The importance of insuring your dog

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Best Buy:  Pet Insurance

Price:   depending on your dog’s age, but with benefits

Owned by:  The Equine and Livestock Insurance Company

My rating:  an absolute 10 out of 10


As you know, Indy has gone through thick and thin when it comes to health issues. But since we adopted him, we never looked at pet insurance plans. This has proven to be one of our biggest mistakes as dog owners, which has turned most expensive for us.

That it why today I would like to discuss the importance of insuring your dog, and I would like to introduce you to one of the top rated pet insurance plans: Pet Insurance, pets best dog insurance and, I believe, an affordable dog health insurance!

Indy’s medical history

When we adopted Indy, we rescued him from a family friend who could no longer look after him, as threatened with homelessness. We took Indy home, but nothing else of him: no birth records, no pedigree, no history at all.

Indy originally came from a border terrier breeder, who by the sound of it was a bit of an unscrupulous person. He would only sell on the top ‘sample’ babies, and ‘get rid of’ those pups that he deemed not a good sale as just not perfect. I shall leave to your imagination what the ‘get rid of’ involved.

Story goes that Indy was one of the imperfect, and had been kept in the garden shed, away from prying eyes of potential buyers, for fear that this may ruin the perfect reputation of the breeder as a ‘manufacturer’ of top quality Borders. Indy was taken from one of breeder’s relatives and passed on from person to person, till finally and thankfully he found his final and permanent home with us.


Why we never insured Indy

I am not telling you this tear jerking tale about our Indy to move you to pity. Indy was a very happy dog when he came to us, full of life and energy. And we would like to think that he is happy with us.

But, our fears at the time were that no insurance broker would ever accept Indy under their policy as we had no documentation of ever Indy having been registered with any trust, let alone with the Kennel Club.

Remember, this was some 7 years ago. And insurances have become more flexible and less expensive as the financial market has become more competitive. But that is another story.

Rest to say that, as time went by, we kept paying for Indy’s vet consultations and for his first surgeries: from neutering (ouch!!) to his first teeth removal (ouch for both Indy and for our purse), to the removal of various lumps every so often.

And by the time we started summing up our expenses in vet and surgeon’s bills, we deemed Indy not young enough to be considered by insurance brokers altogether.  Indy was 7 by then, and my husband’s thinking process was the same as when he compares motor insurances.  And I … well, for once I went along with his thinking process.


Insuring an older dog is possible

What we have spent on Indy’s medical treatment has not overly affected us so far.  We are only a working class family, our earnings are, like for many, fruit of our hard work.  But as treatment has always been far in between, it has enabled us to recover and save again what we had just recently spent on the most recent treatment.

However with Indy’s cancer diagnosis, things did turn for the worse financially.

I have already mentioned in one of my past blogs (check out Indy’s journey through cancer) that Indy was diagnosed with cancer at the beginning of December last year.  And as soon as the consultant put to us the possibility for Indy’s cancer to be removed and for surgeon to be able to extend his life with a post-op course of melanoma vaccine, without compromising his quality of life, we did not even ask what the surgery and the treatment would cost.  To us there was no question: we were going to go for it!

And we do not regret our decision a single bit.  Indy is well and kicking, in spite of now being an older dog.  He completed his melanoma vaccine at the end of March and yes, being 13 years of age (well, that will be in June), he sleeps more than he used to.  But as we waved goodbye to the colder Winter spells and before the weather gets too hot (which Indy will be struggling with, as he always has in the past), at the moment he is still enjoying his toys, his food of course, and his adventurous walks – and sometimes even very long walks!!

One of Indy’s favourite walks is in the horse roamed field, rolling in the grass smelling of horse manure 🙂

But we realised that, had we looked and shopped around more closely, we could have insured Indy.  And we could have insured him in older age as much as when we adopted him age 5.  And we could have insured him in spite of his busy medical history.


No time like the present with Pet Insurance

I have only come across Pet Insurance a short while ago.  Pet Insurance is not the sole insurance broker to cover pet health for their entire life span and regardless of previous medical history, but it is certainly unique in what it charges.  Have a look at the quotation they offered us for Indy:

£13.85 per calendar month is based on Indy’s age naturally, but if you go for the more expensive option of £230 per annum, you actually save nearly £100 over the 12 months.  And look at how many benefits you get by joining the more basic Standard Cover plan!

