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Think you can do without pet insurance? Think again  

by SeanH

"Should I take out pet insurance?" - one of the most lip-chewing questions you ask yourself when you first become a pet owner.

Quite obviously, many pet owners answer No. A recent survey found that 85 per cent of dog owners and 83 per cent of cat owners have no pet insurance.

What's more, another survey found that of ALL the types of insurance you can get, pet insurance is the most confusing! There are so many providers, so many levels of cover and so many exclusions and inclusions that the easiest thing to do is just give up.

But "should I insure my pet?" is not really the right question to ask. The real question is, "How important is my pet in my life?"

The most common type of Pet insurance you can take out is pet health insurance - insurance that helps to pay vet's bills for your dog or cat. Vet's bills are rising by an average of 11 per cent per year and one single treatment can easily cost hundres or even thousands of pounds. If you can't afford the treatment, your pet will have to be put down.


ut medical insurance is by no means the only type of pet insurance. Insurers offer a range of policies that enable you to insure against almost anything. For cats, the most common problem after medical problems is disappearance and you can insure aginst your cat wandering off, being stolen, and costs of advertising and rewards.

With dogs there's a much wider range of things that can happen - not only medical and theft/disappearance but, crucially, third party liability. This type of pet insurance covers you if your dog bites someone or causes a road accident, or damage to someone's property. This can run into huge sums, both for compensation and legal fees. The growth in the "compensation culture" means all this is much more likely than it was even ten years ago.

So, have you fallen in love with an appealing puppy or kitten? It's so easy to do, isn't it? But it's astonishing how few owners research the costs of pet ownership before taking on a dog or cat - food alone can cost hundreds of pounds a year, plus equipment like beds and toys, and routine medical costs such as vaccinations, neutering and flea and worm treatment. This is one reason why there are such huge numbers of stray dogs and cats on the streets, and homeless pets in rescue centres.

Do you know how much you can come to love your pet? Do you really want to be faced with the choice of having your pet put down, or going into serious debt to pay a bill you can't afford? This DOES happen - many, many times. Faced with this possibility, pet insurance seems the only sensible way to go.

About the Author

Sean Horton is the owner of which offers a choice of Pet insurance policies


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