from the leading pet insurance brands

We compare over 20+ pet insurance brands to bring you the best deals

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Where you live in the country does have an impact on the cost of insuring your dog. This is because veterinary fees vary widely across the UK. It might cost more to rent premises and run a vet business in the south east of England, for example, compared to the south west, and these costs are passed on to customers – the pet owners – in higher bills. It means insurers charge more to insure dogs in different parts of the country where they know claims costs will be higher.

The breed of your dog will have a big impact on the premium you pay for insurance. Pure breed or pedigrees are more expensive to insure than cross-breeds and mongrels. This is because some pure breeds are known to be more at risk of certain conditions.

French Bulldogs, for example, are among some of the more expensive breeds to insure as they are known to frequently suffer from breed-specific conditions. 

Larger breeds are also likely to cost more to insure. But popular breeds, such as Labrador Retrievers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers, can be relatively cheap to insure as they are known to be quite a resilient breed.

Yes, you can insure a puppy, although most insurers won’t cover puppies under six weeks old and some won’t cover young dogs under eight weeks. But getting insurance early for your puppy is a good idea. Many genetic and hereditary conditions emerge in a dog’s early life – so having cover in the first year could prove invaluable.

 

Older dogs tend to have more health problems and are more likely to need vet treatment. For this reason many insurers won’t cover dogs over the age of eight or nine on a new policy for example, or if they do the premiums can be very expensive.  

However, lots of insurers don’t apply an upper age limit for dogs so you can still find cover for an older pooch. But expect to pay more for cover as your dog ages. There may also be more restrictions or limits on the cover.

If you have a lifetime policy this will continue to cover your dog each year, even into old age, although premiums will rise. 

 

Dogs typically have vaccinations against a range of illnesses when they are puppies – usually at about eight weeks old. Then in some cases boosters are required each year or every three years, for example. Some pet insurance policies, but not all, will cover you for the cost of these injections, which typically cost around £60 each, so check with your insurer.

 

Most insurers allow you to insure multiple dogs on a policy and you will often get a discount on the cover. With multi-pet cover all your dogs will be insured on the same policy, but the insurer will base your premium on the age and breed of each of your dogs. If you have to make a claim for any of your pets the premium is likely to increase.

It may not always be the case that a multi-pet policy is the cheapest option. Depending on the age, breed and health history of your dogs it may work out cheaper to get separate policies.

 

A microchip is a tiny electronic chip which is permanently implanted under your dog’s skin. The procedure doesn’t hurt your dog. The chip is important because it holds information which links your dog to you and your address - in case your pet is lost or stolen. All details are held on a database. 

All dogs over eight weeks old must be micro-chipped by law and there is a £500 fine for owners who don’t comply. 

Mirco-chipping a dog costs around £15 and if you need to make contact detail changes on the database, such as a change of address, there could be additional fees. These costs aren’t usually covered under dog insurance.

 

Some dog insurance policies cover dental treatment for your pet, but they tend to come as standard only on the most comprehensive, and expensive cover. 

Low cost pet insurance is unlikely to cover dental treatment for your dog. If this is something you know you want on the policy check out the details of your cover before you buy.

Many insurers include third party liability cover as standard on pet policies, while with others you may need to pay to add it to your policy. This cover is to help towards any legal bills you might face should your dog injure someone or another dog or damage someone’s property. 

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So how do we make our money? In a nutshell, when you use us to buy a product, we get a reward from the company you’re buying from.

But you might have other questions. Do we provide access to all the companies operating in a given market? Do we have commercial relationships or ownership ties that might make us feature one company above another?

We commit to providing you with clear and informative answers on all points such as this, so we have gathered the relevant information on this page.

Ready to save on your pet insurance? Or need to know more before you get a quote? We’re here to help.

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