Is Pet Insurance Worth It?
Buying insurance for your pet can often be tricky; which option suits you both financially and emotionally? A 2013 Mintel Pet Insurance report shows that on average in the UK, cat owners are paying £159 for pet insurance and dog owners £248.
We asked different pet owners their views on Pet Insurance to help you decide if it’s for you – their responses have not been edited.
Have you ever wished you’d taken out pet insurance?
Stacey, 1 cat, 21.5 years
“When we got Marmite as a kitten, pet insurance wasn't really a big thing! This was over 20 years ago and it wasn't big like it is now – there was no knowledge around it. She hasn't had many chronic conditions, but about 5 years ago her kidneys started to fail. We kept saying because of her age we wouldn't get insurance, but when you're lumped with a bill for over £400 just for blood tests and medications etc. we really wish we had just taken it out! We took her for an emergency appointment last month and it was £280. Just for an appointment. I’m lucky that my husband has taken her on as his own pet too, and never thinks twice about paying for a huge bill like this, but I think we should have taken insurance out years ago in retrospect. A friend of mine has an elderly cat too and recently was left with a £600 bill for veterinary treatment! Insurance is definitely the way to go!”
Alice, 1 cat (Persian/Ragdoll) 6 months.
“We didn’t have insurance as we intended him to be an inside cat, he had only been out a handful of times. One day, I had just come home and heard a horrible moaning noise and saw our cat dragging himself in through the back door. We rushed to the vets, but never found out what happened to him. They suspect he was either kicked, or clipped by a car. He needed a very expensive surgery (in the thousands) to reattach his leg and as we didn’t have insurance we had to use a credit card that a family friend kindly offered. If we had insurance it would have been a lot simpler and less of a worry trying to find the money for this essential surgery. I have always had insurance since then and ensure I get the highest cover so that we are covered for all eventualities. Luckily with my cats we have never had to use it, but it is a relief that it is there should we need it.”
What incentivised you to buy pet insurance?
Louise, 3 cats (Ginger Shorthair) 7 years & 12 years
“Peace of mind! Vet bills are so expensive.”
Ian, 2 cats (Mid-length tortoiseshell) 4 years.
“We don’t have insurance and actually save some cash in a separate account, just in case. We know it could be expensive for veterinary bills.”
Jamie, 2 dogs (Daschund) 10 years.
“The reason I took it up was a friends cat bills – she had to have major surgery that cost £5,500.”
Celine, 1 dog (Lurcher) 4 years.
“I just thought to myself; if anything goes wrong and I can’t afford the vet fees, then I’ll be in trouble! Plus, what’s £10 or so coming out of your bank account each month? You hardly notice it for something that’s already saved me about £1,800 in the past 3.5 years! If I was wealthy and could afford the odd £1k here and there, then I probably wouldn’t bother with pet insurance.”
Alice, 1 cat (Persian/Ragdoll) 6 months
“The personal experience and that pet insurance policies are flexible to individual pets and make the cost adaptable to your circumstances.”
Would you recommend pet insurance to a friend?
Rich, 2 cats (Mid-length Tortoiseshell) 13 years & 8 years.
“I’ve always had pet insurance and would definitely recommend it to fellow pet owners. Considering how much basic treatments at the vets cost, and how often your pets can be ill/suffer an injury. Here’s an example: My cat, Polly was ill a few years ago, really ill, and she required three trips to the vets, two overnight stays and a number of injections (steroids and antibiotics). Without insurance that would have been about £500-600 I’d have had to find, instead I paid £50.”
Celine, 1 dog (Lurcher) 4 years.
“Luckily I have it and I can’t recommend it enough to any pet owner! I’ve used it twice so far. Once about 2 years ago for ongoing Dermatology fees for my dog, Riley’s Vasculitis, including various consultations/appointments, various tests and medication, which accumulated to about £2,000. And again about 5 months ago for an allergy test. It was definitely worth taking out pet insurance – my insurer were brill and paid me back the money in no time. I can’t claim for anything relating to Vasculitis/allergies again, but that shouldn’t be a problem now that I know what he’s allergic to and now I know that it was his food that was causing the Vasculitis.”