Tesco's pet insurance is a very reasonable premium and the agents are so helpful. I had never had pet before and five children down the line we decided that a puppy was the next addition to the family. We did not want to be paying out an astronomical amount monthly on insurance and Tesco offered a reasonable price. Within a few months of having lovely Charlie he managed to knock my sons large Kit Kat Easter Egg off his book shelf and devour it. Charlie became very poorly and it was late at night. We took him to the animal hospital where he was kept in over night and then transferred to out local vets. Normally the policy holder pays for the treatment and then you claim it back. However, I had no cards or cash with me as I was on auto pilot when leaving the house. The vets called Tesco's insurance and they asked for photocopies of the treatment so far and the future treatment plan and said they would be happy to honour the payment as I was dealing with enough stress as it was without worrying about the vet bills. Charlie had to go back and forward to the hospital and vets (the vets transfer the animals back to the hospital over night) for a few days. During this time I never had to deal with any medial bills whatsoever, it was all dealt with between Tesco's and the vet and hospital. That was such a strain taken off my shoulders and to add to the fantastic customer care I had already received they called me at the end of the week to see how Charlie was getting one. Would I recommend Tesco's for pet insurance - most definitely. They went above and beyond what I could ever have expected.
I have two dogs which I insure with the Kennel Club. They were formally called Crufts Insurance but have recently been taken over by another insurance company, Agria. You can still apply via the Kennel Club link.
My experiences of owning pets has told me that having insurance can be very helpful. All of my last six dogs have had tumours and required surgery for these as well as tests to check for malignancy. As well as this I've had a dog that fell down a hill whilst chasing rabbits and impaled herself on a broken tree trunk. She required two lots of surgery to remove debris and have stitches. One of my dogs also managed to get a grass seed embedded in his neck and this required surgical removal after it caused a cyst.
It's these larger unexpected issues that pet insurance is most helpful for. I've had to take my dogs to the vets for many minor conditions too such as eczema, ear infections, eye infections and other issues but because with my policy you have to pay the first £50 of any charges and then can only claim a percentage of following charges the amount you'd get back is almost negligible for me so I usually don't bother putting a claim in. I also worry that the charges will rise with every claim.
As my dogs have gotten older the policy charges have increased dramatically. It started out at £17 when they were puppies and I'm now paying around £27. It's quite a lot of money but I worked out that the cost of my two dog's operations combined was still more than I'd paid in insurance costs. It's a comfort knowing that if anything happens to your pet you are protected.
I've had no problems with my insurance company and they have been helpful and courteous when I've contacted them. I've had all of my claims be successful after working with my veterinary surgeon to have forms signed and offer full explanations of why a particular treatment has been necessary.
I'd recommend that anyone with a young animal insure it as soon as you get your pet. This way you can be sure that you will be able to treat your pet should it have an unfortunate accident or come down with an unexpected illness.
Having been through the trauma and cost of surgery on a broken leg for my beautiful cat, coming in at almost a grand (£960), for the sake of as little as £2.93/month it really doesn't make sense not to have insurance. Look carefully at what's included- ideally you'd want to take out a lifetime plan as otherwise payment for conditions could stop after 12 months, or a fixed amount (e.g. £4000)- this may sound a lot but with the cost of relatively simple operations being so high, and the price for specialist tests and a consultant being truly exorbitant (£3000 for an MRI and interpretation by a consultant), for the sake of pennies a day the peace of mind you'll have should the worst happen really is beyond compare. Plus, most people can waste far more than that in a week, never mind a month!
I've been with two insurers, one was animal friends and the other petplan. Animal friends insurance were generally very good- they paid the vets direct (many expect you to pay then reimburse you), however I did have to fight quite hard to get them to pay for a condition, which was utterly unrelated to my cats pre-existing condition (a mechanical limp on his rear right leg following a femoral head excision)- even the vet offered to speak to them on my behalf! They did pay out, but it took a few weeks and sometimes you can't afford that amount of time. The cover that they offered for the price of the insurance though was extremely good and so we have taken another policy out with them, despite the above scenario. I was only with petplan for a month (came free when we picked up our kitten) and had no interaction with them so cannot rate them.
