For most of us, our pets are more than just companion animals. They live in our homes, we celebrate their birthdays and some might even be allowed to snuggle up on our sofas or in our beds. Pets have become important and irreplaceable members of the family. So when they get sick or injured, we want to do everything we can to make sure they’re cared for properly.
Despite this, many people are still wary of pet insurance. Research in 2017 found that a staggering 45 per cent of pet owners don’t take our pet insurance for their animals. It also showed that one third (36 per cent) of owners with uninsured pets believe that pet insurance does not offer good value for money.
Joseph Ahern, general insurance policy adviser at the ABI, said: "Owning a pet can be rewarding, but also very expensive if they fall ill. None of us want to imagine anything bad happening to our pets, but leaving them uninsured can lead to expensive bills and unnecessary stress.
"It's good to see the number of pets being insured growing, and the amount being paid out by insurers, but the fact that millions of pets still aren't covered means that owners are at risk of having to fork out thousands to cover the costs of vet treatment because there's no NHS for animals.”
So is pet insurance worth it? Here’s why you might want to consider it:
Like all insurance, pet insurance offers peace of mind, especially when it comes to unexpected vets bills. Accident and illness can occur unexpectedly, so it’s comforting to know you have insurance for those covered conditions. LV= offers two types of pet cover: Time Limited and Lifetime. We’ll explain the differences further down.
Should the worst happen and your cat or dog is injured or ill, you can be faced with thousands of pounds worth of vet bills. Insurance can help to ensure you don’t have to dip into your savings fund to cover expensive vet bills.
Because of advances in veterinary science and technology, vets today are able to perform incredible, lifesaving surgeries and provide care for pets with complicated illnesses. This means vets require new equipment that’s expensive to buy and operate, so veterinary costs have increased.
2018 research showed an initial vet consultation costs an average of £30-£35 during standard working hours, but you could pay over £100 if your pet needs an emergency appointment out of hours. Surgery carries an average price tag of about £1,500, while more complicated treatments could set you back much more. This is compared to an average annual insurance premium of £324 per year for a dog and £171 per year for a cat.
Many pet insured policies cover the cost of advertising if your pet is lost or stolen. At LV=, we'll reimburse you for up to £1,500 to advertise for your missing cat or dog; including up to £500 that can be used for a reward.
Many pet policies offer third-party liabilities, so if your dog has injured someone or caused damage to someone’s property, you’ll be covered. At LV=, our pet policies offer you up to £2 million third party liability for dogs to cover costs and compensation.
Our Lifetime pet policies provide cover for all illnesses or conditions that occur in the policy year, up to the policy limit you choose – either £3000, £5000 or £10,000.
Our Time Limited pet policies will cover an illness or condition for a maximum of 12 months from the date of the first treatment up to the limit you choose.
Please note LV= pet policies do not cover pre-existing conditions. LV= is not responsible for the content on external websites.