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The Highcroft Blog

Should I insure my pet?

Monday, June 22, 2015

If you are anything like us, we regard our pets as one of the family and if anything were to happen to them we wouldn't want to have to compromise their care, and importantly, the quality of that care.

Pet insurance is there to give you the reassurance that if your pet becomes ill or injured, they will have all the treatment they require without you having to worry about the cost. There is no NHS for pets and depending on the intensity of the illness, veterinary medical bills, treatment and care can become very expensive, especially if your pet develops an on-going condition. In fact, according to a recent report by the Telegraph.co.uk, the average single pet insurance claim now costs more than £600, with pet insurers paying out £1.3m in claims every day.

It is possible to insure all pets however the cost of your pet insurance is determined by several factors such as age, medical history and even the area in which you live. Yet one of the key things to consider is simply the breed of your pet. Different breeds often come with different health risks which can impact your cover. For example, Rottweilers are one of the most expensive dogs to insure based on their breed's history of medical complaints and Labradors often need surgical treatment for torn cranial cruciate ligaments, which can cost thousands.

Three ways to reduce your insurance costs:

  • Get your animal neutered/spayed as this may help to lower insurance costs.
  • Insure your pet straight away, as you will have to disclose any existing medical issues your pet may have, which will hike up your premium.
  • Get your pet microchipped – some insurers will charge a little less if the animal has been chipped.


When taking out a policy, find out how long illnesses are covered for. We always recommend lifelong cover just in case your pet is diagnosed with a condition that will affect them for many years (e.g. diabetes or skin conditions).  Some insurance companies will only offer cover for 12 months which means that an illness is only covered during that policy year. This can be very frustrating with on-going illnesses. Also, don’t underestimate the importance of the policy limit. We would generally recommend a policy of at least £4,000 for cats and £7,000 for dogs so that you will have plenty of cover if the worst were to happen.

Pet insurance is as much about peace of mind as it is about money. You may pay insurance premiums for years and never make a claim, however, could you afford a huge vet’s bill if your pet became ill or had an accident without it?

Speak to your vet or our dedicated insurance department if you have any queries about taking out insurance. They will be more than happy to help with this often confusing process.


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