Dogs Trust always recommends that dog owners take out pet insurance, as we believe it is an important part of being a responsible pet owner.
To ensure that we support all those that rehome Dogs Trust dogs, we have been working in partnership for many years to provide 4 weeks’ free insurance to all our rehomed dogs. We understand that whilst adopting a rescued or stray dog is an exciting and rewarding time for both a new owner and their new pet, it is also important that owners consider the financial implications should their dog suffer from any unexpected illnesses or injuries.
Although pet insurance may seem to be an expense an owner can do without, it only takes a simple accident or short illness for vet bills to start accumulating. However, the cost of pet insurance is in itself a cost that some owners may feel they are unable to afford. There are, of course, differing policies available to suit individual budgets, however we strongly advise pet owners to do their homework before taking out an insurance policy, as some policies may not provide the cover that an individual owner needs. Furthermore, consideration needs to be given to exclusions that may be imposed on policies for pre-existing conditions (so impacting if an owner wishes to change policies) and the premiums for insuring an older dog – many companies will not insure a dog over 8 years of age for the first time and the premiums for older dogs can be prohibitive for many owners. Equally, those on low incomes who rely on resources such as the PDSA would struggle to fulfil such a requirement.
With Dogs Trust approximately one in four rehomers carry on their insurance policy after the initial four weeks. This figure does not account for those owners who choose to take out alternative policies to the one offered. We are also aware that many pet owners make their own budgeting provisions, such as health care plans with local vets and ‘self-insurance’ through regular savings specifically for unexpected eventualities.
Dogs Trust urges pet owners to make provisions to cover their pets’ health care should they become ill or injured. We believe that many pet owners are sadly unaware of the cost of owning a pet and consequently do not recognise the importance of making provision for their pet. By raising awareness of the real cost of owning a pet, particularly if that pet needs medical attention, we believe many owners would choose to make provisions to not only help them to look after their pet should they become ill, but also to ensure they can afford any treatment their pet may need.
Pet insurance claims hit record number The number of UK pet owners claiming on insurance policies has reached a new record, with 911,000 claims being made in 2015. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) said the number of claims rose by 9% compared with the previous year. Among the claims being made was one for a python which needed treatment for anorexia. A dog needed surgery after swallowing a kebab stick, while another was treated for swallowing a sock. In total, pet insurers dealt with 686,000 claims for dogs - an 11% increase on 2014 - and 193,000 claims for cats - a 6% rise. However, most of Britain's nine million dog owners and 7.9 million cat owners do not pay for insurance cover.