Compare Dog Insurance UK
Taking out dog insurance in the UK is all part of being a responsible dog owner. Here’s our guide to dog insurance comparison when looking to cover your pet for accident and ill-health.
Unlike cats who mainly stay at home, dogs go out and explore the world with you. Not only does this expose them to greater risk, but many dogs operate on an ‘eat first, ask questions later’ basis – combine this with a long list of things they shouldn’t eat, the ever rising costs of the dogs in the UK, and the increasing costs of veterinary care, and it’s easy to see why dog insurance is so important in protecting you against unexpectedly high bills.
What is the best dog insurance to get?
Lifetime dog insurance
Lifetime cover is the most comprehensive type of dog insurance in the UK and covers your canine for accident or illness for a fixed amount (this varies depending on the level of cover you choose). The limit renews every year, for example if you have £7,000 lifetime cover, you can claim up to £7,000 per year for every year you take out the policy. Lifetime policies can cover ongoing illness every year, but prices are reviewed every year so expect to pay more when you renew as your dog gets older and if they develop a long term condition such as arthritis.
Per condition lifetime policies - covers specific conditions
Non-lifetime dog insurance
These policies provide an agreed level of cover for either a set period of time, or for a specific condition. If you have per condition cover and don’t reach the agreed limit for that condition within the year, it doesn’t usually roll-over to the next year, but will expire at 12 months.
This only covers injuries due to accidents, for example if your dog was hit by a car or stood on a nail. Illness, for example heart or respiratory conditions are not covered.
Compare pet insurance for dogs
Before insuring your furry friend, it is advised to undertake some dog insurance comparison first. As well as comparing the cost of policies and the level of cover, it’s also useful to look at customer reviews and how easy it is to make a claim. It can be very stressful when your pet is sick and so the claims process should be as straightforward as possible. Some insurers can offer all their services completely online, meaning no frustrating ‘you are number 3 in the queue’ type calls.
Given that the cost of treatments can be thousands of pounds, it’s also a good idea to see if your insurer will pay your vets direct, rather than you having to find that money and then claim the money back from the insurers.
Other things to look out for include:
How much is dog insurance in the UK?
Aside from the level of cover you choose to take out, the cost of dog insurance in the UK varies depending on a variety of factors including:
Specialist dog insurance in the UK
Specialist pet insurance often covers dogs that fall outside of the standard umbrella, such as specific breeds, older dogs and working dogs. Because these often represent higher risk, you can expect to pay more for specialist cover.
Most standard UK dog insurance policies don’t cover working dogs such as working sheep dogs or guard dogs because they are exposed to occupational risk. Specialist policies are available for working dogs, but expect to pay more to cover the additional risk.
Under the Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991 four specific breeds of dog are banned in the UK: the Dogo Argentino, the Japanese Tosa, the Pit Bull Terrier and the Fila Brasileiro. Since it’s illegal to own one of these breeds, UK insurers will not insure them. If you own another breed of dog but are refused cover due to their breed, it may be worth taking out specialist breed-specific insurance.
The older the dog the greater the risk of illness, and so the higher the cost to insure. If you have been paying your premiums, your dog will be covered, but the older they get the more expensive your policy will become. If you are looking to take out a new policy for a senior dog, you may need to speak to a specialist insurer since many standard UK dog insurers have an age limit on dogs they will insure.
What’s not covered by dog insurance
Dog insurance can be tailored to the specific requirements of you and your dog. It’s important to read your policy carefully and know precisely what you are covered for. Many pet insurers offer add-ons to your policy should you require extra cover.
Taking responsible care of your dog
It’s important to remember that many policies stipulate that cover is dependent on you taking responsible care of your animal, such as undertaking regular flea and worming treatments, annual health and dental check-ups and vaccinations. These things are not covered by insurance. Some veterinary practices offer packages that let you spread the cost of these regular treatments over 12 months.
Yes. According to UK law all dogs must be microchipped from 8 weeks old.
No spaying and neutering is not covered by dog insurance. Be sure to tell your insurer if your dog is castrated through as this may effect your premiums.
No standard dog insurance policies don’t cover pregnancy and giving birth, but dog breeders can take out but breeding risks cover which covers both bitch and her litter in those early weeks.
It depends on the insurance company and the cover you take out. Lifetime policies are more likely to cover theft and with dog theft on the rise it’s worth checking to see if you’re covered.
It depends on the type of dog you are insuring, but usually yes, it can be more expensive to insure pedigree dogs. Firstly because pedigrees are more expensive and secondly because due to their breeding, they can be susceptible to genetic illnesses and hereditary disorders.