Insurance for Man’s Best Friend

Updated: August 3, 2013

Owning a pet requires substantial financial responsibilities.

Expenses include food, veterinary fees and many others.

But to make up for these costs, pets can provide us with physical, emotional and social benefits.

Maybe that’s why some people have even bought insurance for their beloved pets, especially their dogs.

Among them is Kira, today’s article contributor, who shares some of her insights below.


Pets are a wonderful addition to any home, and some would say a house isn’t a home without a pet. Dogs are the most favored of all pets in the UK and provide fantastic companionship to the family they live with.

Dogs and other pets can be just as much of an expense as children, and a decision to become a pet owner shouldn’t be taken lightly. Larger dogs require lots of food and you must always factor in the financial implications of taking one on, as well as the time that they require you to spend walking them and playing with them.

Unfortunately just like all members of a family, dogs are just as prone to illness and accidents and, unlike with humans, there is no NHS to pick up the bill. Vet bills can be hundreds, and sometimes thousands of pounds, and unless you are prepared to pick up the bill it is best to have your dog insured to help with costs.

Before getting a dog maybe check your credit rating for any outstanding debts or credit accounts here and see if you can afford the extra out goings involved with pet ownership. You do not want to be left to decide between forking out money you don’t have and having your dog put to sleep.

Insurance prices vary and there are many providers all offering different rates, just like with car insurance. It is wise to shop around to make sure you get the best deal, especially for older dogs, where premiums can vary hugely.

There are different types of policy too, offering different levels of cover from small one off surgeries, to lifetime cover that includes all treatments for long term conditions such as arthritis. Pick carefully as, while life long cover might not seem suitable for your puppy, you will be thankful for it in years to come if your dog develops a chronic illness.

Be careful when you take out the policy to tell the truth about any pre-existing conditions or medical history as failure to disclose can invalidate your policy, rendering it useless. Keep your dog’s vaccinations up to date as this is usually a term of the insurance, and keeping your side of the contract is vital to its validity.

It is also very important to check the terms of pet insurance at the outset as certain breeds and ages of dog can be excluded from cover. It might be a good idea to find out about exclusions that exist before deciding which dog to get.

A dog quickly becomes a big part of the family, and insuring them means that you can care for them without worrying about unexpected costs. Be sure to factor in both the time and money ties of owning a dog before committing, and get everything in place ready for their arrival.

This post was provided by Kira Browdy, a dog lover living in London.

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  1. Hi!

    I’m 28 and right now my net salary goes to the following:

    1. 13% to the cooperative fund (automatically removed)
    2. 32% to a variable life insurance product
    3. about 18% to bills
    4. the remaining 37% to expenses

    I’m paying off my credit card debt, and have brought it down to a manageable amount. I have an emergency fund in a deposit account that should cover bills, but doesn’t cover the insurance payments. I only have about 70k invested in UITFs – 10k in an equity fund, the rest in different money market accounts.

    1. Should I pull the funds from the cooperative, and just put them into maybe an equity fund?

    My cooperative fund only gives me about 2% in dividends per year which are paid out in checks, and which I end up spending anyway. I actually don’t know how it works, I just signed up for it so that I have money stashed away that I can forget about.

    2. Should I have gotten term life instead of variable life? And – stupid question – if so, how do I get out of the contract?

    I’ve read articles saying that people should get term insurance instead, and I must admit I didn’t give the variable life insurance too much thought (I just knew I had to do it).

    3. Think I can maybe manage a travel fund on top of all that? Right now the remaining 37% is just enough for my daily expenses.

    I feel a bit lost in all this, is there anything I should be doing that I’m not doing, to grow my funds?

    Hope it all makes sense, and hope you can help! Thanks!

  2. Hi G,

    Allow me to give my strong opinion with item number 2.

    Please consider un-bundling your VUL policy.
    Compare it with BTID (buy term and invest the difference).
    I’m sure your jaw will drop if you could get the cheapest available term insurance and invest the difference with equity funds.

    It would be great if you could cut the damage as early as possible.
    This way you could create more investible funds to be added to your existing UITF or maybe diversify it in another investment vehicles such as Mutual Funds, stocks or real estate or even business perhaps.

    Never, never, never combine your savings with life insurance.


  3. I forgot to tell you this, I salute you for managing your expenses at 37% . Keep it up.


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