Pets can be our most beloved companions, whether as part of a family or as the only other member of your household. We are a nation of animal lovers and most of us want to protect our dogs and other pets as much as we would any other member of the family. With nearly 9 million dogs and over 7 million cats in the UK, we have taken animals to our hearts and into our homes.

It’s true that most people would do anything to keep their pooch safe, which makes the fact many pet owners don’t insure their animal doubly confusing, when a good pet insurance policy could be worth its weight in gold. However, this is not neglect on part of the owners… the truth is, many people simply don’t know about pet insurance. If they do, they have been misinformed and believe it is expensive or pointless.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Certainly, if you buy pet insurance from EmeraldPet, you get an affordable policy that will deliver protection to your animal across a broad range of scenarios. Should something happen, you want peace of mind your vulnerable dog gets the best help, and you can financially cope.

Far from being expensive, pet insurance is a valuable investment if you want to avoid costly bills when you visit your veterinarian. In fact, an ABI study published in 2017 shows the average per insurance claim in 2016 was £750. In other words, you can expect to pay hundreds of pounds for medical and care expenses for your pet. Getting pet insurance is the absolute best way to help you cover those costs.

While we would like to think our puppies are always safe, accidents and injuries do happen. With an EmeraldPet insurance policy, you can make sure you cover the cost of veterinary care, including expenses for treatments, therapies, medication, and ongoing care for long-term conditions. Also, we have numerous optional benefits available that will extend your cover across a range of circumstances, such as if your pet goes missing and training and behavioural treatments, as well as multi pet discounts.

In the following article, we will provide a complete guide on pet insurance, including an in-depth look at EmeraldPet’s levels of cover, why pet insurance is important, what you should expect to pay for insurance, and what are the best alternatives.

What Our Pet Insurance Includes

EmeraldPet Insurance aims to bring affordable pet cover no matter your budget. We understand how valuable your animal is in your life and want you to have peace of mind should an accident happen. Our product is available across 4 levels of veterinary fees up to £7,500, while there are also three optional packages with numerous different benefits.

If you own a cat or a dog, EmeraldPet is perfect for protecting against major risks, including the basic cost of covering unplanned visits to the vet (so for example it would not cover vaccination visits or standard pregnancy issues). Our annual pet insurance cover allows you to make a claim for the costs of treatments that are detailed in your policy, up to the veterinary fee limit. Because we know pet owners often have longstanding relationships with a vet, we allow you to choose your preferred veterinarian.

As always, make sure you read all pet insurance policies to ensure you get the best level of cover.

Standard Pet Insurance Cover

Our standard pet insurance policy is available across four levels of protection, £1,000, £3,000, £6,000, and £7,500. These are the maximum limits of vet care our policy will cover. Furthermore, our product covers complimentary treatments up to 25% of your chosen veterinary fee limit.

Complimentary treatments are often an important part of the medical and recovery process, ensuring your pet gets a complete level of care. These treatments include physiotherapy, acupuncture, homeopathy, osteopathy, hydrotherapy, chiropractic, and alternative medicines.  

During your puppy’s young life, and even for older animals, creating a structured behaviour pattern is good practice for the wellbeing of you and your pet. EmeraldPet dog insurance policies include £200 to help overcome behavioural and training problems.

£200 is also available for clinical diets prescribed by a vet for a specific illness or condition.

Optional Extras

While our standard dog insurance cover is perfect for a basic level of protection when visiting the vet, many dog and cat owners want a more comprehensive level of cover. That’s why we offer a wide array of optional extras on our policies that extend our standard policy away from just medical treatments to include numerous other benefits.

There are three levels of optional extras available, meaning you can customize your policy to get the cover you need:

Standard Optional Additions

  • Up to £1,500 per year for a missing pet, including rewards and advertising
  • Daily pet-sitting or boarding fees up to £1,500 per year
  • Up to £1,500 per year towards accidental or illness-related theft, death, or straying
  • Holiday cancellation up to £5,000 per year

Optional Overseas Travel

Whether your heading off on vacation for a couple of weeks or taking a longer trip for work, sometimes you may want to bring your dog along. However, there are so many monetary risks involved with traveling with a pet that most people avoid it. Our optional overseas travel cover helps to mitigate some of those risks.

  • Quarantine costs up to £2,000 per year
  • Emergency expenses up to £1,000 per year
  • Repeat worming for dogs up to £250 per year
  • Loss of a pet passport up to £250 per year
  • Option to extend vet fees cover outside the country

Optional Third-Party Liability

Sometimes, animals do things you don’t expect, whether on accident or through instinct. In situations where your dog causes damage to a third-party or property, legal liability cover is helpful. EmeraldPet provides a robust level of third-party liability insurance for pet owners, including:

  • Maximum cover up to £1,000,000 per event
  • Legal liability cover if your dog damages someone else’s property
  • Legal liability cover if your dog causes injury or death

What is the best dog insurance UK?

