Pet insurance vs self-insuring
If your pet gets injured or falls ill, an unexpected trip to the vet can be super stressful – and can hit you hard in the pocket. So what’s the best way to cover what could be expensive vet fees?
Should you take out a pet insurance policy and get the reassurance that comes with it? Or would you be better off self-insuring and putting your money away in a savings account each month?
What is pet insurance?
Like any other type of insurance, pet insurance is a policy that helps protect and cover you against unexpected costs.
There’s no legal requirement to have pet insurance, but the most common reason people protect their pet is to cover the cost of expensive vet fees.
You’ll pay a monthly or annual premium, and if your pet gets injured or falls ill, your pet insurer will help cover the costs.
What is self-insuring?
Self-insuring your pet is when you put money away each week or month to build up a savings pot to pay for potential vet bills.
If you don’t want traditional pet insurance, or feel that it’s too expensive, self-insuring may be something to consider. But you’ll need to be serious about your savings – and think about how much you can afford to put away.
Could self-insuring cover the cost of vet care?
Whether you could afford expensive vet fees without pet insurance will depend on your financial situation and costs of your pet’s treatments.
If your pet suffers a serious injury which requires surgery, X-rays or continuous treatment, your vet’s fees could add up to thousands of pounds. It’s not to say that your pet will get injured or fall ill, but it is always sensible to be prepared for the financial costs if this should happen.
If your pet has an ongoing, terminal or critical condition, you’ll have to pay for regular treatment and medication over your pet’s lifetime.
Pet insurance may help you cover these costs. But if you choose to self-insure, you’ll have to pick up the tab on your own.
What type of pet insurance should you get?
If you decide that self-insuring doesn't give you the peace of mind you need, purchasing a pet insurance policy is a popular alternative. But with so many options available, how do you know which one to choose?
Our guide to pet insurance sheds some light on the typical types of pet insurance cover and provides a few pointers on what to consider when choosing a policy.
To make your life easier, we’ve also summarised the different types of pet policies below. Remember that all pet insurances will offer different levels of cover and benefits as well as restrictions, so it is important to look into this and find the right policy for you and your pet.
What else does pet insurance cover?
While the most common reason for getting pet insurance is to help cover the costs of vet fees, there are a number of additional benefits available.
And of course, if you choose to self-insure, you’ll have to pay for it all out of your own pocket.
When it comes to our pet insurance, we’ll also cover you for:
Please note that we won't cover the cost of any pre-existing conditions and that terms, conditions, excesses, exclusions and limitations apply. You can find out more about the terms of our cover in our policy documents.
Other helpful guides
Our handy pet guides can help you make an informed choice on the best way to protect your pet.
Do you need pet insurance for a rabbit?
When it comes to pet insurance, most people probably think of cover for cats and dogs. But many pet owners choose to insure their rabbits too.
While rabbits don’t cost as much as cats and dogs to buy, they can end up being just as expensive over their lifetime.
One of the reasons for this is that rabbits can suffer from some pretty common health problems. And these problems can often lead to hefty medical costs and vet fees.
Of course, pet insurance isn’t a legal requirement for rabbits (or cats and dogs). But it can help cover the costs of vet fees – and give you some extra reassurance and peace of mind.
You can learn more about rabbit insurance and some of the most common rabbit health problems in our rabbit health and insurance guide.