Finding the best value pet insurance may seem like a quick way to cover your pet with a fair balance of cost versus coverage, which is an important issue when looking at the right pet insurance policy for your best hairy dog or fluffy moggie!
While you may find some insurance policies are generally more expensive than others, in reality you may find that prices vary significantly based on valid reasons -your breed of pet, the cover that you want (and any optional extras and where you live.
In particular, your pet’s breed and age – especially for older pets – will affect your premium and cover levels significantly and different insurers will have different views on pricing. When looking to find the best pet insurance then there are lots of factors to bear in mind, before you even .
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 can 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.
“Research suggests that Emerald Pet Insurance offer excellent value for money and are very competitively priced for the high levels of cover provided. Even taking into account the optional extras. When these are removed, they are even more competitively priced.”
As we mentioned, 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 to cover, with London at the top of the tree.
A medical treatment at a vet in Islington is likely to be a lot more expensive than the same treatment in Rotherham and insurance policies will take that into account when offering cover within their policies.
Unfortunately your location, pet breed and age are not easily controlled and so you should compare dog insurance policies across multiple providers to find the best value pet insurance with the right level of cover.
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 marketing fees to comparison sites.
And comparison sites are certainly not the way to find the best pet insurance – you might get the cheapest, but the levels of cover may be cut back to give that lower price.
Those pet insurance policies that are on those sites may be cutting corners to provide the cheapest quote for your pets. In particular you should watch out for high excesses – the amount you contribute towards any claims – and exclusions or maximum caps that limit what you can claim for, or controls on certain types of treatment.
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.
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Table of Contents
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 for your pets.
Not only does this save you money, but can have the peace of mind that all your loved fluffy ones are covered by Emerald’s pet insurance.
Dog Insurance Vs Cat Insurance
In general dog insurance policies tend to be more expensive than cat insurance policies. 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, which is great for insurance! Of course, there are plenty of reasons to cover your cat because they can still become ill or injured but dogs seem to be at greater risk.
Another reason for the higher costs of dog insurance is that dog insurance can also come with third party liability in case your dog injures someone, which is another major consideration. If your dog injures someone and you are not in proper control of your dog at that time, then you may be liable for damage to property, other pets, or people.
Third party liability insurance in pet policies can also help with legal fees if you are sued as a result of your dog causing damage or injury to a third party. This is part of the insurance for pet owners that can prove vital in the even of a claim.
Lifetime Vs Non-Lifetime Pet Insurance
There are two key types of pet insurance cover with very different structures – pet insurance that gives lifetime cover and pet insurance that gives what is known as non lifetime cover. As we said before, not all pets insurance policies are the same and so it’s worth thinking about your pets, when treatment they may need, whether payments are limited per condition, are time limited or – in short – are the best dog insurance or best cat insurance available. Phew! That’s quite a lot to unpick….
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 constitute the best value for your pets, or of course the best pet insurance for you.
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 our pet insurance offers a series of optional add-ons so that you and your pets (!) can get peace of mind.
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 historical data. Also, there are certain limited lists of dog breeds that insurers simply won’t cover, particularly if that dog breed is illegal.
As with home insurance, your postcode has an effect on your premium. Those living in towns and cities tend to pay more for pet insurance as vet costs tend to be higher.
With dogs, the breed says a huge amount about the risks a dog faces, but will all pets some are historically more likely to develop certain conditions, and policies for your pets will have to take that into account – or cover may be limited. 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 get pet insurance for because of the number of health problems they face.
Sadly that also means that they are sometimes the most common dogs to be given to shelters, as owners don’t have cover for their pets and can’t afford the big bills. Getting pet insurance when your pets are young can be a way to reduce the costs in the later years of your pet and when looking to insure pet terms, look at how much an insurer can increase the premiums for your pet over time. Just in case….
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 and also then check that their policies are not limited in some way or cover reduced.
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 by your pet insurance.
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 if you want 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
Within the financial services sector generally, but in the pet cover sector specifically, it is very important when comparing pet insurance cover that you read policy wordings and check all exclusions. Every policy has exclusions, as an insurance policy is basically a legal contract that precisely defines what you can and cannot claim for. Exclusions within a policy are how insurers protect themselves from risks they can’t handle but they do need to make any limited cover, or other qualifications, clear to the customer at time of purchase, or else insurers may have problems enforcing such a policy limitation at the time of a claim. 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 (included any ‘limited per condition’ cover), 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, more limited abilities to claim and more restrictions so if you find a ‘bargain’ policy 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 aren’t sure what to do in that case, although increasingly most policies and more providers of cover for pets, whether or not time limited, will exclude anything pre existing.
Another cost management tool used by some insurance policy providers 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 can vary from policy to policy 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 under their policy 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, which we consider to have some of the best dog insurance and cat insurance. 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 with the insurer and their policies to find the pet insurance policy that is right for you and your pet.
Emerald Pet is a collaboration between Emerald Life and Covea Insurance, and fully authorised under financial services regulations. Our pet insurance policies offer four levels of flexible cover up to £7,500, complementary treatments, clinical diets as well as training and behavioural treatments. We also offer for free FirstVet – a remote vet support service for the first diagnosis of any problems that your pet may have.
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 cover 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. When you have questions about our policy or our cover, you can call our direct line staffed by veterinary nurses, and you can use that direct line in the event of any claim too.
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 while making sure the policies you sell are market-leading.
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 policies 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 policy is quite straightforward with with two tiers of £4000 and £8000 of cover per condition. The lower tier policy will only provide that vet fees cover within the first year of the medical condition while the higher pet insurance is not time limited.
With 40 years in the pet insurance industry, PetPlan offer multiple levels of cover in its policies, with up to £12,000 of cover for vet fees. The brand offers both lifetime cover and non-lifetime cover. The non-lifetime policies offer 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 cover for the 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 cover 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.