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Pet insurance: how much do vet treatments cost?

Dog getting his paw bandaged

We look at common vet treatments and their cost, as well as the risks associated with not insuring your pet. 

Some pet owners choose not to insure their pets, but vet treatments can cost more than you think. 

According to pet insurers Scratch and Patch, one unlucky owner had to pay out £15,000 to fix a dislocated knee. They also found that a limp could potentially cost over £7,000. 

Luckily, pet insurance can help manage the cost of vet treatments. Your companion can get the care they need, and there won’t be a huge dent in your bank account. 

We look at some common costs for vet treatments and what pet insurance covers. 

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How much could it cost me if my pet needs treatment? 

Vet treatments costs vary - if you’re still unsure whether you should insure your pet, here are some common ailments that can cost a pretty penny: 

Condition Highest claim cost
Acute gastroenteritis
Road traffic incident
Mast cell tumours
Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS)

The highest claim cost was for acute gastroenteritis at a whopping £8,000. This is an extreme upset stomach that causes a great deal of discomfort for your pet.

Worryingly, they could pick this up through something as simple as a change of food. 

If you’re still thinking of chancing it, it’s worth noting that, according to the ABI, the average claim cost for pet insurance is £750. Not cheap. 

The good news is that your pet insurance can help to reduce the cost of these treatments, making payments more manageable or covering them outright. 

What fees will my pet insurance cover? 

Generally, your pet insurance should cover unexpected illnesses or injuries. 

It may also cover advertising costs if your pet goes missing – for example ‘lost’ posters or ‘missing’ ads in the local paper. 

If you miss your holiday to look after your poorly pet, chances are your holiday cancellation costs may be covered too. 

If you’re unwell, some insurers will pay for your pet to be looked after while you’re in hospital. They could also pay out if your pet injures someone else. 

Remember: you won’t be able to get insurance to cover the cost of an injury, or unexpected illness once it’s happened. 

Be honest when you’re getting your insurance too. If anything doesn’t add up when you make a claim, your insurer may refuse to pay out. 

My pet has a pre-existing condition, can I still get them insured? 

Yes, you can get your pet insured if they have a pre-existing condition. 

If you’re getting a pet insurance quote through Confused.com, you simply select whether your pet has a pre-existing condition. 

When you’re buying your insurance, make sure you double check that your pet’s pre-existing condition is covered. 

If you don’t disclose it, your insurer may decide not to pay out. 

Find more information on insuring pets with pre-existing health conditions

What doesn’t my pet insurance cover? 

Pet insurance usually won’t cover: 

  • Behavioural issues

  • Vaccinations or neutering

  • Dental work

  • Routine check-ups 

What should I look out for? 

Our advice is to always check the small print when you get a policy. 

Make sure you know exactly what’s covered, and if you’re in any doubt speak to your insurer.