What is pet insurance?
Pet insurance is a policy that helps to keep your animals bright-eyed and bushy-tailed – and may protect you from having to fork out for unplanned costs for your pets. You’ll pay a monthly or annual premium for financial help if your pet gets hurt or sick and needs treatment.
Should your furry friends get into an accident or suffer illness or injury, pet insurance is there to provide financial support for any vet trips or treatment they need to get on the mend.
Find out more.
What does pet insurance cover?
No two pet insurance policies are the same so it’s important to check the specific terms and conditions of your insurance to find out exactly what you’re covered for.
The main advantage of pet insurance is that it may help towards unexpected vet bills. Sainsbury's Bank Pet Insurance policies will cover your pet for new accidents or illnesses that don’t relate to any pre-existing health conditions. The amount of cover that you could get is determined by your policy limit.
Depending on the policy you choose, pet insurance may cover:
- Vet fees for new illnesses and injuries. The amount of cover you’re eligible for will depend on the specific pet insurance product that you choose.
- Dental treatments – subject to the terms and conditions of your policy.
- The price you paid for your pet if it dies from accidental illness or injury.
- The price you paid for your pet if it is lost or stolen.
- Third party liability if your pet injures a person or property.
- Injury as a result of an accident.
- Complementary treatments like acupuncture or osteopathy.
What does pet insurance not cover you for?
It’s important to check what your policy may not cover, too. Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance does not cover you for:
- Pre-existing medical conditions they have before the policy starts.
- Grooming or cosmetic treatments (like nail trimming).
- Routine treatments, like vaccinations, neutering, injections or any treatment related to pregnancy.
- Any condition that shows symptoms within 14 days of your policy start date.
- If your pet dies as a result of an accident that happens or shows symptoms within three days of your policy start date.
Please check customer support for specific Sainsbury’s Bank policy documents with full a full list of inclusions and exclusions.
Is pet insurance worth it in the UK?
Whether pet insurance is worth it or not is down to your personal circumstances. When you’ve just fallen in love with your healthy new puppy or welcomed a new furry friend into the family, wondering if you need pet insurance is probably the last thing you’ll be thinking about. When they’re in tip-top shape, insuring them may feel like an additional expense that you don’t want to fork out for.
But, accidents and unexpected injuries can happen – which is why pet insurance is important. Vet bills can be expensive and may be hard to afford. In 2021, the Association of British Insurers stated that the average claim value was £848. So, if you’re considering whether you should take out pet insurance, ask yourself if you’d be able to financially cover the costs if your pet needed urgent vet care.
Some of the main advantages of pet insurance include:
Support for the unexpected
It’s hard to think about anything happening our furry friends. But pet insurance can be a huge weight of your shoulders if the worst was to happen. While you may be worrying about the health of your precious pooch, at least you may feel some comfort knowing that you may not need to fret about paying for huge vet bills too.
Vet fees can be expensive. But because we love our pets so much, we are likely to do whatever it takes to help them get better again – even if it means taking on these costs ourselves. According to Forbes Advisor, vet consultation fees may cost around £30 to £40. Not-for-profit organisations like Animal Trust may offer free consultations but it can cost up to hundreds of pounds for an x-ray and even thousands of pounds for specialist surgeries. An abdominal surgery could set you back almost £1,600.
Insurance may cover the costs of anything from vet treatments to homeopathic medicine and could even help towards the cost of a clinical diet if recommended by your vet for certain conditions.
It covers all kinds of pets
The best part about pet insurance is that you can choose policies that cover just about all kinds of animals, from guinea pigs to dogs. If you’ve taken a walk on the wild side and have an exotic pet, these often need their own type of pet insurance that is separate to standard offerings. You may also need an equine specialist policy if you’d like to insure a horse.
Extras can be added to your policy
Some polices can be adjusted to suit you and your animals’ needs. This could include anything from dental treatments and behavioural therapy, all the way to supporting finding a lost pet and vet fees for if your pet gets injured abroad. If your pet becomes ill while you’re on holiday, unwanted stress could be prevented if you know that you’re able to claim for the cost of their care overseas on your insurance policy.
Care for your pet if you become ill
If you become ill unexpectedly or get taken to hospital, you may be unable to look after your pet. Some policies allow you to add on additional cover for emergency boarding fees at a kennel or cattery, so you know that your pets will be well looked after.
What impacts the price of pet insurance?
A few things that can affect the price of pet insurance. Your pet’s age, health and breed all play a part in how much you’ll need to pay for your insurance premiums.
An older pet is more likely to have expensive premiums as they’re more susceptible to health conditions as they naturally deteriorate with age.
Different breeds are also susceptible to different health conditions which may mean that they cost more to insure – especially if they are more likely to need a specialist procedure. Larger dog breeds may be more expensive to insure as they are more likely to suffer hip dysplasia and joint related injuries. Pedigree breeds are also more at risk of hereditary diseases that may need to be accounted for in your premiums.
The type of cover that you choose also affects the amount that you’ll need to pay in premiums. With Sainsbury’s Bank you can choose from lifetime cover, time-limited cover, max benefit cover and multi-pet cover.
Disadvantages of pet insurance
While there are tons of benefits to insuring your pet, it’s important to remember that pet insurance doesn’t cover everything.
In most instances, routine treatments are not often included in policies. These are things like:
- Neutering your pet
- Jabs and vaccinations
- Treatments related to pregnancies.
Please note that if you fail to keep on top of routine vet appointments and follow advice as recommended by your vet, your insurance may become void.
Frequently asked questions