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Baston animal behaviourist Karen Wild shares her advice on pet insurance

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Insuring your pet(s) is a costly business, writes Baston animal behaviourist Karen Wild.

I have recently had a very poorly dog and the insurance policy we have was rapidly used up with the ongoing treatments he has needed, not to mention seeing a specialist, and surgery too.

It can be a huge shock even when you think you are properly prepared!

A super cute duo of a cat and a dog. Photo: istock/FatCamera
A super cute duo of a cat and a dog. Photo: istock/FatCamera

Healthcare costs money. We are used to the NHS funding a lot of ours, but that teaches us a false expectation that our pets’ healthcare bills will cost the same. I have news for you - vets do NOT overcharge and often operate with a certain amount of debt because animals always need care and don’t always have owners that are prepared to pay for that care.

Vets, vet nurses and their teams are wonderful people who work incredibly long hours to help the animals that inspired them to take up this career, so please be kind to yours.

A good relationship with your vet practice is crucial. They are the ones that go the extra distance to support our beloved family pets and deserve our respect. Money is of course due for this service, and it is a specialist service, so of course it is going to add up quickly if our pets need help.

Insurance means that we might be able to get more full treatment, and to really do everything to help them. But even insurance won’t cover everything, so be prepared before you buy your pet.

Karen Wild
Karen Wild

Some insurance policies cover more than others and it can be really hard to find the best one for your pet. I can instantly name one that would pretty much cover everything you need, to a very high expense level.

However, that insurer quoted me five times the cost of my current premium for this additional privilege! So, you need to shop around to find an affordable policy, knowing full well that you may have to top this up.

Some of us have a savings account for our pets bills, which is a sensible idea but the drawback is that these don’t cover you if your pet is involved in any kind of legal incident. If your pet injures someone (even by tripping them over when being loving) you may be legally liable and this is VERY expensive. If you don’t want a full pet insurance policy to cover this, the Dogs Trust will add in a third party legal cover in with a supporter-type membership, so you can check this if you like.

Never neglect insurance for your pet, check the details and make sure it suits your needs. You’ll be glad you did when the emergencies occur.

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