Is pet insurance worth it?

The obvious answer is – are you willing or able to pay out thousands of pounds if something unexpected happened to a beloved pet? If the answer is yes then maybe you don’t need it but otherwise it can be a sensible investment. Often people think it would makes sense to simply put the amount they would pay in monthly premiums into a savings account and certainly the more pets you have the better this sounds although it may take a while to build up enough money to have a cushion for the unexpected. For those who like this option I recommend doing both. Start off with insurance and put a similar amount aside, once the pot is large enough you can make an educated decision as to whether it is worth continuing with the insurance. You will also have had a chance to establish whether a pet is particularly prone to vet visits and health problems, in which case you may feel the insurance is offering good value for money. 
If you chose an insurance policy remember three key things – 
1) Policies don’t cover pre-exisiting conditions. This is really important and one of the reasons why switching to a cheaper policy as your pet ages might backfire. Any health problem your pet has had prior to taking out a new policy will not be covered. Which means that that recurring skin itch or regular stomach upset is unlikely to be covered by your new policy. Remember your insurer will insist on full previous medical records when you make a claim.      
2) Annual policies are cheaper but you may not have the cover you want. Policies are either referred to as ‘life-long’ or ‘annual’. A life-long policy covers health problems generally forever with an annual limit as to how much you can claim. An annual policy covers health problems only for one year and then they become excluded and if you then try to switch to a different policy you won’t be covered either. 
3) Some of the cheapest insurers really sting you with premium hikes if you claim. What seemed like a good investment can become very expensive.  Not all insurers do this but some are notorious and frankly poor value for money. 
The best people to talk to about pet insurance are likely to be at your vet clinic. We deal with all the insurance companies, we know which ones are good value and which ones aren’t and we can also advise about an individual pets suitability or pre-existing issues.  Pet insurance can literally be a life-saver but not all insurers are the same and sometimes the cheapest policies offer the worst value for money.