Benefits include:

  • Holiday Cancellation – not an item that many policies are happy to cover, this naturally applies only if and when caused by your dog having some health issue that prevent you from going away
  • Vets Fees – of course this is one item that all pet insurance policies cover, but the maximum expense cover is up to £3,000, whereas Pet Insurance increases that cover up to £4,000.  Such figure in our case would have cover for Indy’s cancer surgery
  • Multiple Pet Cover – if you have a number of dogs and cats, with Pet Insurance you do not have to take separate cover for each of your pets, but you can purchase one policy to cover all of them at the same time.  And on multiple covers Pet Insurance offers you 10% discount!
  • Beginner’s Discount – last but not lease, Pet Insurance at the moment offers a mighty 45% discount (yes, I said 45% off!!!) when you join for the first time.  You cannot beat that!!!


Benefits of the Life Cover with Pet Insurance

But the above benefits on a Standard Cover plan are not the only ones that Pet Insurance offers.  Pet Insurance offers a Life Cover, which guarantees cover for the whole life span of your dog, or any other pet, at a discounted rate of approximately £100 per year compared with the Standard Cover.

This particular type of plan is deemed to be most suitable especially for dogs who have an ongoing ailment, such as arthritis, or diabetes.

And the difference between the Life Cover and the Standard Cover is that with the latter one you pay for 12 months and then have to renew your application.  The Life Cover on the other hand is an ongoing plan, which will guarantee insurance cover for your dog continuously.


Why is it so important to insure your dog

In an ideal world, if there were a free health care service for pets as luckily it exists for humans (or at least in some countries such as UK), I would not have this conversation with you.  There would barely be any need for pet health insurance schemes.

But having a pet is seen as a luxury in most cases.  And although there are charities who cover medical care for cats and dogs, the help is only offered if the owners are in receipt of state welfare benefits themselves because out of work or with severe disabilities which prevent them from working.

Having your dog covered through an insurance scheme avoid dog owners ever having to be put before the choice of having your dog treated for medical intervention, or denying him or her medical care because you cannot afford it.

My husband up to recently has always said what we saved by not paying a monthly fee to an insurance broker could easily be spent whenever Indy needed medical assistance. Had we joined Pet Insurance sooner, what we might have paid to them in monthly or annual fees represents only a fraction of what we ended up paying for Indy’s cancer treatment.

Health care treatment for your dog is expensive, and unfortunately you never know what is round the corner when it comes to your dog’s well being – just like for humans.  An insurance scheme will ensure that, no matter what the expense, your dog will always be assisted whenever he or she requires medical help.  And Pet Insurance, with its flexibility and benefits, to me is the answer.


Best Buy:  Pet Insurance

Price:   depending on your dog’s age, but with benefits

Owned by:  The Equine and Livestock Insurance Company

My rating:  an absolute 10 out of 10


Is your dog insured?  Or did you have to go through expensive medical procedures for your dog, which you had to pay for yourself as not insured like us?  What is your story with your dog?  Share your thoughts below, leave your comment!!


  1. // Reply

    Oh, I didn’t realise there were so many reasons to insure your dog, this is a serious eye opener, I must get it sorted out of my end straight away, never heard of that pet insurance company and the benefits are fantastic. Thanks for your help here

    1. // Reply

      Oh yes William, if you are a dog owner, you will have realised by now that when it comes to ensuring your pet receives health care is a costly business. It could be said it is a business that is exploited for high profits. But on the other hand, if you think of all the times that a dog needs to be anaesthetised in order to do a simple x-ray, versus the x-ray of humans that don’t need immobilising, you can see how costs for dogs may soar so easily. And yet, you don’t want to have to choose. So yes, look into it William, before you get nasty surprises!

  2. // Reply

    Hey giulia,

    Couldn’t help but to feel for Indy when hearing how a breeder thinks. I really commend your love for this pet. My heart always cry for animals that need rescue.

    Insurance is very important with pets as they are part of the family and deserve the same security.

    Great post and much love sent Indus way!


    1. // Reply

      Thank you very much Shannon, I’m passing your love to Indy as we speak (by smothering him with kisses #lol). I’m glad you can see my point, Shannon. I was sharing the news of Indy’s cancer with a colleague at work in December, and she told me she suspected her dog had the same as the dog had a massive lump which she believed caused the dog discomfort – but she wasn’t even contemplating taking the dog to the vet, as too much money.
      Now, some people approach dog health from the point of view that in the past dogs were never taken to vets and lived till they died of ‘natural’ causes. I respect that view. But vet science has progressed as much as medicine, and why not let our dogs benefit from new discoveries if a pet insurance can help us with costs?
      I’ll never take Indy through unnecessary treatment. We’ll know when to stop, I. Sure, but until then, and if by God ‘s grace we can afford it, we are committed to give Indy the best in medical care there is out there xx

  3. // Reply

    Thank you for your information about pet insurance. I had no idea that multiple pets could be covered under one policy. That seems like a great deal!
    My husband and I are currently petless. But we are pet lovers and have been known to have 5 dogs at a time. I will keep this information for future use.

