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A Guide to Saving Money on Your Pet Insurance

05 October 2015

Sadly, there is no pet version of the NHS, so if anything happens to your dog or cat, you have to foot the bill.

With vet bills going up every year, treatment can cost thousands of pounds, which is why so many of us choose to insure our pets and get some help when it comes to paying for those bills.

Still, pet insurance can seem expensive, so you need to make sure you’re getting the best cover for your money. If you’re looking to insure a pet, but aren’t sure how to cut the cost of your premiums, read on.

What factors will impact my premium?

Before buying pet insurance, it’s important to know what can push up the price of your premium.

Insurers will take into account the age and breed of your dog, as well as where you live. The older the dog, the more likely it is they will get ill, so premiums tend to be much higher. Certain breeds can also be pricey to insure, as some are more susceptible to health problems than others – if you have a giant or large breed, expect to pay higher premiums.

Your address will impact the cost of pet insurance too, as the premium will be based on the cost of the vets in your area. Therefore, pet owners living in the city may pay more for their insurance than those who live in more rural areas.

Is it possible to save money by switching?

If you already have pet insurance, you may be wondering if it’s worth switching or not. Unfortunately, it is often better to stay with your current insurer, but this is not always the case.

Most insurers will not cover a pet for a pre-existing medical condition. For example, if they have arthritis and you decide to change insurer, it’s likely the new insurer won’t pay out for any treatment related to that condition.

Most policies, however, won’t let you claim for a condition once you’ve reached a certain time/money limit. If you’ve reached your limit and it would be cheaper to switch to a different insurer, it’s worth doing so, as that particular condition won’t be covered anymore anyway.

Pay a higher excess, if you can

The higher the excess you’re willing to pay, the cheaper your monthly payments will be – that’s true of any type of insurance. The excess is the amount of money you’ll have to pay to make a claim – if you’re able to foot more of the bill, the insurer will reward you by making your monthly payments cheaper.

Always make sure your excess is a fixed amount though, and not a percentage of each claim. Otherwise, if your pet gets very ill, you could end up paying a horrendous amount for the vet fees.

Save with multi-pet policies

Many insurers will offer you a discount if you insure more than one pet with them, so it’s worth doing. This type of discount usually only applies to certain levels of cover though; be sure to read the small print before making a purchase. Remember, if you’re not sure about anything on an insurer’s website, you should always give them a call.

Buy online and compare prices

These days, it is often better to buy things online, and insurance is no different. Some companies will offer you a discount for purchasing online, or going directly to them instead of through a price comparison website.

That doesn’t mean that you should rule out using price comparison sites altogether – they may still be the best way to get the cheapest price. Make sure you know what level of cover you need before you start searching though; there’s no point in buying insurance because it’s cheap, you need to know it covers everything you require.

If you find a good price for the cover you need, there’s no harm in going to the companies that aren’t on price comparison websites and asking them if they can beat it. That way, you’ll know you’ve definitely got the best deal.

Microchip your pets and keep vaccinations up to date

Microchipping is often free or very cheap now, so it’s definitely worth doing. It makes your pet easier to find should it get lost, which means better insurance premiums for you. Keeping your pet healthy is vital too, not just for their benefit; it will decrease the chance of you having to claim on your pet insurance, and it may also reduce your premiums. Keep up to date with all your pets’ vaccinations and make sure you have certificates proving your pets are vaccinated to show the insurer.

If your pet comes down with an illness that could have been prevented by a vaccination, it’s unlikely your insurer will pay out. In fact, it could invalid your insurance completely.

You may think that little Bella is so fit and healthy that there’s no chance she could ever become seriously ill, but this is not always the case. Accidents happen and illnesses can manifest at any time, so it’s important to be prepared for the worst. Pet insurance will give you peace of mind that even if Bella gets ill, you’ll be able to provide her with the care she needs.

ThePetSite News Desk

Top image via Shutterstock

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