Pet Owners Should Consider Getting Cover

By: Tom_dawson
Not having a comprehensive pet insurance policy could be placing many animal owners under financial risk, it has been suggested.

Research carried out by Sainsbury's indicates that up to three-quarters of dogs and cats do not have cover, meaning Britons having to pay out of their own pocket for 5.5 million treatments each year. It was also suggested that a total of 1.8 million pet insurance claims are made every year due to the ill health of an animal, with a further 18,000 filed for other purposes including instances where the creature has either been lost or stolen.

According to figures by the financial services firm, the lifetime cost of owning a cat comes to about 7,200 pounds. For a dog, this expense rises to 9,000 pounds. Meanwhile, it was claimed that vet fees make up about a fifth of all the money that owners spend on both canines (19 per cent) and felines (21 per cent).

Although the cost of veterinary treatment could be financed through a low-rate loan, a lack of insurance in the first place may place pressure on consumers' ability to meet payments on plastic cards, utility bills, other loans that they may have as well as on mortgage or rent costs.

Overall, it was stated that skin tumours are the most common cause for owners to make a pet insurance claim, accounting for 129,433 cases each year. Meanwhile, some 121,133 claims are made when an animal is reported to be "just not his or herself". Lameness and osteo arthritis make up 92,467 and 69,200 of cases respectively. An estimated 76,933 claims are filed after a pet contracts colitis.

Commenting on the figures, Claire Moyles, pet insurance manager for Sainsbury's, said: "The pet insurance industry not only deals with a huge volume of cat and dog claims every year, it deals with a staggering breadth of ailments and problems. Quality pet insurance will cover a wide range of treatments and services from dental accidents and behavioural treatments to advertising for lost pets." She added that over the course of 2007 the firm received claims covering more than 200 different categories.

Ms Moyles went on to claim: "Our analysis demonstrates that pet insurance isn't just a nice to have product. Events in which you may find yourself needing to claim are more common than you may wish to consider." The pet insurance expert also stated that getting a good quality premium need not be expensive and that by shopping around consumers should be able to find a policy adequate for their needs at a cost-effective price.

However, those pet owners yet to get insurance and who discover that they have to meet the costs of paying for medical treatment for their animal themselves may find a personal loan to be of use. Taking out this type of loan could assist borrowers not only to pay for vet fees but also leave them with enough disposable income to purchase a comprehensive policy to help avoid incurring money management problems in the future. A loan may also be useful to people looking to replace damaged or broken items within their home. An earlier Sainsbury's study indicated that during the October half-term about 900,000 Britons suffered from some kind of accidental damage caused by pets or animals, costing a total of 106 million pounds.
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