Pet insurance is like human health insurance, but there is one important difference. Many people understand the value of health insurance and make sure they buy it for themselves, but there are those who simply don’t bother. This polarisation exists amongst pet owners too, but the difference is your cute little dog does not have a choice. On questions of insurance pets don’t have a voice.

Part of your responsibility as an owner is to ensure your pet is kept as safe as possible. While some owners think insurance is unnecessary, there’s no doubt getting pet cover can help to protect you from the immediate financial burden of caring medically for your animal. It can help to put your mind at ease knowing if something happens, a) your dogs can get a good standard of care, and b) you will be insulated from much of the cost.

EmeraldPet approaches pet insurance for maximum flexibility. That means policies are sold on a yearly basis, but customers can choose to pay for the policy per month. It is good to understand that there are some deductibles involved in all pet insurance policies. If you are unfamiliar with the term deductible, it is the amount you need to pay towards costs before an insurer will pay a claim.

The deductible on most pet insurance policies, including ours at EmeraldPet, is small and will be agreed depending your level of cover. Research has shown pet owners who have insurance are more likely to take their cat or dog to the vet if it is poorly. People without cover are afraid of the costs of veterinary care and will often take a “wait and see” approach when their pet is sick. That’s a risky strategy that puts your pets wellbeing at risk. Emerald also have a tele-vet service – FirstVet – where you can see a vet online who may be able to help with first diagnosis.

For a monthly premium, you can avoid those concerns by properly covering yourself and your pet against illness, injury, and accidents. It is also documented that owners will seek out improved vet care if they have insurance. With EmeraldPet insurance, you can afford to be more open to finding better standards of care without needing to necessarily opt for the cheapest options.

What many people do not realise is that pet insurance protects their finances as much as their animals!

Should I get pet insurance for a puppy?

In terms of things that make you feel great, there’s nothing quite like a pet. For some reason, dogs have an inherent link with humans, even down to triggering dopamine rushes in the same way babies do. Puppies amplify the human-dog relationship and give you love and attention. However, pet ownership also comes with plenty of financial considerations.

Whether its an adoption fee, bedding, a crate, food, and toys, getting a new pet is an investment. Added to the list is veterinary care. During a dog’s early life, it is likely to visit the vet more times than at any other time. Don’t let the cost of vet visits be a problem by getting pet insurance to pick up the tab. Bear in mind though that the costs of general health maintenance, such as vaccinations or spaying, are not covered under dog insurance, which only covers accidents and illness.

Getting insurance for your dog as young as possible is the best approach, allowing the pet to have a consistently high standard of care as it grows into adulthood. At EmeraldPet, our policy starts from when a dog is 8 weeks old, allowing you to get cover early and guarantee the best protection for your pooch.

Below are the biggest reasons why pet insurance for your new pet is a wise investment:

Thinking of the future: Pet insurance policies do not cover pre existing conditions and treatments. That’s why getting coverage is important for any future medical concerns your pet may have. It’s a proactive approach to your animal’s welfare.

Get a better price: Premiums are based on breed, location, and age. Simply having a younger dog can often get you a more affordable rate.

Special consideration for puppies: Young dogs are like babies and they often make mistakes. One of the most common is eating a foreign object that causes medical issues. Unfortunately, many of these cases require surgery, which can be hugely expensive. By having pet insurance, you are covered against one of the most common pet risks.

What is the average cost of dog insurance UK?

Perhaps the biggest misconception about pet insurance cover is it is expensive. However, when you dig down a little you realise that is not the case. In fact, pet insurance is a small financial outlay all things considered. Remember, you love your dog and want it to have the best care, pet insurance makes this possible.

Furthermore, for a small monthly fee you can avoid paying any nasty veterinary fees, which can run into hundreds and even thousands of pounds. Emergencies and long-term illnesses happen to animals just as they do humans, so having insurance means you can care for your dog.

According to the Association of British Insurance (ABI), the average cost of pet insurance in the country was £279 per year in 2016. Spread over 12-month payments, that averages just over £23 per month. It is worth noting you may pay less or pay more depending on your circumstances, but your policy may fall near this price.

When you contact EmeraldPet Insurance for cover for your dog, there are several factors that will determine the cost of your policy. The first is the level of cover you want, including any optional extras. We will also want to know what type of animal and breed you want insurance for. Finally, your location may also play a role in the cost of your cover.

Other Pet Insurance Providers

If you have ever bought car insurance or home insurance, you will know that no two providers are the same. Different insurance companies offer different things in their policies, including available benefits and options. This is also true of pet insurance, so doing research to know what is available across providers is important.

When looking for cover, there are some things you should look for:    

Accident Insurance: Accidents happen, especially when you have a young animal that wants to explore, put everything in its mouth, and run free. You need pet insurance with accidental cover to avoid being on the hook should something happen.        