At times I feel a little like I live in a zoo, what with my moggie, a German Shepard and a nutty chocolate lab.
My first dog, a family pet, we had before the invention of the now so popular pet insurance and luckily was healthy throughout her whole life. When I got my own zoo, it was a difficult choce whether to py quite costly insurance premiums for each of my three animals or to take the chance, in the hope that they neve get unwell. We wentvforvthe costly option and now all three of my loveable pets are covered with pet plan! There is a variety of cover that you can choose from. We opted for the top end scale covered for life. This means unlike many insurers who will only over n illness or an injury for a year pet plan allows you to claim again and again each year, up to the set amount, for the same illness, this is on the condition that you renew the policy each year, which although means you don't have a lot of wiggle room in negotiating the price does give you piece of mind. I currently pay £12 for the cat, £30-37 for each dog every month.
It is worth bearing in mind that as with many insurers, it's worth reading the fine print, for example, pet plan state thatif your animal has not had regular check ups and inoculations you are not covered. It will also not cover for pre existing conditions.
It's personal choice to insure or not to insure, but the thought of having to have my animal put down or suffer e my budget doesn't stretch does not bear thinking about. So far despite having not the most intelligent animals who like to think they are indestructible we have yet to need to use it, but people who I know who have, have had nothing but good service
Pet Plan Steer Clear unless you have money to burn and time to waste.
Had my puppy taken to vets for first check up and was told he had a mild heart murmer nothing to worry about quite common in black lab puppies would more than likely grow out of it. They recomended pet plan for insurance and provided us with 28 days free cover from them which we continued to a full policy. 6 months later my dog is diagnosed with a terminal heart condition and the vets do all sorts of checks and scans and medication telling us its coverd so we just pay the £75 excess there and then and they fill all the paper work out. 2 Months of treatment and medication later we get a letter from pet plan that they are not paying as this is an existing condition and 5 phone calls just to speak to a supervisor about it. Absolutely no use. Waiting to appeal it with their complaints department and am told they will call me in the next 8 yes 8 weeks as they are busy. The Following day the vets then send me the bill for treatment so far £1400 and rising. Both sides just expect you to give up and pay NO WAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
After the death of my much-loved cat, my insurer - Marks & Spencer Money - deducted the remainder of the premiums for the year from the cheque they sent to cover the euthanasia and cremation expenses. That's something I really didn't expect from Marks & Spencer. It seems so insensitive. Surely there's no more risk to cover from a dead animal? The wording of the letter says: "you agreed to pay the full annual premium by monthly instalments."
The point is: the cat didn't last the year, so the rest of the cover is unnecessary.
No-one ever seems to mention this about pet insurance. Is this normal to enforce an ongoing liability for the premiums over the rest of the policy year?
I didn't take out the rock bottom option. so I expected better. But their premium service didn't even cover the full cost of a standard euthanasia and cremation.
I explicitly phoned them to notify them of the death and asked whether they automatically cancelled the policy. They said yes. That seems to indicate to me: no more premiums. Am I the only one that would assume that?
Talk about rubbing salt into a wound! I don't recall this happening with other pet insurers. Is it standard practice? If so, it should be campaigned against.
It's a horrid twist and the timing is rotten. I think it's iniquitous. Especially as the premiums and the excess climb when an elderly animal is involved.
So you find yourself with a non-human friend and after the first rush of love, reality sets in and you realise that Aneurin Bevan was only referring to the two-legged variety when he created the NHS with healthcare free, at the point of delivery, for all. You already know how much the vaccinations cost so you're under no illusion that the vet fees for any illnesses or accidents are going to cost you an arm and a leg. You want to keep all of your limbs so you venture into the murky (oh yes, very murky but more of that later) world of pet insurance.
