Do I need health insurance?
According to the Association of British Insurers, the average pet insurance claim was £720 in 2016 and average insurance premiums were £241 per year. Only one in four UK dog owners has insurance for their pet. Insurance covers veterinary treatment not just for medical conditions but also for more unusual risks caused, for example, by your dog eating an item of clothing or being injured by a stick while playing.
If your dog ever suffers from a back problem, veterinary treatment could be very expensive. For severe cases, most vets will want to carry out some diagnostic imaging (e.g. MRI, CT or Myelogram) and/or refer you to a Specialist. An MRI Scan could cost you £3000. If your dog requires surgery as well, the total cost of treatment could easily be in the range £6000 – £10000.
We strongly recommend that you either take out an insurance policy before your dog needs any treatment or ensure you have adequate funds available to pay for treatment if the worst happens.
Some Referral Specialists offer payment plans to help you spread the cost of treatment but do not assume this will be possible in every case.
If you are considering insuring your Dachshund, do your research into the different types of policy available. According to one survey, 1 in 3 owners had their claims declined because their policy simply didn’t provide the cover they thought it would. The Telegraph published this useful Pet Insurance Guide.
According to This is money, insurance cover costs an average of £261 per year depending on age, breed, and health. Average vet bills for people without insurance were £810, according to their survey.
Read the Which? guide to pet insurance.
If you decide not to insure your dog, you could consider setting up a monthly savings fund, just in case of an emergency. That’s obviously a risk and most people can’t have a “spare” £5,ooo, sitting in a bank account, just in case!
If you do find yourself facing a large, unexpected vet’s bill, it’s worth asking your vet if the practice is able to offer any form of payment plan to help you spread the cost.
You should also consider whether you need to take out a Third Party Public Liability policy in case your dog causes and accident or damage for which you may be held liable. Some household policies include this cover and membership of Dogs Trust includes it.