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Is Dog Insurance A Waste Of Money Or A Smart Investment?

Are you wondering what exactly dog insurance is and whether you should take out a policy for your dog?

A little while ago I went through the process of deciding if dog health insurance was suitable for me and my dogs and whether it was worth my money. I had a wide range of questions I needed answering before coming to my decision. The questions and answers listed below are a result of the research and time I put into reaching my decision.

Some General Points Which Led To Me Researching Dog Insurance:
  • 1 in 3 dogs will have one or more unexpected visits to the Vet every year due to accident or illness.

  • Veterinary medicine has improved enormously over the past few years which means there is much more that can be done for the health and wellbeing of our dogs.

  • Vet fees are increasing by at least 10% every year and the average bill is in the hundreds.

  • Third party claims against dogs are rising every year.

Dog Health Insurance

*My research was conducted on dog insurance in the US and Canada but also applies to dog insurance in the UK and elsewhere. I ended up going with QuickCare Pet Health Insurance for my own policy.

What Is Dog Health Insurance?

Dog insurance is much the same as the health insurance we take out for ourselves or even our home insurance. Taking out dog health insurance protects you against many large and unexpected costs relating to your dog. You are safeguarded against your dog's illness or injury costs and also damages caused to a third party (if your dog causes an accident or bites someone).


How Does Dog Health Insurance Work?

Basically you pay a small fee every month to keep your dog "covered" by the insurance company. If at any time your dog becomes sick or is involved in an accident your insurance company steps in to look after the costs associated with bringing your dog back to good health.

You can look at the insurance process like this - everybody who takes out a dog insurance policy contributes to a pool of money when they make their insurance payment every month. When a dog who is covered by an insurance policy requires veterinary treatment the insurance company takes care of the costs incurred from this pool of money.

What Exactly Does Dog Health Insurance Cover?

All dog insurance policies are different and cater to different situations. When you take out dog insurance you are responsible for determining what is included in the policy - and what is not. The items listed below are some of the more important things you may want to cover your dog for:

Injury From An AccidentDental Work
Long Term IllnessRoutine Treatments
Alternative MedicineAllergies
If Your Dog Is Lost Or StolenThird Party Cover
Euthanasia / BurialDeath
Holiday Reimbursement (for you)Swallowing Foreign Objects
Emergency CareSurgery

What Do I Need To Be Careful Of When Choosing My Dog Health Insurance Policy?

The questions listed below are some of the more important details I needed to fully understand before committing to my latest dog insurance policy. Ask yourself these questions when you are in the process of deciding which insurance policy to go with:

  • Can I use my own Vet for treatments or does the pet insurance company choose?

  • Does it cover me for third party claims?

  • Are cancer treatments covered?

  • Will my insurance premiums increase as my dog grows older?

  • Does the policy cover hereditary and congenital defects?

  • Does the policy offer cover for both accidents and illness?

  • If my dog has an ongoing condition will I be covered for life or does the policy expire?

  • How do I make an insurance claim and how easy is it to do?

  • How much excess will I have to pay when making a claim?

  • Will my claims be subject to an annual limit or by a per condition basis?

How Much Will Dog Health Insurance Cost Me?

It all depends on the policy you choose and what you want to be covered for. Dog health insurance policies start at about $10 or 8 GBP per month. I pay $33 a month for my policy which covers my Shih Tzu for most things. I believe at about $1 a day it is well worth the money.

How Do I Make A Claim?

Most dog health insurance companies make it very simple and straight forward to lodge a claim. You can make a claim over the phone or online - usually payment is received within a few days to a week. NOTE: Be sure to keep a record of all your Vet bills.

What Happens If I Have More Than One Dog?

Each dog should be insured separately but many companies offer a discount when you insure more than one animal.

What Are The Advantages Or Benefits Of Signing Up For Dog Health Insurance?

From my perspective the main benefit of dog insurance is that you can be confident that your dog will receive the very best care and treatment should something go wrong - and in a timely manner.

Other benefits include:

  • Peace of mind.

  • Excellent for those who like to budget - eliminates the threat of enormous Vet bills.

  • Dog insurance takes away the terrible scenario of having to weigh up your dog's health against the cost of any treatment. It's stressful enough as it is when your dog is sick without the added pressure of a huge financial burden.

  • You may be covered for any third party damage claims.

Which Dog Insurance Companies Are The Best?

It really depends on what you are looking for, it pays to read through any policy thoroughly to determine exactly what you are signing up for. I compared a few of the most well known or best dog insurance companies and settled on the following:

Dog Insurance US & Canada:

QuickCare Dog Health Insurance

NOTE: Most dog insurance companies offer a discount for booking online.

Dog Insurance

Good luck in selecting the best dog insurance policy for your needs - I hope for your dog's sake that you never need to make a claim.

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Please consult the services of a Professional Dog Trainer, Behaviorist or Veterinarian before implementing any of the advice contained on this site.