Your experience of insurance is limited to car and home insurance. You get annual quotes for these, so you naively think that sorting out pet insurance will be a breeze. WRONG! And here's why:
Securing pet insurance for the year after
If you opt for the (usually cheaper) 12 month policies and subsequently make a claim then NO insurance company will cover your pet for that condition for the following year. Far be it for me to suggest that pet insurance companies are crooks but I would suggest that anything vaguely associated with that condition is also unlikely to be covered too.
The answer is to get lifetime cover. Now this is a whole can of worms in itself because the definitions of lifetime vary greatly from company to company. Some companies will regard lifetime cover as the insuring of your pet up to a certain sum and a continuation of cover in subsequent years until the financial sum is reached. All well and good but for an animal developing a long-term condition in its early years this financial sum is quickly reached and then you're in the position of no other insurance company touching you (by you, I really mean your pet) with a bargepole.
The best cover to get is a lifetime policy that has a financial sum of cover that recurs on an annual basis. So in the example of a £4000 policy, the company will (hopefully) pay out up to that amount in Year 1 and again in Year 2 etc. This is very important because if by some misfortune your pet develops a lifelong condition then you're stuck with the insurer for the duration (no shopping around next year for you)!
Talking of shopping around in the following year, what I've learnt is that you will not be rewarded for not claiming as nearly all of the companies offer low premiums in the first year and then hike them up later. The moral of this robbing story is to move companies each year, unless you're in the unfortunate situation of being stuck with an insurer because of a claim. Arghhhhh - they get you all ways don't they?!
The lack of a good comparison site
Unlike car insurance, there are no good comparison sites for pet insurance. Gocompare.com (excuse the quick burst into advertising song for a moment) do offer a comparison site but it returns results based on the best price and generally these tend to be the companies that offer limited cover for 12 months only. In my opinion, they're really only useful for animals who have one-off accidents and who is really going to pay £100 or so a year just to cover that eventuality? (Me, that's who until I saw the light!) Anyway, the message is don't bother with gocompare.
There is a site www.defaqto.com that rates pet insurance policies in terms of their quality on a star-rating basis and it is very comprehensive but to be honest, a bit of a faff to use. You can't for example, get a list of all of the five star policies; you have to search for each policy individually.
Your particular animal's needs
Crossbreed animals are generally cheaper to insure as they have fewer genetic problems. Whatever the animal, it is important to have some knowledge of the illnesses that animal is prone to and to then make sure that the treatment for that illness is adequately covered by the policy.
For example, I have a labradoodle (I know, I know, very silly name for a cross between a Labrador and a poodle) and they are prone to hip problems and hydrotherapy is apparently recommended. However, many companies fail to cover this so it's worth checking out the small print.
A good way of trying to search for insurance which meets your animal's needs is to lurk in forums related to your animal (there's bound to be one) and gauge other users experiences of pet insurance.
So after all that, my experience...
It goes without saying that this section relates to my personal experience of a healthy young, crossbreed dog and living where I live (your location counts too but given that I thought it unlikely that any of you would move to secure lower premiums I didn't elaborate too much on that).
For me, the companies rated five star (by Defaqto) and offering true lifetime cover were Argos (surprisingly), M&S, Halifax, Greenbee and Petplan. The premiums varied between £11.19 per month (Argos) and £32.50 (Petplan). Reviewing users' experiences of these companies on a variety of sites reveals that there isn't much in it, in terms of positive experiences with claiming. Vets seem to like Petplan but I, for one, can't justify a premium of nearly three times that of another contender!
I'm torn between Argos and M&S. Argos is underwritten by an unknown Swedish company (which probably unfairly, makes me nervous) and M&S don't fare so well in terms of reviews. Whilst their policies are both very comprehensive the fear of being stuck with a poor company for future years leaves me still undecided. Ultimately, it's still all a bit of a gamble no matter how much you research.
