What is pet owner insurance

What is pet owner insurance and Why should you have it.

When you mention pet insurance most people think – dog, cat, and vet bills. Pet owner insurance covers almost any pet. We say almost because although it is unlikely that there is an animal that cannot be insured, there will be some cases where there will be exclusions in a policy or specific cover will be just too expensive rendering the animal uninsurable to that owner.

What pet owner insurance covers

When you insure your pet, you insure for a lot more than illness. Animals can have accidents too, get into trouble with the law and disappear without a trace. Some insurers will help with the costs of tracing a lost or stolen pet. There are also some things that will be covered by pet insurance for a small enhancement of the premium. This includes accidental damage not only to your own possessions, but also to those belonging to someone else.

Illness cover

Animals like people get sick and there are very few animals that get through life without getting ill at least once. This is comfortably the single greatest reason why anyone insures their pet. When taking out a policy it is important to remember that vet bills can escalate very quickly into thousands of pounds. The issues that people experience with standard cover is the value of the cover rather than what it covers. With a policy that covers £500 per illness, you will run out of cover quite quickly if the pet requires emergency surgery and multiple follow up medications treatments as well as bloodwork and other tests. 

Because you can mix and match the options you would like to include with your insurance policy, it is advisable to insure for the highest cover you can afford. 

Ill puppy

Liability Insurance

This insurance comes as standard with most policies and will cover your pet if the cause damage or injury to a third party or their possessions. While you may like to believe that your precious dog would never bite the postman or plumber, when animals are startled their reactions can be unpredictable. There is also always the risk that you may be sued and this is where this cover is critically important.

Accident insurance

Every now and then a pet does something unexpected. A dog may suddenly run into the street in front of oncoming traffic, or a cat may use up one of their nine lives dodging a delivery van in your driveway. Your hamster may even injure himself by getting his head stuck inside his exercise apparatus. Pet insurance will usually cover accidents in a separate clause. This means that accident cover does not deplete the cover enjoyed under illness cover. Always check to ensure whether this is funded separately.

Loss or theft

If your pet becomes lost or is stolen and after much heartache and searching your pet can’t be found many policies will pay out a fixed amount. Some policies will pay out the cost of acquiring the pet, but in some cases the cover will pay out a specified figure from the policy that determines the approximate replacement value.


The cost of publishing the loss of your pet to find or retrieve it is offered in some policies. This cover is separate the actual cover for the loss and is meant to be used as a recovery effort. Apart from printing poster and hunting from vet to vet, you may wish to place an advert in a local, regional or national newspaper. This cover is very useful if you own a popular breed or your dog is nervous when out and likely to run away on opportunity.

Understanding your policy

Pets, like people are unique. They have different needs and these needs will change as they get older. When you insure your pet, you will need to think about more than simply their immediate insurance needs. Consider whether the policy is going to be diffident to cover their needs should they develop a long term illness and when they get old. Be sure to understand what the policy covers. If the illness cover is £3000, is that an annual limit for any illness or the annual limit with each illness covered to a limit of £1000? The two are very different types of cover.

Will the insurance cover chronic illness if cover takes place after the pet has been insured? Pets also suffer from illnesses such as diabetes, epilepsy and heart conditions. When treatment is managed they can live long and productive lives.

There are a variety of policies available and different insurers will use different criteria to determine the premium. The real question you should ask yourself is whether for less than the cost of a cup of coffee every week is it worth not insuring your beloved companion.