This will cover most of your dog’s necessary vet and medical bills for the rest of their life.
In the UK, it is not a legal requirement to have insurance for your pet. However, there is a lot of value to be found in pet insurance when you have a dog. Dogs are a part of the family, and most of us want to give them the happiest, healthiest lives we can.
Vet bills can come as an expensive surprise if your dog gets into an accident or suddenly comes down with an illness. To give you peace of mind, pet insurance for your dog can help you cover the cost of vet bills, meaning that you never need to hesitate to get your dog the healthcare they need.
The average premium for dog insurance policy is £9.67 per month2. However, the price for your pet will vary based on several factors including:
The type of policy
Where you live
Average Monthly Premium3
Staffordshire bull terrier
2MoneySuperMarket data from September 2023. 51% of consumers were quoted premiums of £9.67 per month or less for lifetime pet insurance covering a single dog with no pre-existing conditions.
3Average monthly premiums by dog breed according to MoneySuperMarket data from September 2023.
Vets’ fees can be both expensive and quickly add up, which is why many dog owners take out insurance. There are various options from accident-only through to lifetime cover, so do your research to understand the benefits of each type of policy and then compare prices to find the cheapest deal for your needs."
If you have an older dog or one with pre-existing conditions, a comprehensive policy might not be worth the cost.
By adding an excess to your policy or agreeing to a cover a percentage of your dog’s medical bills, you can reduce the cost of your policy.
Compare dog insurance policies with MoneySuperMarket. We’ll show you what some of the UK’s leading providers have to offer for policies tailored to you and your dog.
A lot of UK providers have optional cover, like travel insurance for your dog, that you can add to your policy.
People that choose to pay for their insurance annually rather than month-by-month may find that they can get a better deal on their policy.
If you have an existing insurance policy for your dog, you may find that there are other policies out there that are better value. It pays to keep an eye on what else is out there.
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.
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 , 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.
The amount you pay to insure your dog will depend on a several things], including its 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’s more likely they’ll 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. It also usually costs more to insure a pedigree dog than a mixed-breed dog.
It’s important to compare quotes for dog insurance, to see what different insurers have to offer. You can avoid paying more than you need to, although it’s worth remembering that the cheapest option isn’t always the best option. Look for a policy that’s tailored to what you need, taking into account your dog’s breed, age and general health, and the price you’re happy to pay. Choose the amount of cover that’s right for you – make sure you’re not under-insured, as this could mean you struggling to afford the vet bills to get your furry friend on the road to recovery.
The top three most commonly diagnosed health problems in dogs are gum disease, ear infections and obesity. It’s also common for dogs to get overgrown nails, anal sac impaction – where anal glands get blocked and can become infected, swollen and painful - diarrhoea, vomiting, lameness or limping, and arthritis.
The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 bans the ownership of four specific types of dog: Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino, and Fila Brasileiro. The law makes it illegal to own, sell, breed, give away or abandon any of these dog breeds.
If you own one of the blacklisted breeds, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to take out pet insurance for it. Many insurers are too concerned about costly claims, so you’ll have to cover any vet bills, and any costs incurred if the dog injures another dog or person, yourself. But, there are some specialist third party liability insurers who will insure your dog if it has a good track record.
A standard dog insurance policy can cover your pedigree dog for vet bills. You might want to look for a policy that also covers you for your dog going missing, to cover the costs of advertising and rewards, and compensation if your dog can’t be found. Think about whether you’d need cover for death due to illness or accident, liability insurance, emergency care or alternative treatments.
Generally speaking, getting your dog neutered can bring down the cost of your dog insurance, because your dog is less likely to stray or develop health conditions related to not being neutered. The cost of getting your dog neutered won’t usually be covered by insurance, so you’d have to pay for the procedure yourself. But, it can lead to cheaper premiums, so would make your dog insurance cheaper in the long run.
It’s a legal requirement to have your dog micro-chipped, but there’s no law to say you must have dog insurance. It’s entirely up to you whether to take out a policy, although it’s a good idea to insure your dog, so that you have the peace of mind of knowing any expensive vet treatment your pet may need will be taken care of.
To get valid dog insurance quotes from us, you will need to be the owner of the dog you’re insuring and a full-time UK resident. To find a policy that’s right for you, we’ll ask you a few questions, including:
The breed of your dog
Your dog’s medical history
How much you paid for your dog
If your dog is neutered or spayed
If your dog is chipped
If your dog is up to date with vaccinations
All of these details can have some affect on the cost and cover of your policy, so it’s important that you answer these questions as accurately as truthfully as possible.
Most pet insurers won’t cover pre-existing conditions. However, you can still get cover for your dog by going through a specialist insurer.
Cover from these providers tend to be more limited for dogs with health problems. Providers may exclude conditions that your dog has suffered from in the past or apply a limit to your cover. These policies also tend to be more expensive than standard policies depending on the age, breed, and health of your dog.
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