Let’s face it, most of us think more about buying our pets a treat than protecting them with an insurance policy. After all, it’s not quite as exciting as seeing them play with that new “must-have” squeaky toy! However, when we tell you than around 92% of pets need some form of emergency treatment at one time or another, and that vets’ bills can run to thousands of dirhams you might think twice!

What is pet insurance?

Pet insurance is a specialist product protecting you from the necessary costs of treating your animal if they are injured in an accident, or fall ill from a condition covered under the policy, and need to have medication and/or treatment from a vet. If you’re a pet owner it’s an invaluable insurance as it could take the stress out of having to pay an unexpected, and unaffordable vet’s bill.

What does pet insurance cover?

Whilst benefits can vary according to the policy purchased, typically pet insurance will cover:

  • Emergency treatment
  • Preventative care (essential vaccinations)
  • Loss or theft of your pet
  • Euthanasia (humane end of life treatment)
  • Death by illness or injury
  • Liability cover – this can pay costs if a person or pet is injured or their property damaged in an incident involving your pet

“Paws” for thought?

Whilst pet insurance covers a great dealt, there are a few things that either won’t be covered, or will cost you more to insure, so it’s important to think carefully when considering your pet insurance purchase. For example:

  • Pre-existing conditions – in the UAE, these aren’t usually covered by pet insurance, so you’ll need to continue to cover the costs of any medication or treatment yourself.
  • Long-term conditions – any perpetual/ongoing conditions may be covered but you’ll need to specifically check this with the Insurer to see what is covered.
  • Your pet’s age – the older your pet, the more it will cost to insure. You should also note that some policies stop providing cover if your pet is over a specified age, so check the policy carefully for any relevant terms and conditions.
  • Breed – pedigree pets equal premium prices! Expect to pay more for a higher breed.
  • Breeding and pregnancy – whether a planned pregnancy (breeding) or an unexpected surprise, these costs aren’t always included, so always check the policy thoroughly.
  • Routine vaccinations, check-ups, spaying or neutering aren’t usually covered by pet insurance. If your pet misses a routine vaccine and becomes ill, it could invalidate your policy.

Running the risk: covering the costs yourself

Not everyone decides to purchase pet insurance as they’re undecided whether it’s worth the money.
Whilst we can’t go into specific vet’s costs here, let’s just assure you that they are far more than the insurance premium you’ll pay, and remember, your insurance premium is an annual, fixed cost, whereas vet’s bills are both unknown, unpredictable and unexpected!