If you’re a new pet owner then it can be a common thing to wonder ‘how much does dog insurance cost?’ as there are many variables that will alter the overall price. Unlike with other types of insurance, such as your car or home insurance, it may not be viable to change pet insurance provider at a later date. This is because, after a medical condition has occurred, that condition will almost certainly be excluded under any new insurance policy – even if you haven’t submitted a claim for it! Therefore, it is worth doing your research in the first instance to ensure the policy meets you and your dog’s needs – both now and in the future.
Some of the factors that will affect the cost of your dog insurance include:
Where you live plays a role in determining your monthly premium. For example premiums will be higher in places where the cost of veterinary medicine is higher. Vetsure pet insurance is different in many ways, we work in such close collaboration with our accredited vets – we actually align our pricing with theirs!
The breed of your dog
Some breeds have a higher probability of acquiring costly medical conditions. As a result, some breeds can be more expensive to cover than others.
Size can also be a factor. Most medicine doses are calculated based on weight – so a ‘giant breed’ like a Great Dane may cost a lot more to treat than a Chihuahua.
The age of your dog
As a dog ages the premium and policy excess are likely to increase because, like humans, the risk of illness increases. With many providers there is a tiered increase in premiums once your dog becomes classed as ‘senior’, but the approach taken by insurers varies widely.
Your four legged friend must be between 8 weeks and 10 years old to arrange a Vetsure pet Insurance policy for the first time.
Another thing to take into account is co-payments. Insurers commonly ask for co-payments – where the policyholder also pays a percentage of the overall veterinary treatment bill. This commonly applies for ‘senior dogs’, but can be seen much earlier on some policies. At Vetsure we ask for a 15% co-payment towards vet fee claims once your dog reaches his 8th birthday.
You should be aware that introductory discounts will typically be removed at first year’s renewal so while a 50% discount sounds appealing – just remember it will be increased by the same amount the following year!
Like all dog insurance providers we want to encourage you to take out a Vetsure policy in the first place but we want to do everything we can to keep your premium competitive after the first year. Vetsure offer a 10% introductory discount for the first year and there is a 10% multi-pet discount when you take out a policy for two or more dogs.
What are the levels of dog insurance available?
Like most things in life you get what you pay for! It can be tempting to select the cheapest insurance policy you find on a comparison website, but be savvy when shopping around. Many of the big comparison websites only provide details of a very limited range of providers and some do not allow for price comparison at all. Dog insurance varies considerably across the market – so making direct ‘like for like’ comparisons is tricky!
A policy that covers accident and illnesses will cost more than a plan that covers accidents only. The more comprehensive the coverage is the more it will cost.
Policies will normally fall into one of the following three categories:
- ‘Lifetime Cover’ – Lifelong policies provide cover that ‘re-charges’ each time the policy renews. As such, these policies provide ongoing cover for long-term conditions (such as arthritis, heart/kidney problems, skin disease etc.) Benefit limits can be ‘per condition’ or an annual amount for all conditions. ALL Vetsure pet insurance policies provide lifelong cover so you can rest assured that any long-term conditions will continue to be covered each time the policy renews. Vetsure benefit limits are applied PER CONDITION per year e.g. our Premier Plus policies cover up to £5,000 per unrelated condition per year. For example, if your dog was unfortunate enough to have three unrelated conditions you could benefit from up to £15,000 per year.
- ‘Maximum Benefit’ – These policies typically provide cover per condition, but up to a maximum financial amount. Once the financial limit has been reached, no further claims for that condition will be paid and it will then be classed as excluded from cover.
- ‘Time and Benefit Limited’ – These policies typically provide the most basic level of cover and are usually amongst the cheapest available. Each condition is covered for 12 months from its onset up to a set financial limit. The condition will stop being covered after 12 months or when the financial limit is reached – whatever happens first. The condition will then be excluded from cover.
Each policy and provider is different – so check the terms and conditions carefully to ensure it meets your needs.
We understand that it can be really confusing when making your choice. Vetsure aim to reduce confusion wherever possible and we are always as transparent as possible so there are no hidden surprises! You can find out more about the benefits of our Dog Insurance policies or get a quote online alternatively please feel free to give us a call on 0800 050 2022 – we’d be happy to help wherever possible.