Illness Insurance: Just like us humans, your animal can also get ill and need a trip to the vet to see what’s wrong. Whether it’s something minor or more serious, illness cover can help to protect you against the costs of managing your animal’s sickness.

Multi Pet Discounts: these can help if you have more than one furry friend in your family!

Because we want to present a fair view of the market and help you find the best pet insurance, below are some other major providers:

PetPlan Puppy Insurance

Petplan is one of the most established names in the pet insurance market. It has solid reviews for customer care and has often led the way in terms of what it offers in its policies. Petplan covers puppies, as well as cats and dogs. Three cover levels are available over 12 months, Essential, Covered for Life Classic, and Covered for Life Ultimate.

While vet fees and loss or theft cover are standard across all tiers, there are some limitations regarding illness cover. Specifically, Petplan will only cover illness up to 12 months on the Essential plan. This means you are basically being forced into renewing with the company if you have an ill dog that needs ongoing care. Most insurance companies will not offer a policy for an animal that has a pre-condition.

Tesco Puppy Insurance

It may come as no surprise to learn Tesco, the retail giant turned everything else, also sells pet insurance. The company offers four levels of protection for your animals:

  • Accident and Injury: Up to £3,000 in vet fees over a time limited policy. Fees are only covered for accident and injury, not illness.
  • Standard: Also a time limit policy covering fees up to £3,000, and up to £1,500 for illness and death.
  • Extra: £4,000 to £7,500 to cover veterinary fees on a per condition basis.
  • Premier: This is the only lifetime policy, providing cover for fees up to £10,000.

All Tesco policies provide access to the handy VetFone, a 24/7 service for pet owners.

Argos Puppy Insurance

Argos Pet Insurance can be purchased as a time limited, lifetime, or maximum policy. The latter provides comprehensive cover across accident, illness, and injury. Below are some of the benefits included within the Argos Pet policies:

  • Veterinary fees including dental cover, complementary treatment, physiotherapy, behavioral illnesses and overseas veterinary
  • 3rd party liability (dogs only)
  • Advertisement and reward if your pet is missing
  • Theft or straying
  • Emergency boarding kennel or cattery fees if you are hospitalised for more than 48 hours
  • Complementary veterinary helpline, live chat, and video service
  • Holiday cancellation
  • Other travel cover such as emergency expenses abroad if your pet is sick or goes missing, quarantine costs or loss of healthcare certificate

Direct Line Puppy Insurance

Direct Line provides a pair of 12-month puppy insurance policies, Essential and Advanced. However, neither of these solutions includes illness cover, which is only available as an optional extra:

  • Essential: A time limited policy with up to £4,000 per condition towards vet fees.
  • Advanced: No time limit for claims and a higher limit of £8,000 towards fees.

Animal Friends Puppy Insurance

Animal Friends says it aims to be different from other pet insurance companies, calling itself the “ethical pet insurance company.” According to the provider, this self-assigned title is because it donates money to animal charities.

Because it is dedicated to pet insurance, Animal Friends as a diverse selection of policies, 12 in total. These are available across four categories: Accident-Only, Time-Limited, Max Benefit, and Lifetime. However, it is worth noting the Lifetime products don’t have an annual policy limit, instead having a per condition limit.

This means if your pet has different illnesses during the term of the policy, there will be a limit for each illness. Aside from the most basic Accident Only policy, all other policies include the following as standard:

  • Death cover
  • Public liability
  • Boarding
  • Overseas travel
  • Theft and Straying

Finding Pet Insurance Today

Pet insurance should not be a burden and something you dread paying for. Instead, you should see it as a small monthly outlay to help keep your pets safe and avoid any nasty financial surprises in the future.

Naturally, we think EmeraldPet provides the best insurance solution for your cat or dog. Our goal is to provide the best coverage to meet your demands. We are a specialist on working with groups that often find it hard to get insurance, so if you can’t get insurance from other providers, it’s worth giving us a call.

If you own a dog, you will understand that feeling of unconditional love a puppy can give. One of the best ways to return that love is to help keep your animal safe and give your pet the best care if something happens. Illness and injury are a fact of life, even for cats and dogs. If you get insurance for pets, you can at least make dealing with this horrible situations a bit easier.

Many people without insurance are afraid of veterinary fees and don’t take their animal to the vet. With insurance, you can remove this concern and give your pet the best care. While shopping for insurance quotes can be helpful, it is not a guarantee of getting the most affordable price. In fact, online quote engines will often return prices that have hidden fees behind them. Often, it is best to contact an insurer directly to get the best deal.

With that in mind, if you would like to know more about EmeraldPet insurance or obtain a quote, contact us directly and we can work with you to find the best policy at the best price.

EmeraldPet is underwritten by Covea. Cover is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Emerald is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Always make sure your insurance provider is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.