Dogs aren’t called man’s best friend for nothing. They fetch every stick we throw in the park, wag their tails in excitement whenever they see us and loyally stay by our side.
To keep their canine companions in peak vitality, owners need to provide them with a nutritious balanced diet, plenty of exercise, and a secure place to rest, along with grooming and training.
Dogs also need up-to-date vaccinations against preventable diseases and regular check ups at the vets.
Do I need dog insurance?
When money’s tight, products like dog insurance may seem like a bit of a luxury.
During austere times many owners consider cancelling their policies or skipping cover altogether.
Of course, everyone needs to cut costs and no-one should waste money on insurance that they simply don’t need.
But the problem with not having pet insurance in place is that it could mean dogs are left without the treatment they need, or owners are left seriously out of pocket.
What’s the risk?
It’s estimated that one in two pets will need veterinary treatment this year and the average vet bill is now over £300. Costs are reported to be rising sharply and medical care for conditions such as hip dysphasia (an inherited disease of the hip joint) can set owners back £4,000.
If your pet has ongoing medical needs for a serious condition, costs could easily be over £10,000. Most people take out dog insurance because of fears they can’t pay hefty vet fees and an estimated one in three policyholders end up making a claim.
If you don’t have insurance
In the event of your dog suddenly needing expensive medical treatment, there are some charities that will help meet the costs for some dogs but contributions of this kind are very limited.
If you have the money to cover any unexpected medical bills as well as the day-to-day care of your pets, then you may not need insurance.
For most people, however, expensive vet bills may mean treatment for their pets is out of reach.
What does it cover?
Pet insurance can help pay the vets’ bills if your pet has an accident or is unwell. In many cases, you can also claim on your policy if you have had to cancel a holiday because of your pet’s needs.
It may also contribute towards the cost of advertising and a reward if your pet ever gets lost or stolen and pay out if your pet dies after an accident. Some policies may also cover you for any accidental damage a pet causes to a third party.
Many owners don’t realise they could be liable for this in the first place but some insurers offer liability insurance as part of the plan covering you for up to £2 million
By Joanne O’Connell
Find out more about pet insurance