After the excesses of Christmas, January is always a time for penny pinching, and this year especially so! It is also the time when a lot of new dog owners are looking for insurance for their pup, so we thought it might be nice to answer the question, “what dogs are cheapest to insure?”

Types of Insurance

Before we discuss the cheapest dogs, we should discuss the types of insurance on offer. We already have an article on this so we will keep it brief. In order, from least expensive to most expensive.

Accident only insurance only covers accidents with an upper limit per accident – it is the cheapest form of insurance. Time-limited insurance will cover a pet’s illness or disease for a fixed time limit, usually 12 months maximum – after this, the condition will not be covered, so it is not useful for long-term diseases. Maximum insurance will cover each disease separately up to a maximum value. For example, with £10,000 maximum insurance, a £6000 broken leg will be fully covered. If the same dog then gets skin disease that costs £12,000, the first £10,000 will be covered, but the last £2000 will not.

Finally, there is lifetime insurance that works in a similar way to maximum insurance, but the same condition can be covered multiple times up to a maximum limit. This means that a dog with recurrent eye issues on maximum insurance can be covered for eyes only once, but on lifetime insurance can be covered multiple times up to the maximum value.

As you can see, cover varies enormously and this will greatly affect how much you are paying per year. On top of this, individual dogs will be assessed based on age, breed, sex, health and other factors, meaning cover can vary greatly dog to dog. We will go into some of these factors next.

Dog-Specific Factors

Age

In general, younger healthy dogs are cheaper to insure than older dogs. This is because older pets are more likely to get diseases that the insurance company will have to pay out for. Different breeds of dog ‘age’ at different rates, so an 8 year old Jack Russel will be considered young and healthy, while an 8 year old Mastiff may be geriatric and cost more. Age should also be factored in when considering the type of insurance to purchase: young healthy dogs might get away with accident-only cover (although beware changing policies as they get older or develop any illnesses) while older pets would almost always benefit from the more expensive covers in case they get long-term diseases. 

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Breed

One of the biggest factors affecting how much your insurance will cost is the breed you own. In general, the larger the dog the more expensive to insure. Breeds like mastiffs, Dogue De Bordeaux and Great Danes in particular are very expensive. This is because larger breeds have a reduced life expectancy, health care costs more and they have a number of  hereditary diseases. However, there are some exceptions, such as French Bulldogs, which although medium-sized are one of the most expensive breeds to insure as they have so many health issues. Consider what sort of breed-related health issues your dog may get, as this will affect their insurance cost.

Crossbreeds or mongrels are generally a lot cheaper to insure as they have less health issues on average. Insurance for crossbreeds is mostly based on size.

Sex

Your dog’s gender affects insurance costs as well. Most insurance companies will cost you more if you have a male dog – this is because male dogs are more likely to get injured or into fights, causing pay outs. Female dogs can also recover better from disease than males, which can reduce their insurance costs.

Insurance Company and Location

Of course, each insurance company is different, which will affect their cost as well. Do some research into the company right for you. Some may charge you more based on your location in the country as well, so consider this when purchasing. We also recommend that once you have found a suitable pet insurance company with the maximum coverage you can afford, to stick with that company for the pet’s lifetime – unlike house or car insurance, changing pet insurance regularly will result in an increase in cost, as the new company will look at your pet’s records and may identify pre-existing conditions or previous issues. As pre-existing conditions are almost never covered, and must be legally declared, it is usually better to stay with the company you are still with.

Final Thoughts

Insurance can unfortunately be expensive, but it really should be a top priority for dog owners – with veterinary care costing so much (mainly due to  expensive outgoings for veterinary practices), having that peace of mind from insurance can help your pet get the treatment they need when it is most needed, whatever your financial situation. From this article, you can see that the cheapest dog to insure will be a small, female dog from a healthy breed, such as a Jack Russel. Keep these factors in mind if you are getting a new dog in future. Please speak to your vet if you need any further advice regarding insurance. 

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