Finding the best value pet insurance may seem like a quick way to protect your pet for less.

While you may find some insurers are generally more expensive than others, in reality you may find that prices vary significantly based on your pet. In particular, your pet’s breed and age will affect your premium significantly and different insurers will have different views on pricing.

At Emerald Pet we truly believe we have a great value pet insurance product for a wide variety of pets. Our price comparisons have shown that we regularly beat many top pet insurance brands for similar cover across a range from labradors to french bulldogs.

In fact, we even throw in a 10% discount for your first year of cover.

Where you live will also have a significant impact on pricing as the cost of vet fees can vary significantly. Generally cities are more expensive, with London at the top of the tree. A medical procedure at a vets in Islington is likely to be a lot more expensive than the same treatment in Rotherham.

Unfortunately your location, pet breed and age are not easily controlled and so you should compare dog insurance quotes across multiple providers to find the best value pet insurance.

If you’re tempted to save time with a comparison site then be careful. Not all dog insurance providers are on comparison sites. We’re not because we want to pass on maximum savings to you rather than paying advertising fees to comparison sites. And comparison sites are certainly not the way to find the best pet insurance.

Those pet insurance policies that are on there may be cutting corners to provide the cheapest quote. In particular you should watch out for high excesses – the amount you contribute towards any claims – and exclusions that limit what you can claim for.

However you choose to find your quote, make sure to read the policy wording before buying to make sure it is the right cover for you.

Multi Pet Insurance

If you have multiple pets then make sure to look for a multi pet insurance policy that offers you a discount. With Emerald Pet you can save 10% through our multi pet insurance.

Not only does this save you money, but you can have all your pets on the same policy which saves a lot of time and admin as you only have to deal with one insurer.

Dog Insurance Vs Cat Insurance

In general dog insurance policies tend to be more expensive than cat insurance. That is because dogs are more likely to face injury and have more expensive treatment costs, meaning more expensive claims on your policy.

Cats tend to be a lot more docile and many will not even leave your house and garden. Of course, there are plenty of reasons to insure your cat because they can still become ill or injured but dogs seem to be at greater risk.

Dog insurance can also come with third party liability in case your dog injures someone, which is another cost to consider. Third party liability cover can help with legal fees if you are sued as a result of your dog causing damage or injury.

Lifetime Vs Non-Lifetime Pet Insurance

There are two key divisions of pet insurance of lifetime cover and non lifetime cover.

Lifetime cover aims to insure your pet against a wide range of situations that could occur over its lifetime – including chronic diseases. This is what we offer at Emerald Pet so you can claim up to your selected cover level each year for any conditions developed while your pet is insured with us.

Non-lifetime pet insurance policies tend to be more limited and uses time limits and cover limits to restrict how much you can claim for. These policies tend to be cheaper but may not consitute the best value.

Non-lifetime cover typically means you have cover for a condition that occurs within a year up to a certain amount but then you can no longer claim for that condition. For example, if your dog broke its leg then the immediate medical costs could be covered. But if your dog then had mobility issues in later life because of the broken leg then they would not be covered.

On the other hand you may find better value by looking for a policy with more add-ons so you can alter a policy to suit you. For instance, at Emerald Life we offer four levels of flexible cover so you can pay for the amount of cover you feel you need. That covers the basics and then we have a series of optional add-ons.

Breeds And Dog Insurance

A big issue when is comes to pet insurance pricing is breeds – especially with dogs. Certain breeds are much more likely to face health issues and this is backed by significant data.

With home insurance, its your postcode that determines the risk of crime, flooding and subsidence in your area. The materials your home is made of as well as its size also have a big impact on premium.

With dogs, the breed says a huge amount about the risks a dog faces. That’s pretty unfair given your dog didn’t choose to be born the breed they are. But when it comes to vet fees there are breeds that are far more likely to cost more – whether that’s a cost to you or your insurer.

Unfortunately these tend to be dogs bred to look a certain way which makes them popular. For instance, french bulldogs and pugs have become massively popular dogs but are some of the most expensive dogs to insure because of the number of health problems they face.

Even the best pet insurance can’t always promise a low premium for every breed. In fact, some insurers deliberately hike up the prices of dog breeds they don’t want to insure. So if you find you’ve had an astronomical quote for french bulldog insurance, do shop around to see if another pet insurance provider is more open to insuring your breed.

They might not advertise it as even the best dog insurance provider has to balance their book of customers so they aren’t overwhelmed with high-risk dogs, but within their pricing matrix you may find them much cheaper than other providers.

Pet Insurance With Pre Existing Conditions

Finding cheap pet insurance is difficult and risky if your pet has pre existing conditions. Generally if you keep renewing with the same pet insurance provider each year any conditions your pet develops should be covered.

However, if you were to then change provider, or simply didn’t have pet insurance when your pet got the condition, it can be difficult to find cost-effective cover that includes pre existing conditions.

You may find that the pet insurance cover is much more expensive to include the condition. Most insurers simply exclude all pre existing conditions from cover and so you may need to find a specialist pet insurance provider willing to take on this risk.

