How to best insure your pets

Our pets deserve nothing but the best from us, which means keeping them healthy, happy & safe. Here’s how to find perfect pet insurance in Ireland.

Why get pet insurance?

It helps protect your pets by covering your vet bills when they need treatment. This can be a real help if your furry friend suffers an unexpected illness or has an accident.

Vet bills can be eye-wateringly expensive so, by spreading the cost over time, you’re guarding against any future pocket shocks. It also feels good to know you can help your little treasures when they need you most.

info icon Young people are the most responsible pet owners according to research by a top Irish insurer. Nearly half of under 25s insure their dogs compared to only 1 in 4 older dog owners.

How pet insurance works

It works like many other insurance policies; you choose a level of cover to protect your animals and pay either a monthly or annual premium.

If your pet falls ill or has an accident, the insurance company will cover your vet bills. Pricier policies help with costs if your pets are stolen, go missing, or die.

You’ll usually have to pay something towards the cost if you claim (the excess), and there will be things that aren’t covered (exclusions).

What pet insurance covers

The main benefit is vet fees which can cost thousands of euro, but you could get other benefits like:

>Always read the policy document in full to check the insurance you choose meets the needs of your pets.

Types of cover

You can get three main types of pet insurance in Ireland:

What animals can pet insurance cover?

Almost all pet insurers in Ireland offer dog insurance and cat insurance.

You can also get cover for rabbits, horses, birds, or exotic pets, but cover for smaller animals may be harder to find.

Does pet insurance cover dental treatment?

Typically it isn’t, but sometimes emergency dental treatment is covered. They may insist that your dog or cat has had a dental check within the last year, though.

The info should be in the policy, but if you’re still unsure, have a chat with your insurer.

What won’t pet insurance cover?

This will depend on the type of pet insurance policy you choose, but most insurers won’t cover the cost of

TIP! Check the T&Cs before buying so you know exactly what’s covered & what’s not. There could be some surprising exclusions, especially with cheaper plans.

How much is pet insurance?

Many pet insurers offer a choice of plans, ranging from basic to premium. The plan level you pick affects the price, so the more benefits you want, the more it will cost.

Besides the cover level you pick, the price depends on

  1. The breed of your dog or cat
  2. The age of your pet
  3. The health of your pet

>In Ireland, the average price of pet insurance is about €16 a month for dog insurance. Expect to pay anything between €8 & €35 for your monthly premiums. ___

So, is pet insurance worth it?

Yes, especially if you shop around for good value cover, pet insurance could save money and give you peace of mind if your pet gets hurt, falls ill, or goes missing.

Just make sure you read the fine print and check for exclusions.

Choosing the right cover

Vet fees are usually covered up to €4,000 per year in Ireland, although Accident Only plans tend to have a limit of €2,000.

The amount of cover you should buy depends on how much protection your pet will likely need. If you’re still not sure, these three factors may help you decide.

  1. Age The older your pet, the more likely it is that regular vet care will be needed.
  2. Health If your pet gets ill often the chances are it’ll need vet care in future.
  3. Breed A pedigree or an exotic pet may need specialised or more frequent care.

How to get the best pet insurance quote

The best pet insurance isn’t always the cheapest. Weigh up what you can afford with what’s best for your pet, then shop around to get the best price.

Here are six things you can do to get the best quote for your pet and keep costs down.

Pet insurance FAQs

Do I need to microchip my dog to get insurance?

Yes, you’re legally required to have your dog microchipped, and most insurers will ask you about it. Make sure your dog’s microchip details are valid and up to date so if your dog gets lost or stolen - you can be more easily reunited.

Can pets with pre-existing conditions get insured?

Yes, you can still insure your pet, but insurance providers won’t cover treatment for the pre-existing condition. For example, if your dog has allergies, you won’t be covered for any illness caused by allergies.

What does third-party liability mean?

3rd-party insurance covers you if your dog causes damage or injury to another up to €250,000. It’s only available for dogs, and exclusions may apply.

What is the excess?

The excess is the money you have to contribute to a claim before an insurer pays out. It’s usually around €100 for standard claims and €350 for third-party liability.

How soon can you claim on your pet insurance?

There’s normally a waiting period between 10 and 14 days before you can make a claim after taking out the policy. Bear in mind, any claim you make will impact your premiums the following year.