If you have just acquired a dog, one of your first questions might be: “Do I need dog insurance?” If your dog is important to you, the answer is certainly, Yes.
A more difficult question might be “What should be included in my dog insurance policy?” Dog insurance can cover all sorts of things and you need to decide what to include.
There are three main types of dog insurance.
1. The most usual type is dog health insurance. That is, insurance to cover the cost of treatment in the case of illness or accident (it doesn’t cover routine procedures like vaccination, flea and worm treatment or neutering.). If you think you can manage without this you should think again. Even minor illnesses can cost a large amount to treat; an X-ray can be £400 or more, and a broken leg can cost over £1,000.
2. However, health insurance isn’t the only type of dog insurance. It’s also very important to insure against theft. Dog theft has increased dramatically in many areas of the UK including London and the south-east. Some breeds are especially likely to be stolen. These include expensive pedigrees that can be sold, and breeds that can be used in dog-fighting, such as Staffordshire bull terriers. These breeds can be difficult or more expensive to insure. However, any breed including mixed breeds can be stolen for ransom, if the thieves think that the owner will be sufficiently desperate to get it back. Dog theft insurance can cover advertising, rewards and replacement of your pet.
3. The other essential type of dog insurance is for third-party liability. If your dog caused a road accident in which someone was injured, the costs in compensation, legal fees etc. could run into tens of thousands of pounds, which could bankrupt you or cost you your house. You could also be liable if your dog bit someone or damaged someone’s property.
For these three reasons alone it’s highly advisable to take out dog insurance. However, there are all sorts of other things for which you could insure your dog. These include:
- Boarding fees in kennels if you are hospitalised
- Holiday cancellation costs if your dog is ill
- Bereavement counselling in the event of your dog’s death
- “Alternative” therapies for your dog such as homoeopathy
Obviously, the more things that are covered in your policy, the higher the premiums will be. So when you’re choosing your dog insurance policy, be careful that it doesn’t include things you don’t want or you are sure you will never need. Otherwise you will be wasting your money.
Trying to choose a dog insurance policy can be a bewildering experience. But don’t use this as a reason not to insure your dog. Find a broker who can help you find the policy that is exactly right for you and your dog. Then you can enjoy being a dog owner with total peace of mind.