Don’t be barking mad

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I read that a report by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) stated that 911,000 pet insurance claims were made in 2015, up 9% from 2014. This represents £657million, or £1.8m per day.  For someone who does not have a pet I’m astounded by this high number but when I understand that 1 in 4 UK households have a pet I can now understand.

However with 26 million UK households, that means some 6.5 million should have their pets covered… however only 2 million buy pet cover each year. That’s 4.5 million at risk of unexpected bills and with the average vet bill at £720, are they barking mad?

Here are some top tips for getting pet insurance.

Is your pet going to be covered?

If you are about to buy a pet, then research whether your pet will actually be eligible for insurance. Some ‘bad’ breeds may not be covered or attract high premiums. If your pet is ‘old’ then some providers might also not be prepared to provide cover.

Understand the types of cover

  • Lifetime cover – most comprehensive form of pet insurance. Offers vet fees cover up to a maximum amount, which are reinstated each year. If your pet develops a long term chronic illness provided it didn’t pre-date the policy, this will be covered for the rest of your pet’s life
  • Maximum Benefit Cover — long-term or recurring illness or injuries will not be covered once the amount paid out for treatment of the illness or injury reaches the financial limit of the policy
  • Time Limited Cover — offer a fixed amount of money for treatment over a specified period (non-lifetime)

For more our pet jargon click here

Declare existing conditions

If your pet has an existing condition it is required that you fully declare this when providing details. If it is determined that there was a pre-existing condition not declared it can make the cover void.  You are only covered for conditions that occur after you started your policy.

Curable verses Incurable

Building on above, if you do need to switch providers do differentiate between pre-existing conditions that are “curable” and “incurable” so that you may get coverage in the future for curable conditions.

Lower your premiums

The most obvious way is to pay a higher excess to lower your premiums. If you have a number of animals consider adding multiple pets onto one policy. Also, explore which providers will offer discounts if your pet is chipped (note it’s compulsory from 6th April 2016). Lastly, you could find your home insurance covers your pets already.

Understand what to cover

It is key you know what is included in your pet insurance and more so what you require. Important factors to consider:

  • your pet travelling and being overseas, more information here
  • when your pet is in a kennel or cattery etc
  • payout if your pet goes missing or lost
  • public liability e.g attacks the postman!
  • insurance that covers accidents and injuries, and lastly
  • death

With BeeMyMinder  we make it easy for people to store their pet insurance, attach their vaccination certificate and vet bills securely online.

I hope these quick tips are helpful. BeeMyMinder has joined up with PetPlan for domestic pet insurance (save 10% now!|). Also, to save more money with prescriptions use Pet Drugs Online.


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Nigel Brokenshire


Nigel is the founder of BeeMyMinder. Developed from his own frustrations keeping on top of household/personal finances and dealing with piles of papers and associated documents.