So there you have it. Good luck with your attempts in the pet insurance world. At the end of it, you'll feel as if your head is going to explode and believe me, you have my deepest sympathies!
When my daughter got her got her Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy, we all enjoyed having him at home, a playful little thing with a clumsy way that made you laugh and was a joy to have about. She bought him with her money from her wages as she had wanted a dog for a long time, but I was adamant over the years that if she wanted a dog she had to wait until she was old enough to be able to look after one herself, after all a dog is a huge responsibility for a child to take on.
They are for life and need love and commitment. So she saved and bought him when she was eighteen. He is her dog but lives here with us as she is still at home and she has been brilliant with him.
Trained him from an early puppy to be a very obedient young dog now that he is two years old.
He will sit and wait patiently as she makes his food in his dish, he never begs and lays down in another room when we are eating at the table, you can even leave food on a plate on the front room table and go out for the day and he won't pinch it. He sits in the window waiting for her if she goes out and is a really loving dog.
As a responsible dog owner, when he got to be one year old she began to think about having him castrated, she did not want him to breed with other dogs as the thought of him having puppies and not knowing where the puppies had been homed to was a bit worrying for her, as he is a good looking brindle dog with a little white on his chest and a bulky staffie, she was getting asked for him to be a stud dog by a few people in town.
She couldn't bear to think that one of his offspring might be homed to someone who may not treat it right and it end up in a dogs home, so she decided the best thing to do was have him castrated at the vets.
After spending money on his injections when he was younger and worming tablets and his regular check ups at the vets, she decided to buy pet insurance.
I have a car policy with Endsleigh and have been happy with them for a few years so we checked out the pet insurance with them.
It's a costly thing to have a dog as vet fees are not cheap. The castration of a dog costs £180 at our local vets, add this to the worming tablets, regular check ups of weight and health when they are growing up and their injections and your looking at more than £ 400.
This is without including any ailments that they might have in their life to come.
We bought a policy from Endsleigh for £112.09 a year.
You may think this sounds a lot but it is broken down into monthly payments which can be paid by direct debit every month at £9. 34
This is for cover for life and it covers up to £1000 of vet fees and this is peace of mind when anything goes wrong with your pet.
To date Mampi Swift has been to the vets, for sensitive skin which was due to an allergic reaction to some additives in his dog food. Vet fees £240 as it took three visits to the vets to find what was causing the reaction and to clear it up with the medication. The insurance paid up within three weeks of the claim, we had to pay the first £50 excess.
He was loves to chew twigs and wood and when visiting a friends house who has bamboo in their garden he couldn't resist having a nibble at a piece that had snapped off in the winds and was on the floor, I'm not sure why but this made him sick for a few days, so another trip to the vets at £85 was claimed.
He has just gone two years old and has already been to the vets a couple of times for ailments and I'm sure its not the last time he'll go.
The insurance policy has already saved us money on vet fees and medicines for him and I'm glad we got pet insurance for him as it has been a good decision to have.
If you have a dog I'm sure its worth thinking about, after all you never know when they will be ill.
We also have cover if he causes damage to a third party of up to £1000,000 and he is covered for travel of up to 30 days overseas.
We have a bronze policy which is just a basic one but you can go silver or gold for more cover, but these cost a little more. They do however, cover more things like, early death, advertising if you have your pet stolen, accidents, theft, bereavement counselling for you if you lose your pet and other things, but we just wanted to be covered for the vet fee's as they can occur anytime in a dogs life.
If your thinking of getting your pet insured then Endsleigh is a good place to start looking, they are helpful and pay out quickly if you have to claim, I have had no quibble with them so far so can recommend them to you.
They can be searched online by typing Endsleigh into your search engine.
