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As veterinary costs are rising, it could cost a fortune to treat your dog if they became ill. This is why it is best to compare prices and get the best dog insurance deal.
Why you need dog insurance
From the trauma of seeing your dog in a poor state to the potentially eye-watering cost of treatment, having a dog that is ill or injured can be extremely stressful. There’s no free health service for dogs, and a broken leg can set you back as much as £1,200.
You can cover the cost without breaking the bank by having a pet insurance policy in place. Given that some breeds are susceptible to conditions that can cost a small fortune, this form of cover can prove to be invaluable.
Types of dog insurance policies
There are various types of dog insurance policies on offer. As a first step, consider the amount of cover you’re likely to need, and compare policies to see what’s on offer. If you have a dog that you know is prone to health problems, you’ll want to opt for a policy that will cover their needs.
Lifetime cover: These tend to be the most comprehensive types of policy, as they pay out for conditions over the dog’s lifetime. This will cover for long-standing and recurring illnesses, so if you know your dog is at risk of developing one, this could be the right policy for you.
Per condition per year lifetime cover: This provides a maximum cover limit per condition, which resets each year. You can claim for more than one condition per year – which covers your dog for a particular amount for each illness.
Annual cover: This provides a maximum overall cover limit each year. This can be less expensive and cover short-term accidents and illnesses.
Why is dog insurance so important?
With vet bills on the rise, owning a dog can be a significant financial burden, as you risk the shock of unexpected bills without cover in place. This can mean a heart-breaking choice if you can’t afford treatment, as either you need to cough up the fees, or – in the worst-case scenario – have your dog put down.
This is where pet insurance comes in. By finding a suitable policy you can make sure you’re covered so you don’t need to worry. Even if you do have spare cash to hand, taking out pet insurance can prove cheaper than coughing up the cash for a bill.
How much is dog insurance?
The size of your annual insurance premium will vary depending on a couple of different factors, including:
- The type of policy you buy
- Your pet’s age and health
- Whether it’s a pedigree
You can pay as little as £35-£40 per month for a basic policy, but a comprehensive, top quality policy is likely to cost more, with monthly premiums of £50 not unheard of.
Does breed affect annual premiums?
The breed of your dog can affect your insurance quote. That’s because some breeds are more prone to illnesses, and pedigree dogs are often more expensive to insure than hybrid or mixed-breed dogs. Bulldogs, French Bulldogs and Boxers are amongst the most expensive breeds to insure, since they’re amongst the most likely breeds to develop breed-specific health problems.
Smaller breeds like Cockerpoos, Jack Russells and Shih Tzus demand much lower premiums, primarily because they’re relatively resilient breeds of dog.
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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.
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. You need to 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.
Our dog insurance comparison search is free, quick and simple to use – and you could get your precious pooch covered in minutes. For more information about pet insurance policies, read our pet insurance guides.
Dog insurance exclusions
There are some things that pet insurers won’t cover your canine companions for. Some of these general exclusions may include:
- Any dog that should be listed in the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991/7
- Working dogs
- Pre-existing conditions
- Puppies under eight weeks old
- Some general treatments, such as worming and flea control
Also, insurers may not pay out or cover certain illnesses or ailments. For example, under some policies a routine spay won’t be covered, so be sure to check the wording carefully so you know where you stand.
Aside from covering vet bills, insurance for your dog also includes other benefits. These may include personal liability cover, so in the event of your dog causing an accident and the victim suing, you won’t be liable for the cost.
Breed and age aren’t the only things that determine the cost of your annual premiums. Surprisingly, location may also play a part, with large fluctuations between different areas of the country. This is primarily because the cost of vet treatment varies from place to place.
For example, the annual premium on dog insurance for a Golden Retriever costs around £294 in the North West, but in Greater London it can extend to £462, an increase of over £150.
Londoners pay the highest average annual premiums, while dog owners of Northern Ireland will be relieved to hear that they can expect to pay the least for their dog insurance.
A pre-existing condition is a medical issue that began before your dog’s insurance plan started. If your dog scores highly when it comes to pre-existing conditions, taking out a dog insurance policy may be worthwhile. That way, you’ll be insured against any health conditions that may arise.
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniels score the highest for pre-existing conditions. They’re especially vulnerable to mitral valve disease, as well as hip dysplasia and cerebellar strokes.
- Boxers and Large Crossbreeds also seem to be susceptible to health problems.
- On the other hand, Small Crossbreeds and French Bulldogs score relatively low when it comes to pre-existing conditions.