With over 11 million dogs in the UK, they're easily the most popular choice of pet. On average dog owners can expect to pay around £31,000 over the course of their dog's lifetime on everything from beds, toys and food to veterinary fees and medicines, which clearly represents a very significant investment, making taking out suitable dog insurance absolutely essential.
When you consider that veterinary treatment for things such as a broken leg, swallowing a toy or even cancer could result in thousands of pounds being required, most dog owners would struggle to be able to provide funds to cover the treatment. Long term problems such as diabetes can significantly increase the cost of having a dog.
Some breeds of dogs are even more expensive, with Chihuahuas having around £90,000 spent on them in their lifetime, and Greyhounds around £82,000. With other costs such as vet's fees, kennels and food, dog insurance represents extraordinarily good value, quite apart from safeguarding the health, welfare and happiness of a much loved member of the family unit.
What Is Dog Insurance?
Dog insurance provides a wide range of benefits, but the one most people think of is the cover provided when it comes to veterinary fees, medicines, operations and other medical treatments such as for diabetes. Most dog insurance policies provide between £2,000 and £5,000 per veterinary bill or medical treatment, helping dog owners ensure that their pets receive the right treatment quickly.
However, there are several other benefits which can be included in a dog insurance policy, including third party liability. This means that if your dog causes any damage to other people's property, causes an accident or injures anyone, you'll be covered financially, including both legal expenses and damages. Often dog insurance policies offer cover up to £1 million for such liability.
But the benefits go even further than this, including kennel costs if you need to go into hospital, advertising costs if your dog goes missing, compensation for the cost of your holiday if it has to be cancelled because your dog becomes ill, and even the replacement cost of your dog if it goes missing, is stolen or dies.
What Are The Different Types Of Dog Insurance?
Dog insurance policies and premiums will vary largely depending on several factors, including the breed of dog, its age, location, and any extra options which may be chosen. Although some policies include certain aspects as standard, in other cases they may be additional options, and so it makes sense to decide what you really need, and what you don't, in order to make sure you have sufficient cover without ending up paying for things you don't need or want.
The main provisions available in dog insurance policies include the following as either stand or options:
- Veterinary bills and medical treatment - The total amount payable will depend on the policy and on any excess you have agreed to pay in the event of a claim. In most cases the amount the insurer will pay will be between £2,000 and £5,000 per treatment or incident.
- Third party claims - Usually this includes compensation claims up to £1 million, so that if your dog causes any damage or injury to people or property, you'll be covered for claims, damages and legal costs.
- Kennel costs - If you become ill or are injured and need to stay in hospital, your dog may need to be put up in kennels, which can prove expensive. Some dog insurance policies offer cover which will pay the kennel costs and food costs whilst you're in hospital.
- Advertising costs - If your dog goes missing or is stolen, your dog insurance policy will pay for the advertising costs necessary, up to a fixed amount.
- Pet replacement costs - In some cases insurers will offer an option to provide the full cost of replacing your dog if it goes missing, is stolen, or dies. In most cases the cost of replacing your dog if it dies is limited to illness or disease, but in some cases it can also include old age.
- Holiday cancellation costs - If your dog becomes ill, causing you to have to cancel your holiday, your dog insurance can provide you compensation up to the total cost of your holiday. This is usually an optional extra, but good value since in many cases this circumstance may not be covered by your holiday insurance.
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