As a dog owner I had never considered pet insurance until a friend of mine found out the hard way, that if your dog is injured the costs can be huge. Her extremely bouncy spaniel, caught his foot down a rabbit hole whilst out walking, breaking his leg in 2 places. After the first basic tests then more intensive testing the dog needed surgery with has to be everyone's nightmare. 4 hours and lots of heartache later the leg was fixed and the dog on his way to recovery.
This is where the real pain and suffering raised its ugly head. With all the tests and then the operation the bill almost totalled £3000. If the dog had been insured all that would have been paid is the vets bill and then the excess, totalling £248.
I have both my dogs insured, and if I never have to use it at least I have the peace of mind that they are covered if anything were to happen
I WOULDNT TOUCH THEM WITH A BARGE POLE. We have 2 dogs who were both insured with Marks and Spencer's, unfortunately one of them had to have surgery. When Marks and Spencer's change underwriters from Axa to Royal sun alliance they conveniently forgot to transfer the dog who we claimed on leaving our pet uninsured., unfortunately we did not realize this for some time and they took over a month to sort out their error and we had to chase majority of that time with very few returned phone calls. They are now refusing to continue the same cover even though it was there fault in the first place, but will start a new policy not covering the original reason for surgery.I WOULDNT TOUCH THEM WITH A BARGE POLE.
We had a really bad experience with the Kennel Club's own insurance when our puppy died. They tool a whole year's premiums out of the payout and decided that visits to different vets (for the same problem) weren't related and charged an excess on each one. When we got a new puppy we were advised to look around and found a useful website at www.petinsurancecompare.com which let us look at pretty much all the pet insurance providers and make a comparison between them.
To be honest I wasn't aware that there were so many variables in choosing a policy and it was very helpful that this site had a guide which pointed out all the different things to look for. It doesn't swamp you with information but all the questions are laid out in simple terms. There are separate pages for dogs and cats (and horses) so that you can compare policies with ease. I thoroughly recommend them.
I have had pet insurance for the last ten years of my pets life and i would highly recommend it. I worked as a veterinary nurse for several years and i can honestly say that sadly those with pet insurance get a much better standard of care than those without. That is because their owners can agree to many more diagnostic tests without thought of how much it will cost. In the early years it doesn't really cost alot and the customer excesses are low, it does however rise and my ten year old dog now cost approx 30 pound a month with petplan. I know also that there are many cheaper companys than petplan but be warned there are often numerous clauses, small print and exclusions. Petplan i would highly recommend. Tesco and sainsburys were also good basic policys. Saga and Direct Line stood out as two nigtmare companies. But my basic advise is SOMETHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING! Trust me i know first hand how big vets bills can be (although more justified than people think) and i knew many customers whos pets had ongoing conditions who had claimed thousands. Get insurance for dogs, cats and horses but don't bother with rabbits etc especially if there are exclusions covering dental prob, eye and absecesses which i would say is the three main ailments your rabbit is ever likely to get. Get any pet insured early, the longer you leave it the more exclusions will be tagged on your policy and most won't insure past 8.
Pet insurance is the most important aspect to owning a pet in my opinion- it has to be. This is for the sake of the animals, their welfare has to be paramount, and I would like to see a basic form of insurance mandatory for owning a dog or a cat, just as it is for owning a car for reasons I will explain.
My daughter is about to qualify as a vet and it has been a long hard road and one she is passionate about. Her training has taken her to the cutting edge of veterinary medicine and without the insurance companies paying for more difficult cases to be referred to vet schools for expert treatment, not only would many of these animals die, but also new treatments would never be developed.
The truth is not just for the complicated cases it begins with the basics. Many breeds have specific problems, Westies are prone to skin troubles, King Charles Spaniels to heart problems, and Alsatians to a certain type of tumour which can be fatal, but any animal gets sick anytime, and often with no warning on the worst day of the year. We spent Boxing Day in our emergency vets this year with Marigold, one of our cats, with a severe viral infection. The waiting room was heaving and the fees mounting.