    Thank you,

    1. // Reply

      Oh yes please Evelyn. I’m told once a dog owner, always a dog owner. And who knows, you might find yourself mum to another pack of dogs before you know it!!

  4. // Reply

    I had no idea that pets could be so expensive. Is this only for certain breeds of dogs that are likely to have health issues?

    1. // Reply

      Hi Don, and don’t let me put you off from ever having a dog, if that’s what you are planning on doing? What a dog can give you in terms of love is absolutely nothing compared to however much you may end up having to pay for his or her maintenance and health care.
      But, it is undeniable that vet care for any pet is expensive. And that’s why insuring your dog becomes paramount. And the quote I show in my post is related to my 13 year old dog. For younger dogs that figure decreases noticeably.
      This is however a great improvement, given that to these days a lot of brokers are unhappy to accept applications from dogs over the age of 10.
      I hope this clarifies.

  5. // Reply

    Thank you so much for this informative article. Never heard of this insurance company before and this is definitely good to know. I am definitely going to get my Ammu an insurance. I’m soo glad that Indy is safe and healthy now. Please do send my love to him and I am grateful that you were able to help him out.

    1. // Reply

      Thank you very much Veena. I shall definitely cover him with your kisses and cuddles as soon as he wakes up 🙂
      There are many insurance packages on the market nowadays, and many have changed their policies to offer extended cover. This one I came across only recently, but I believe it’s one the best for offering life cover – and a generous discount of 45% on joining first time (yes the banner says 35%, which is equally good, but the discount they gave me was 45%).
      Let me know how you get on with insuring your Ammu xxx

  6. // Reply

    Hello Giulia
    Brilliant tips on pet insurance, this is an area where most pet owners just ignore. I must admit I knew nothing about pet insurance till I got my first dog and found out that dog insurance is compulsory.
    It`s first time im reading that older dogs have a hard time finding insurance to accept them but then if you`ve not been affected, this is not something you`d know, just like you would have never known had you not had Indy.
    Very informative and fun to read.Thanks for sharing

    1. // Reply

      Thanks Roamy, I’m glad you enjoyed our site. Are you based in the States? Here in UK it’s not compulsory to insure your pet – you can still access medical treatment, but it will cost you a lot.

  7. // Reply

    Hello there,
    Indy’s story is very heartfelt and I am glad that he is doing okay despite all the medical attention that he required. I too am an avid dog lover as well and the thought of paying some of these outrageous medical bills for my dog is something I haven’t planned for.

    I will definitely be bringing this expense to my wife’s attention as my dog is still young. Do these insurance plans cover routine check-ups and shots or is it just for surgical procedures only?

    Indy seems like a charming happy go lucky dog you are blessed to have him in your life! Thank you for writing this article as it has raised some concern for my own pet!


    1. // Reply

      David, apologies for the delayed reply, but last week it was a very hectic one, which prevented me from dedicating any time at all to this site. I believe insurance packages nowadays also cover for routine expenses, although many vet practices have their discounted pet care plans where you pay a discounted monthly fee by direct debit, which will cover for the monthly and quarterly de-bugging treatments as well as for the annual vaccine booster and for a couple of consultations. Such expenses however are not the major ones as such, as you probably realise. It is when your dog starts needing surgical intervention that bills start climbing sky high.
      I think it’s wise that both you and your wife discuss this over your ‘litt’l ‘un’ as you don’t ever want to find yourselves having to make that choice between his week being and not having enough funds to retain it.

  8. // Reply

    Luckily, my two dogs have both led healthy and happy lifestyles to date. Now that they are both 8 years of age, I have started to notice a little slowdown, but nothing significant. I have had dogs and cats in the past that ended up with serious illnesses and even a few accidental injuries. The cost can really add up fast. And because they are considered part of my family, there is never a question that we will do all that can be done for them. .I know that it is time for me to look into pet insurance and your article has helped back up that decision. Since I live in the US, do you happen to know if Pet Insurance reaches that far or can you recommend any other companies that we can trust?

    1. // Reply

      Firstly and foremostly, Patrick, my apologies for the late response. And unfortunately I have a feeling Pet Insurance cover may only cover UK areas, as their ‘sample’ quote refers to a UK postcode so I am wondering whether they can access risk levels for any other countries. However it sis worth contacting them to find out. I shall certainly do so, and let you know in due course.

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