So, you’ve decided to get a pet snake and like the good snake owner that you are, you’re considering what insurance to get. Well, it’s a gold star for you as all animals should be insured, no matter whether they have fur or scales! Let’s have a look at what insurance cover is adequate for your new scaly friend.
Table of contents
Where to start
Some snakes can live for up to 30 years, so insurance is definitely worth the investment. It can be overwhelming when looking for insurance as the market is completely saturated. However, luckily for you, snake insurance is a rather niche policy. It is important to take out a policy that understands the needs of an exotic animal. A range of specialist insurers are now available; for example, Exotic Direct and British Pet Insurance are two of the main insurers for snakes.
Ensure there is no need to claim
As they say, prevention is better than cure!
It goes without saying that a well-cared-for animal is a happy animal, inside and out! So, the easiest way to ensure that your snake is unlikely to fall ill is to provide them with proper care. Do your research and ensure that you have solid knowledge regarding their husbandry. Care requirements will change depending on the breed of snake. So make sure you are completely confident in caring for them appropriately. This will ensure that you avoid any unnecessary veterinary bills in the future.
Choosing a snake
Do your research and purchase a snake from a reptile store with a great reputation, or purchase a snake from a reputable breeder. If you’re buying from a store, check that all of the enclosures, not just the snake enclosures, are well maintained and are in a clean and safe condition. This way you will be confident that the animals are well cared for. If you’re buying from a breeder then the same applies. Any genuine and reputable breeder will be confident and proud enough to show you the variety of snakes that they offer and the conditions that they are housed in. By following these simple observations, you are ensuring that your new snake won’t be predisposed to any health conditions due to poor husbandry.
Choosing which snake to purchase is exciting, but don’t choose one just because of its interesting colours or markings. You want to choose the healthiest snake. Ensure that the eyes, nose and mouth are clear and free from discharge and debris. Make sure that the snake is active and interested in exploring. Ask if the snake has been passing urates (urine as well as faeces) and if the snake has been eating well. Some breeders and stores may even let you feed the snake to ensure there are no issues.
Choose the level of cover required
Whether you’re insuring a car, a house or a snake, insurers normally offer different levels of cover. This all comes down to personal preference and your own budget. But it’s worth thinking about what you would like to include in your insurance. Some policies may cover veterinary fees of up to £1000, whereas others may cover fees of up to £5000. Similarly, some policies include death cover, where the insurers will reimburse you the cost of your snake when the time comes to say goodbye. Other insurance policies will even cover your snake if it decides to go missing or gets stolen!
It’s worth comparing the different cover that is on offer, comparing different policies and insurers to find what suits you best.
It’s wise to stick with the same insurer
It is often beneficial to stick with the same insurer, especially if you’ve had to claim on your pet insurance before. If your snake has previously been unwell and you’ve claimed on your insurance, you will have to notify your new insurers. This previous health condition will most likely be excluded on your insurance; meaning that no future claims will be allowed, and you will have to pay for the treatment yourself, without being able to make a claim.
It may be worth speaking with insurers to see if lifetime policies are available. For example, say your snake was diagnosed with a lifelong disease that required repeat medications. Some insurers may only cover 12 months of this cost and once this 12 month period has passed, the cost will be down to you to pay. There may be policies in place where the snake is covered for a lifelong period. And some insurers may cover the cost of this medication indefinitely. It is worth confirming with your insurers, before taking out a policy, whether they offer this type of cover.
Insurance or not, make sure you have a plan
It is definitely worth insuring your snake, as you can never predict what may happen in the future. However, if for whatever reason you don’t insure your snake, make sure you have a plan for if you need to pay for medical treatment. Owning an animal, especially if it’s exotic, should always be a privilege and not a necessity. Therefore you should always seek veterinary advice if you are worried.