Skip to main content

Pets bring a great deal to our lives: companionship, joy, laughter, unconditional love, even healthy habits by getting us up and active. So it’s no surprise that in their time of need, when they become unwell or have an accident, owners want to provide the very best in medical and emergency treatment, and to do so promptly. The good news is that veterinary medicine has come on leaps and bounds over the years and continues to develop ever more sophisticated treatments, surgeries, diagnostics, and equipment in general.

Veterinary surgeons, and veterinary nurses too, really know their stuff, completing Continued Professional Development in the form of structured learning every year. This keeps us up to date with all the latest improvements within our field that we can bring right back to those who matter – our patients. All these skills, techniques and equipment come at a cost, and this is why most owners find a good pet insurance policy useful, and in many cases even vital. With the average insurance claim being £822 (and many claims reaching the £1000’s), it is wise for pet owners to ask themselves whether these funds could be found in the absence of being covered.

A bit about veterinary fees

The veterinary practice is a different place to what it was even a few decades ago. Within our profession, vets and nurses have always made the most of whatever techniques and equipment they’ve had available to them at the time. However, we haven’t always had laparoscopic (keyhole) surgical equipment, CT and MRI scanners, advanced anaesthetic monitoring equipment, sophisticated molecular medicine, cataract surgery, hip replacement surgery, and more, available to us. And these techniques and technologies come at a cost. Take in-house blood testing machines for example; it is a wonderful thing to be able to provide same-day test results, they promote swift and accurate diagnoses and treatment. But the hiring of equipment, and the time and expertise required to run and analyse these tests all need to be covered.

Tough decisions

When a pet becomes poorly, our priority is to diagnose their condition as soon as possible, and to implement the most effective treatment plan at the earliest opportunity. This provides the best chance of recovery for pets. Where there are not sufficient funds for the most appropriate diagnostic tests and treatments, it might be possible to take a more conservative, potentially less costly approach initially. However, conversely, this can lead to lengthy recoveries or long hospital stays, and the process can actually end up costing just as much, or even more. What’s more, owners feel a sense of guilt for not being able to provide their pet with a gold standard of care. These emotions are heightened in an emergency situation, when owners are required to make rapid decisions in order to ease their pet’s suffering. Gastric dilation volvulus (twisted gut), pyometra (infected uterus) and caesarean section surgeries, for example, usually top the £1000 mark, and not everyone has a spare grand laying around for these things. For these reasons, having a good quality insurance policy in place means that owners can make clear-headed decisions without financial concerns or pressures, when their pet needs them most.

A bit about insurance policies

Not all policies are the same. We recommend a lifetime policy which (as long as it is maintained) covers a pet for the entirety of their lives for any covered condition. Annual policies are also available; however, they only cover a pet for 12 months. Consider osteoarthritis, or heart disease, or diabetes; these are generally lifelong illnesses with very necessary and costly treatments.

Look also for a policy which covers an unlimited number of health problems, and with a decent sum of money available per condition. Some providers will pay out a maximum sum for all problems meaning that if your pet receives ongoing heart tablets, the amount available for a fracture repair is vastly reduced.

When deciding how much to cover your pet for, consider that broken bones can cost thousands to fix, and that a lengthy stay in hospital can also reach multiple thousands of pounds too. There’s nothing worse than spending money on a policy which isn’t sufficient when it is needed.

We are a Vetsure accredited practice and feel they offer excellent insurance products with all sorts of seemingly small, but very useful perks. For example, there is only ever one excess fee to pay per condition, compared to paying an excess each year as with some other companies. They also cover special diets, death of a pet, loss or theft of a pet, advertising and even monetary rewards when a pet goes missing. You can find out more about these policies right here on our website.

NB: Average claim statistic source =