We bought a beautiful Persian cat and called him Teddy. We insured him and fully expected he would live to a ripe old age like some of our other cats. Sadly about age 7 he began to show signs of illness, increased thirst, lethargy, and a poor coat condition and he was diagnosed with polycystic kidneys in the end, a genetic disease, though his case was complicated because he also showed signs of a much more common condition, that of inflammatory bowel. He needed expert renal care and he was referred to the London Vet School where tests revealed he had only one poorly functioning kidney. They kept him comfortable and treated him very well indeed, though his condition was found to be terminal and he died not long after. The bills for treatment were over £4000. Without insurance we would have been forced to stop investigations at a much earlier stage, and if he had been suffering from a complicated case of bowel disease he may have lived on. Instead his case was a study for the vet students who were able to learn and understand how complicated some illnesses can be, and certainly the qualified staff were able to benefit immensely from seeing and investigating his case thoroughly.
Most importantly we were left with the comforting thought that at no stage did money ever come into the equation to carry on or not-that decision was made purely on clinical signs, and whether it was kind to Teddy or not.
Only 2 years ago our Shih Tzu developed a corneal ulcer. This is a serious condition and almost led to blindness in one eye in her case. She has an allergy to anaesthetics and as we had insurance we were offered the alternative to surgery of using a special contact lens called a bandage to cover the wound to promote healing. She actually had three of these as they fell out with regularity, but the treatment was successful though rather costly at £600 in total.
In general terms there are 2 really salient points to think about when deciding whether to purchase insurance or not.
1 How will I feel if my animal gets ill unexpectedly, and will I be able to find the money easily or not if it runs into thousands?
2 How will I cope with the guilt if I have to deny treatment which could save a life or even prolong it in good quality?
I have several friends, quite comfortably off, who I have heard say they look the other way when they see a symptom they recognise may be warranting a vet trip because they fear the cost. One particular friend has an elderly cat who is always thirsty-it may have renal failure or diabetes, and I wonder if she would like to be permanently thirsty day in and day out.
Other important points are
1.Who will be responsible if my dog gets out and causes an accident on the road?-Insurance may cover this if you select the right policy.
2.What will happen if my dog is ill and can't go in the kennels. What happens to my holiday I have paid for? This should be covered.
So what insurance should I buy?
In my opinion there are two really important points to make here.
Firstly the ideal policy is one which covers the animal for life. This is why you cannot go onto a website and say a company is cheaper than other because there are two different products out there being sold, and you really need to understand how they differ. A lifelong policy works like this. Say your dog called "Muddle" gets diabetes; he will have it for life so each year your insurer will cover the cost for this condition. If however you have bought a simple policy which is not lifelong at renewal all bills for that will not be covered. The simple policy is always cheaper and it is better than nothing, however you must be aware of this. Whilst ideal for the odd accident, it will not cover a long-term condition for more than one year. Some of these simple policies seem to cloak this fact promoting their cheap policy cost, and you need to really study the wording carefully. Owning one of these policies, if it is not lifelong, and sifting through the document hoping for a miracle, may be as good as reorganising the deckchairs on the titanic if you need to claim for an ongoing problem over the renewal date. They will say it is not covered and you could face a fortune in bills.
Secondly look also at the vet fees cover when comparing policies as some are very low, and if your dog gets cancer and requires chemotherapy in a vet hospital, this really can be thousands, so if you can afford it buy the policy with the highest level.
Until recently Petplan who are a subsidiary of Cornhill Insurance who are the market leader in the sale of lifelong policies used to cover dogs for unlimited vet fees, but now it is capped at £12000, but this is adequate for peace of mind whatever happens. The Marks and Spencer Plan is also excellent and is provided by Axa and will cover you for £7000 each year for your dog (less for cats).There are other companies to look at but the vet fees cap will be less and you really need to look at this because you could if you are unlucky end up in the middle of treatment worrying if your insurance will reach the limit. Some firms such as, More Than, Direct Line Advanced Policy and Sainsbury's will insure conditions for life but up to a capped amount for life which if your animal falls ill when young it may be very inadequate.
