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Is pet insurance worth it?

Should I get pet insurance?

Lauren Chong
Written by  Lauren Chong
10 min read
Updated: 12 Feb 2024

Pet Insurance can seem like a big commitment, but making room for it in your budget can be worth it. We’ll help you decide whether it’s right for you and your pet.

Understanding the Benefit of Pet Insurance

When it comes to our furry friends, their health and well-being are paramount. Yet, unexpected vet bills can place a significant financial strain on pet owners. This is where pet insurance steps in, offering a safety net for those unforeseen expenses. But with a variety of coverage options and considerations for different animals, is pet insurance the right choice for you and your pet?

A dog sitting between a happy couple

The essentials of pet insurance

It’s not a legal requirement in the UK to have pet insurance. However, whether or not you need pet insurance comes down to what you can afford. When a pet is suddenly affected by a health problem, it’s sometimes necessary to act fast to prevent the condition from getting worse. That means you may be stuck with emergency vet costs at short notice. 

Pet insurance is designed to cover large vet bills that you may not be able to afford at short notice. So, if you worry that you may not be able to cover the cost of emergency treatments for your pet, it might be a good time to weigh your options. 

Dog insurance

Dog insurance can be worth it, especially if you have a younger dog. Buying pet insurance for a puppy will ensure that most of their health problems are covered as long as you keep up with your premiums. 

Despite being more expensive, pet insurance for older dogs can still be worth the cost. For example, a policy could cover your dog for conditions that dogs are at greater risk of when they get older, like osteoarthritis, heart problems, or cancer. These are all conditions that should be addressed early and quickly to avoid fast deterioration of your dog’s health. 

Cat insurance: A wise move?

Illnesses can be more complicated to treat than injuries, requiring medication and sometimes recurring treatments. If you don’t think you can afford the cost of these treatments, it may be wise to consider buying pet insurance for your cat

Insuring other animals

If your rabbit fell ill tomorrow, or perhaps injured itself, could you cover the cost of treatment? If the answer is no, it may be worth it to buy rabbit insurance

Pet insurance for horses can cover not only vet bills but also the theft or death of your horse. So, if you receive income from your horse – either through competition or with riding lessons – horse insurance can reimburse you for some of that lost income, making it a worthwhile investment. 

Making pet insurance affordable

The cost of pet insurance depends on the type, age, and health of your pet, as well as your policy options. If you add a higher excess to your policy, you can make your pet insurance more affordable, which in some circumstances can save you money. Be sure to choose an excess that is affordable if you were to make a claim.

The benefits of lifetime cover

Lifetime pet insurance is the most expensive cover but, if bought early and if you’ve managed to snag a good deal for it, it can be worthwhile pet insurance. The great thing about lifetime pet insurance is that you can make repeat claims for the same condition during your pet’s lifetime. So, if your pet is diagnosed with a chronic condition after your policy has been put in place, you can continually use your lifetime pet insurance to pay for treatments, medications, and therapies.  

Considering accident only cover

Whether or not accident-only pet insurance is worth it will depend on the health of your pet and what you can afford. While this can be a cheaper policy option than others, it’s very limited and can leave you lacking in cover if your pet gets sick or develops a long-term condition.  

Is maximum benefit cover sufficient?

While maximum benefit pet insurance is a bit more expensive compared to the cheaper options, the cover it offers can be very valuable. Since there is no time limit to your cover, you can claim for the same condition several times within your pet’s lifetime, provided you don’t reach your maximum allowance. It also covers most illnesses and injuries aside from pre-existing conditions, so you don’t have to worry about missing out on cover when you need it.  

The limitations of time-limited cover

It’s important to mention that most time-limited pet insurance policies will also have a maximum benefit limit for each condition. So, that means that cover can stop for a condition even before your time limit has run out.  

Adding optional extras

Some optional extras you may find include:  

  • Pet travel insurance: Covers vet bills abroad and holiday cancellations.

  • Pet dental cover: Covers emergency dental treatments.

  • Third-party liability: Useful for accidents caused by pets.

  • Death benefit: Helps cover the cost of a pet's death or getting a new pet.

Insuring pets with pre-existing conditions

Having a pre-existing condition can considerably limit your pet insurance options or drive up the cost. In some cases, the cost of insuring your pet with a pre-existing condition may be too much to justify, but that won’t always be the case.  

Finding the right policy with MoneySuperMarket

Finding a pet insurance policy that meets your budget can be difficult when there are so many choices out there. At MoneySuperMarket, we make the task easy by allowing you to compare pet insurance quotes all in one convenient place.  

When considering pet insurance, it's essential to assess your financial situation, your pet's health, and the level of cover you feel comfortable with. Remember, the peace of mind that comes from knowing you can afford to care for your pet in any situation is invaluable. Explore your options, compare policies, and choose the insurance that gives you and your pet the security you both deserve.