Insuring your New Puppy
Should you insure your puppy?
Just like insuring your car or house, pet insurance will hopefully never need to be used, but is there in case your puppy becomes ill, or has an accident. If you donít take out insurance then you might find yourself facing a very large bill which you havenít got the money to cover. And when this might make the difference between life or death for your pet then it can be a very distressing situation to be in.
Some people think that putting a regular amount aside in a separate fund is a better idea. Hopefully you will have built up enough to cover an unforeseen costs, and if your dog never gets ill then you will have a nice little windfall to spend on yourself at a later date. But this does require discipline, and will take time to build up.
What does Pet Insurance Cover include?
The premium you pay doesnít just cover vet bills - it also covers you for any 3rd party damage that your puppy might do. Mind you, when I saw a quote that promised to cover for up to £2 million worth of damage - I'm not quite sure how any dog could manage that!
How to find the right insurance policy for you
You will probably find that you get a period (usually for four weeks) of free insurance via your breeder (usually the Kennel Club insurance if your pupís registered with them) or your vet when you go for the first vaccination. DO NOT feel you have to continue with this company. Consider it as a bit of a breathing period to look around and compare other policies. If you already have one dog donít assume that the same company that covers your first dog will be the best deal if your new puppy is a different breed (unless they offer a multi pet policy). We insured the Great Dane with one company, but found another was cheaper for the Cocker Spaniel.
Personally I have gone for a middling cover - not a huge amount to cover vets fees, but a policy which continues paying out year after year. Iím hoping Bess will be a healthy dog, and will be doing my best to keep her out of trouble!
You can look at the price comparison sites for deals - buying online is often cheaper. You might find that you get a discount if your car or house insurer offers a pet policy, as they often offer discounts for multiple insurance policies with the same company.
Whether or not you choose to insure your puppy is obviously up to you, but you owe it to your new friend to make some provision to be able to pay those expensive vets bills should she become injured or ill.
If you decide not to Insure
When I decided not to insure my Great Dane anymore the vet was quite helpful. He wrote prescriptions which we were able to get filled online saving us a lot of money. Medic Animal is one such company that dispenses pet medicines.
However, I didnít have cover for all his life - because of the times I had claimed, the premium went up each year. When he was 9 years old the premium went up to over £800 a year, and after a discussion with my vet we agreed it wasnít worth it. So beware, even though the premiums start low, they can rise if you claim too often.
Premiums will also increase with the age of your pet because itís more likely youíll need to claim as they grow older.
The bigger the dog, the larger the insurance premium.
Cover if you need to go into hospital, or cancel your holiday if your pet is ill is usually included as well, as is advertising fees to recover a lost or stolen pet, and you will often get the purchase price back that you paid for your puppy if it dies before the age of 8.
The important part of the cover is obviously what it pays for when your pet is il..
No insurance policy will cover a condition that existing before the start of the insurance, and most will not cover any illness that develops within the first 14 days from the policy being taken out.You need to be careful when comparing different pet insurance quotes, as there are many levels of cover and itís important to read the small print. Many policies nowadays only cover an illness or treatment for an injury or condition for 12 months. If your puppy has a skin problem, for example, which will need treatment for the rest of itís life, youíll be paying for this out of your own pocket after the first year. And remember, another insurance company wonít insure you for a pre-existing condition.
The best insurance policies (and obviously the more expensive ones) will cover the illness or condition as long as it lasts up to a maximum payout per year. I benefited from this cover when my Great Dane started treatment for Arthritis at the age of 5, and lived until he was 11!
Great Danes are expensive to insure.
ANewPuppy.co.uk is produced by Trish Haill Associates Ltd Copyright 2015
Pages you might like to look at next:
Vaccinating your Puppy
STAND! A Complete Guide to Showing your Dog from Companion to Champion A fantastic new book that takes you through everything you need to know about dog showing, from training your puppy to showing at Crufts and even abroad! Available in paperback or for Kindle.