Another thing to consider if the amazing benefit some alternative treatments make to the lives of dogs such as hydrotherapy and acupunture, many of these are now covered and this can relieve pain and suffering for dogs will all kinds of conditions.
Many policies also have cover for advertising costs if your pet goes missing, and kennel fees should you be in hospital and unable to look after your pet.
The policy will have an excess which you will have to pay which rises with age and also you must keep your animal vaccinated and up to date with routine worming or the policy will be invalidated. Furthermore you will find age restrictions on taking out new policies so it pays to get with a lifelong cover policy sooner rather than later when it may not be possible. In the case of dogs this is normally 8 for small breeds and less for large.
What people often forget when they shudder at the large vet bills is that the equipment in vet surgeries is very costly to buy and to service. Veterinary medicine is making new discoveries all the time and pets are benefitting from it.
My cat recently lived to 20 and she had an over active thyroid treated for 3 years with medication. She sat in the garden in her favourite spot enjoying the flowers and at peace when three years before she was gasping for breath with a heart rate off the scale, eating 10 tins of cat food a day and losing weight like crazy. Those 3 cat years were transformed by the treatment and she died a comfortable and happy old lady. Isn't that what we want for all our animals?
In this economic climate sadly it is one monthly expense we could all do without. I wish I could say it wasn't necessary, but I feel it has to be if you want to give the best to your pet whatever happens and no one has a crystal ball.
Pet insurance is one of those things that you hope you will never need, and it is tempting not to bother with yet another monthly expense, but I would have to say that I would always recommend getting some cover for a cat or dog if you can afford to. Having worked in a veterinary surgery for some years I have seen many times peoples' shock at the size of their bill, and the heartbreaking decision over whether or not all the recommended tests and treatment can be undertaken. The relief is huge when you can say 'do everything possible'.
I would certainly say it is wise to shop around and definitely read the smallprint of all policies, as if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. On the whole you tend to get what you pay for, and the policies which offer 'cover for life' (i.e. you can carry on claiming for the same condition year after year) are usually more expensive.
Deciding on a provider or a policy is a personal choice and depends on your own needs and situation, but generally speaking I would recommend having pets insured. Just don't try taking out a policy after the animal is already ill as they won't pay out!
I have had insurance for my dog since I first bought her. Rather foolishly I just went with the company that I had been given 8 weeks free cover with from the breeder that I purchased the dog from. It was only when it was due for renewal that I shopped around and found the same bundle for much much cheaper!
I was originally with Pet Plan but when it came to renewal it was nearly £100 more than the first year - I think partly to do with the fact that after my free trial I also got an offer from my vets for 12 months for the price of 10. They did offer a good service and were always helpful and quick to send details through but it was a cover that was a little out of my price range - £260+ for a years cover.
I moved to Sainsburys Pet Insurance and was offered the same cover for life - up to £6000 per illness or treatment regardless of how long it went on for with a £75 excess. No problems with them so when it came up for renewal again recently I once again looked into a few different insurance providers and once again found Sainsburys to be the best.
It was not the cheapest, but by far not the most expensive. The reason I have stayed with them was the cover for life, or until they pay out their total which has gone up to £7000 per treatment or illness. Cheaper insurances offered a set fee for a year but once the year was up they would no longer pay for something. It also includes money for alternative treatments and behaviourist treatment as well as liability cover.
I pay around £14 a month which I am happy with. I received great customer service when I have called. Paperwork arrived quickly. As of yet I haven't needed to make a claim and hope I don't ever need to but I feel that it would be dealt with well with Sainsburys.
No matter who I go with I would look for a cover for life, not just the one year as a main point and then the cost. As long as I can insure my dog I will continue to do so.