Can you put a price on your pet's life?

If, like many pet owners, your answer to the above question is no then you really need to take out pet insurance.

Skimping on pet insurance is a false economy. Your beloved pet may be in the flush of youth right now but before you know it old age will kick in and various health concerns will appear, bringing with them hefty vet bills. Then of course there is the ever present risk of accidents, particularly for young pets with a daredevil attitude to life. Read on for tips on how to select the right insurance policy for you and your pet.

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Unless you have a substantial amount of spare cash lying around pet insurance should be very high up on your list of priorities. Policies can start from as little as a few pounds a month, a small price to pay for peace of mind and the knowledge that you will never have to make the terrible decision many uninsured pet owners face each day in the UK; to give up their best friend or risk crippling debt.

Veterinary medicine has improved in recent years but new and advanced treatments come with a higher price tag.  If your pet requires surgery the final bill may run into several thousands of pounds.

Top tips for choosing pet insurance:

  • Start young! Insurers will not cover existing health conditions.  Make sure you find a reputable insurance company which you will be happy with for the rest of your pet’s life and  set up cover from day one when your pet is still in good health.
  • Check the small print One of the key things to look for is cover for ongoing conditions. Try to find a policy which pays out a maximum total for a condition each year. If the condition reappears later on you will still be able to claim for treatment.
  • What’s the excess? With most policies, you have to pay a certain amount of any vet bill – normally the first £100 but this figure can vary.  Make sure you are happy with paying the amount stated.
  • Pedigree breeds cost a lot more to insure than cross breeds and mongrels.  Research you puppy or kitten’s family history to make sure you are taking on a healthy animal with low risk of hereditary problems.
  • Routine procedures such as neutering, vaccinations and worming are not normally covered by policies so make sure you budget for these separately.

Take your time to find the right policy. If the choice seems a bit mind boggling try visiting a pet insurance comparison site such as Compare PetCare where you can find free, impartial and independent comparisons of all major pet insurance providers.

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