1. I know I should
insure my dogs but it's always seemed too expensive. But now with escalating vet bills, I
suppose I owe it to my dogs to look into it. What would it cost me, for instance, to insure my
dog and can I get a discount on more than one policy?
Policies are available from as little as £55 to as much as
£263.50 a year or £4.55 to £21.95 a month. The amount you pay usually reflects the type of
cover you buy.
If you shop
around, often you can get discounts on multiple dog policies, so in the end that the
more you insure, the more you save.
2. What types of
cover are available?
Vet fee insurance
does not cover routine examinations but does protect again illness and accident, including
essential hospitalisation and referral. Plans offer different levels of vet fee cover from
£1,000 to unlimited. Other policies offer third party liability and other extra benefits are
available, if you know what to ask for. Some cover your dog for life while others must be
renewed on an annual basis and may exclude past claims.
At this moment in time, we estimate that there are at least 20 insurers offering pet schemes
with two or more variations to each scheme.
You need to think carefully about what level of cover you want. This could have
a big impact on the price you pay.
3. Does the age of
your dog make a difference?
Many insurers have a cut off point of eight to ten years
old for insuring your pet. There are other companies that offer pet insurance to any dog
regardless age without the premium being excessive. Some companies increase the cost of pet
insurance in line with the age of the dog. There are some companies, however, that do not
increase the cost as the pet gets older.
4. Does the cost
of insurance vary according to your geographic area. Is it a post code lottery?
Several of the major pet insurance companies vary their
premiums according to the area where you live. The premium is related directly to the cost of
veterinary care in that area. For example, if you live in the Home Countires you may be charged
more than if you live in Scotland. A number of companies calculate the cost of pet insurance
according to the area you where live in line with vet fee costs. Other insurers charge only one
I've seen the term 'excess' mentioned. What does that
All policies carry an excess. This is the amount you must pay on
any claim before you get any money back. Excesses vary greatly from company to company.
Check before you buy.
6. If I decided to switch
insurance companies, would there be continuity of cover?
Some insurers will exclude conditions claimed for in previous years,
and others offer cover for life.
Payment, what is it and is it worth taking advantage of~
Most companies offer direct debit and annual
payment, but some may offer improved cover for direct debit payers.
8. Do all
insurance policies cover dogs that do agility and flyball?
This is important. Check that
your pet is covered for agility or any other activity as some companies may not insure agility
dogs. It is recommended that you inform the insurer that the dog is an agility dog on the
9. Are any
specific breeds excluded from insurance?
Each company calculates its rates in a different way. The cost
of pet insurance can vary with breed types and pedigree but not necessarily. A particular breed
of dog may be more expensive to insure with one company than another. You may be charged more
if your dog is a pedigree rather than a crossbreed.
10. How are claims
Claims settlement varies from insurer to insurer. They can be
settled direct to the vet or paid to the policyholder. Often it is the choice of the
Having read and considered all of the above, there is no
doubt that there is much to consider when insuring your dog. Vet Fee Protector was set up by
agility people to take the hassle out of insuring your pet.
For more advice or
for your dog, cat, horse, rabbit, caravan, house... whatever,
call the team:-
VIP Independent Pet Insurance Brokers
Tel. 0845 6018575
http://www.vip4u.co.uk for a free quote or email
And don't forget to mention Agilitynet.
Flint was introduced to agility six years ago by his partner Debbie Benton. They share one
dog between them except when it's raining, snowing, windy or blowing a hurricane. When it's
time for walkies, then it's Neil's dog.
Navy accountant, Neil moved into Financial Services sector, working way up the ladder to Sales
Manager for a major national insurer. Three years ago he and John Bruce established the Bruce &
Flint Consultancy Independent Financial Advisers.
This year they
set up a new company called Vet Fee Protector
specialise in agility and other canine sports. Their aim is
to offer comprehensive, low
cost insurance to agility people. By searching through their list of leading pet insurers, they
are able to provide the most suitable and competitively priced policy for individual needs.
an ex-quantity surveyor, is a family man with three
children, a Cocker Spaniel and an overworked wife. He enjoys long walks with the dog away from
the ever ringing phone. In his spare time, he runs a local children's football academy and
attends agility shows which he really enjoys.
Benton has been doing agility for a number of years though recently the pressure of work as
a freelance IT Consultant and Web Page Designer has left her little time to train or
walk the dogs in the rain! She runs Collie IT, training people to use basic computing skills.
High praise from Rosemary Elliott...
Just to let you know I have insured my dogs through VIP after contacting them from agility net
page. They are superb. Not only did they talk 'to' me, not at me as so many others do now who
want a hard sell, but fitted a policy around all my dogs to suit them, not the company being
used. Highly recommended.