What is pet insurance?
Pet insurance helps protect your pets and guard against unexpected vet bills when they need treatment. Some policies will help with costs when your cat or dog gets stolen, goes missing, or dies.
The benefits of pet cover and the price of pet insurance depends on the type and cover you choose to insure your dog, cat or other small pet.
Many pet insurers offer a choice of plans, ranging from basic to premium. The type of plan you choose will affect the price you pay per month, so the more benefits you need, the more it will cost you.
What pet insurance covers
In addition to vet fees, other benefits will depend on the level of cover you choose. Insurance for pets typically covers the following:
Always check your policy carefully before buying because there may be exclusions, especially with cheaper plans.
What animals does pet insurance cover?
Almost all pet insurers in Ireland offer both dog insurance and cat insurance.
You can also get cover for rabbits, horses, birds, or exotic pets, but your choice of insurer will be more limited.
Does pet insurance cover dental treatment?
Emergency dental treatment is sometimes covered, however, insurers may stipulate that your pet has had a health check within the last 12 months. It is advisable to read the terms and conditions carefully.
Can pets with pre-existing conditions get insured?
Yes, you can still insure your pet, but insurance providers won’t cover treatment for the pre-existing condition. For example, if your dog has diabetes - you will not be covered for any illness caused by complications of diabetes.
Can I insure an older pet?
Pet insurance in Ireland is typically available for cats and dogs between 8 weeks old and six years of age. However, Lifetime plans may cover your cat or dog beyond six years if you renew your policy continuously from an earlier age.
Types of pet insurance
There are different types of pet insurance policies for your dogs and cats. The type of policy will affect how comprehensively you are covered.
This means the insurer does not limit either the amount you can claim or the length of time you can claim for a specific condition.
This is often the cheapest policy available and covers any treatment your pet may need after an accident. It does not cover other illnesses.
This annual cover only protects your pet for 12 months. Any conditions that occur after that period will not be covered. A good choice if your pet has a time-limited illness or injury.
Tips to get the best pet insurance
The best pet insurance is the one that protects your pet, offers peace of mind and suits your budget.
Choose the right amount of cover
The amount of cover you need will depend on how much protection your pet needs, but bear in mind the level of cover you choose will affect the price of your monthly premium.
Vet fees are typically covered by up to €4,000 per year in Ireland. Cheaper Accident Only plans tend to cover up to €2,000.
The following factors can help you decide:
Check for policy exclusions
This will depend on the type of pet insurance policy you choose. Most insurers will not cover the cost of the following:
Watch Charles Cosgrave of Village Vets give his expert view on pet insurance and what you need to know before buying
How much does pet insurance cost in Ireland?
For a young, mixed-breed dog, you can expect to pay around €16.00 per month.
Typically monthly premiums for pet insurance can be as little as €7 for mixed breed cats or over €50 per month for an older pedigree dog.
The price of your policy depends on:
- breed of your dog or cat
- age of your pet
- the health of your pet
- level of cover
Is pet insurance worth it?
If you shop around for the best-priced policy that fits your needs, insurance for dogs and cats could save you money if your pet is injured, falls ill, or goes missing.
The age, health, and breed of your pet, plus the level of cover you choose, will all affect your pet insurance costs, so gather quotes and compare prices to find the best cover.
Just remember to read the terms and conditions of your policy document carefully to check you’re covered for what you need and check for exclusions.
How to reduce the cost of pet insurance
The cheapest pet insurance quote may not always be the best cover for your pet; nevertheless, it’s worth shopping around for the best price.
Here are some other things you can do to secure a cheaper pet insurance quote:
Where to buy cat and dog insurance
There are several pet insurance providers in Ireland; Here’s a list to help you compare quotes and get the best cover for your pet.
Pet Insurance FAQs
Can I insure a cat or dog with hereditary or congenital conditions?
Policies do not normally cover conditions or diseases your pet was born with.
When will cover start after buying pet insurance?
After purchasing a policy, you will be excluded from claiming for illness for 14 days or 48 hours for accident or injury. You will be fully covered after this time.
Does dog insurance or cat insurance cover damage to my furniture?
No, if your pet damages your furniture this isn’t usually covered by a pet insurance policy. It may, however, be included in a comprehensive contents insurance policy.
Does pet insurance cover complementary treatments?
Yes, some insurers do offer cover for complementary therapies such as homeopathy or osteopathy, but you should always check this is the case. Any treatment would have to be carried out by your vet and terms and conditions will apply.
How can I trust my insurance provider?
Pet insurance providers should be regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland, so check the fine print for evidence.
Is my pet covered for foreign travel?
Some premium plans may cover your dog abroad, but check for exclusions. Insurers rarely offer travel insurance for your pet.
What does third-party liability mean?
Third-party insurance covers you if you become liable for damage or injury caused by your pet. Cover can pay up to €250,000. This is only available for dogs and exclusions may apply.
What is a policy excess?
The excess is the amount you have to contribute before the insurer pays out, much like home insurance. It is typically about €100 for standard claims and €350 for third-party liability.
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