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.
Pet insurance take-up in Ireland is relatively low compared to countries like Sweden, who have around 70% of their pets insurance.
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.
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.
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.
When it comes a cat or dog with hereditary or congenital conditions, policies do not normally cover conditions or diseases your pet was born with.
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.