6 Easy Ways to Save Money on Pet Insurance

By on June 24, 2013

Looking to reduce your pet ownership costs? Understand the importance of insuring your pet's health? Our handy little guide shows you six simple ways to save money when buying pet insurance for your dog.

Overlap your Policies

This sounds counter-intuitive, because you’re essentially paying for two policies, but almost all pet insurance policies have a two-week exclusion. This is a clause that pet insurers use to prevent you from making a claim in the first two weeks of a policy. The pet insurance industry would argue that this deters pet owners with sick or injured pets from buying insurance, waiting it out for a few days and then making a claim.

The only way to get around this is to start one policy two weeks before the current one ends. Yes, you’ll be paying twice for insurance, but it’s cheaper than paying for one policy that you can’t actually claim on.

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Six Ways to Save Money on Pet Insurance

The benefit of pet insurance, aside from covering your veterinary costs and other expenses, is that knowing you’re covered relieves you of the horrible quandary that many pet owners face every day, namely worrying about whether they can afford veterinary care when they should be worrying about their dog. But pet insurance can be expensive and still, many dog owners neglect to get their pet covered, so says Sean O'Meara, former editor of K9 Magazine and now editor of consumer affairs website Watch My Wallet has six easy-to-follow tips to ensure you keep those premiums down to a minimum.

Shop Around

It sounds like obvious advice, but you really need to do this. You’ll be amazed at how much difference there can be between quotes. Have you ever wondered why insurance quotes vary so much?

It’s because insurance underwriters have a very specific idea of who their ideal customer is and they actually use their pricing to deter customers that don’t fit into their target demographic. Think about it, if you’re a car owner, certain pet insurance companies want you regardless of the breed and age of your pet so they can flog you (much more profitable) car insurance on top of pet insurance. But if you don’t fit into that demographic, they’ll price you away from their product. If you’re willing to pay it anyway, the insurer wins. But to other insurers, you’re exactly the kind of customer they’re looking for and the price will reflect this.

Stay Loyal

Yes, that’s a direct contradiction of the previous point, but bear with me. If you’re smart, you can save money by not changing. For example, if your dog develops a condition during his policy, that becomes a pre-existing condition the minute you start shopping around. Make sure you get quotes when renewal time comes around, but know when you’re onto a good thing.

Only Pay for what you Need

Got an English Bulldog with a history of skin problems? You’ll be needing a comprehensive medical plan. Got an elderly Chihuahua who never leaves the house? You’ll be needing veterinary cover, but do you really need extra cover to pay for advertising or lost earnings in case he goes missing? Maybe you do, but the trick is to assess your dog’s lifestyle and find the policy that only covers the risks your dog is exposed to. If you don’t take holidays, don’t pay for holiday cancellation cover. That’s the sort of thinking that’ll save you money.

Make your Dog More Insurable

Investing in good fencing for the garden and microchipping your dog are two ways you can reduce your premiums. The savings will pay for the initial outlay in a few years.

Reduce your Dog’s Exposure to Risk

Emergency veterinary appointments cost UK pet owners an average of £118m a year. The more times you claim for veterinary care, the higher your premium becomes. Lock away harmful substances, fence off steep, slippery areas of the garden and keep your bins free from sharp objects – these are just three ways you can help keep your dog out of the veterinary surgery.

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