The safest method of ensuring the best pet insurance cover throughout the life of your pet is to start early. If you buy pet insurance when your pet is young and healthy they should have consistently effective cover that includes a lot of conditions they might go on to develop, subject to your cover level. That means it is better to buy pet insurance when you feel you don’t need it rather than when you do.

That might sound pretty counter-intuitive, but we humans are naturally quite bad at making these kinds of choices because we keep focusing on the short term. That was great in caves when we just needed food for the night, but today it’s not so useful. Many of us consistently fail to do things that make the future better for us because we don’t want the short-term hardship.

With pet insurance thankfully protecting you and your pet’s future is quite simple and painless. You can get the best pet insurance for you with a bit of shopping around to find a low cost provider and then stick with that cover so your pet remains protected should they ever need treatment.

What To Look Out For

Exclusions

It is very important when comparing pet insurance cover that you read policy wordings and check all exclusions. Every policy has them as an insurance policy is basically a legal contract that precisely defines what you can and cannot claim for. Exclusions are how insurers protect themselves from risks they can’t handle. Obviously an insurance policy that covered everything with no limits would be disastrous and there wouldn’t be any insurance companies left to provide cover.

While most pet insurance cover is quite generous and will spell out coverage clearly, it is easy to get misled and assume a policy covers things that it doesn’t. Pet insurance is particularly complicated when it comes to medical conditions and lifetime cover vs non-lifetime cover.

Cheaper policies naturally come with more limits and restrictions so if you find a bargain make sure it is actually effective for a wide range of plausible scenarios.

Most pet insurance policies also exclude pre existing conditions so you may want to find a specialist if you

Excesses

Another devious trick played by some insurers is high excesses. The excess is the amount you agree to pay towards any claim. That means you are less likely to claim for smaller costs you can handle yourself – in effect saving the pet insurance for bigger situations – and taking some of the impact of bigger claims.

Excesses vary between insurers and generally a higher excess means a lower premium – the price you pay for the insurance. That can work out well is you can afford the higher excess if you have to claim – although depending on the cost of the claim it might defeat the point of having pet insurance at all if the claim is only just above the excess.

On the other hand, plenty of pet owners prefer to pay a consistent, predictable premium in order to have a low excess so that if they do claim they don’t have to pay too much for an unexpected vet bill.

Best Pet Insurance Providers To Consider

When looking for great value pet insurance it pays to shop around. But here are a few top brands to help you start. Of course, you must note that this is by no means a comprehensive list nor a recommendation for any particular providers. You should conduct your own research to find the pet insurance policy that is right for you and your pet.

Emerald Pet

Emerald Pet is a collaboration between Emerald Life and Covea Insurance. We offer four levels of flexible cover up to £7,500, complementary treatments, clinical diets as well as training and behavioural treatments.

We know how important your pet is to you. While we insure your home and your holiday, we also knew that it was important that we insure your finest companions to the same standard.

That’s why we have worked with Covea to provide pet insurance cover that offers great quality at a reasonable cost.

Call us today for a fast quote and get your pet the cover they deserve.

Bought by Many Pet Insurance

Bought by Many is quite an exciting startup in the insurance space – and that’s something not to be taken lightly. At Emerald Life as another insurance startup aiming to transform an old industry we know how difficult it is to drive transformative change.

For us, changing insurance meant focusing on the individual customer and taking out a lot of the old assumptions that plague the insurance market. We actively want to help the under-insured like young people, women, LGBT+ and BAME.

For Bought by Many on the other hand, the aim was all about buying insurance as a group. Buying with a group meant more leverage to secure a better price and ask for the product features required by the majority. Today though they are perhaps best known for their pet insurance offering.

They include a range of pet insurance products offering up to £15,000 of vet fees as well as options for existing conditions and options for money back if you don’t claim.

Direct Line Pet Insurance

The talking red telephone is a constant presence on daytime TV. That is if Harvey Keitel isn’t offering you a Tarantino-inspired fix to your home emergency.

Their pet insurance product is quite straightforward with with two tiers of £4000 and £8000 of cover per condition. The lower tier will only provide that vet fees cover within the first year of the medical condition while the higher one is not time limited.

PetPlan

With 40 years in the pet insurance industry, PetPlan offer multiple levels of cover that allow up to £12,000 of vet fees. The brand offers both lifetime cover and non-lifetime cover. The non-lifetime cover offers 12 months of cover for new conditions in which you can claim up to £3000 in vet fees from the date the condition was first noticed. After that the condition is excluded from the policy.

Argos Pet Insurance

You might not think about pet insurance as you flick through a giant laminated catalogue looking for a new TV. But Argos pet insurance is actually very popular. Provided by Pinnacle financial, they offer multiple tiers of lifetime and non lifetime cover. The Time Limited cover goes up to £2,500 or £4,000 in vet fees while the Lifetime cover is up to £2,000, £4,500 or £7,000 in vet fees.