Pet insurance is an absolute necessity, with some vet bills reaching well over £10,000. Pet insurance should always be taken out no matter what animal you have. From dogs to cats, rabbits to lizards, there is insurance available for pretty much any species. However, are there any charities that offer pet insurance cover?

Are there any charities that provide pet insurance?

In short, some charities do provide pet insurance such as the RSPCA and the PDSA. There are, however, charities such as the PDSA, RSPCA and The Blue Cross who also help to provide financial aid to certain families who cannot afford veterinary treatment and who are not insured.

What is pet insurance?

Pet insurance helps to cover the cost of treatments if your animal gets sick or injured throughout the course of their life. Insurance on pets is not compulsory, but it’s definitely advisable to take out a policy. Different insurers will cover different aspects such as illness, death and missing pets. Some insurers will also cover travelling abroad, euthanasia and cremation fees. 

There are two different types of insurance policies available:

Annual policy:

As the name suggests, annual policies run on a yearly basis. Annual policies offer a less comprehensive cover than lifetime policies and conditions are often excluded after a year of treatment has been carried out. For example, if your cat was to be diagnosed as diabetic and required insulin injections for the rest of their life, the annual policy would cover the cost of the medication for one year. After a year has passed, the medical fees would be for to the owner to pay.

Lifetime policy:

Lifetime policies are a fantastic way of covering your pet throughout their lives and covers each new condition per year. The policy needs to be renewed every year with the insurer and they will pay up to the limit per condition, per year. For example, if your dog was to develop heart disease and needed monthly medication, the insurer would cover the cost of this medication on a lifelong basis.

RSPCA Pet Insurance

The RSPCA offers pet insurance where 15% of each policy taken out helps to fund ill-treated and less fortunate animals. They also offer a multi-pet discount of 10% and include policies which will cover older animals. The RSPCA pet insurance is underwritten by a company called Covea Insurance plc. There are 4 different levels of cover, each consisting of a lifelong policy.

Bronze: Up to £4,000 per condition.

Silver:  Up to £6,000 per condition.

Gold: Up to £8,000 per year.

Platinum: Up to £12,000 per year.

Each RSPCA policy also comes with a service called FirstVet. This is an online service where you have access to a vet video consultation service 24/7. 

PDSA Pet Insurance

The PDSA is the UK’s leading veterinary charity, which provides veterinary care to many families who are on low incomes and government benefits. The PDSA offers pet insurance for dogs and cats that is provided by a company called Pinnacle Insurance plc. They offer both lifetime and annual policies and the sale of each policy helps to fund their amazing work.

Lifetime: The lifetime policy offers different levels of cover, covering fees from £2,000 per condition to £8,000 per condition. The lifetime policies also include a death from illness payout of up to £1,500, and they can contribute to euthanasia and cremation costs up to £200.

Annual: The annual policy is also known as their TimeLimited policy. There are two types of cover; up to £2,000 per condition for one year, or up to £5,000 per condition for one year.

Similar to the RSPCA, the PDSA also offers a service called PetCall. This is a 24/7 service that offers telephone and video consultations for policyholders.

What if I have no insurance and can’t afford veterinary treatment?

If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being unable to afford veterinary treatment and have no insurance, it may be worth speaking to the PDSA or RSPCA. Always seek veterinary attention, especially in cases of emergency to see how they can help. Veterinary practices can administer first aid and pain relief as a duty of care, before establishing what you can afford and what your best treatment options are. 

The PDSA have an online eligibility checker, allowing the user to see if they qualify for financial help. You just need to enter their postcode and the benefits that you receive in order to see if you qualify.

Weigh up your insurance options

To conclude, whenever you buy a pet, it is always beneficial to take out pet insurance. Insurance offers a safety net, allowing you to give your pet the best possible medical care if it is ever required. There is a range of different websites that can be used in order to compare different insurance policies, with a variety of different policies to suit every budget. Taking your insurance policy out with a charity offers a great way to insure your pet, as well as helping animals that are less fortunate than others.

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