We recommend all pets are insured including rabbits. This is so important to try and avoid unexpected bills if your pet becomes ill or injured. As veterinary medicine advances and catches up with human medicine the cost of this high level of care and facilities also increases. We do of course want the best for our pets as they are a part of the family unit. So avoid uncertainty by getting your pet insured from a young age, especially as puppies/kittens are so boisterous and playful it is easy to stand on them accidently, have them slip off their leads, fall when jumping etc
There are different types of pet insurance, so many companies and internet comparison sites. In general we can break insurance premiums into 3 different types – annual policies, maximum benefit policies and life insurance. Within all these types there are also bands of veterinary fee coverage eg, from £500 to £8,000.
Annual policies – yearly policy, must make a claim within a year of problem arising and the insurance company will only pay for that condition within the policy year, once your renewal date comes around the problem previously claimed for is now excluded, this can obviously be a potential disaster for ongoing lifelong health issues.
Maximum benefit policies will pay up to a certain amount of money per condition, there is no specific time limit but is a financial limit given to each condition. These are better than annual policies but can also be limiting if the financial cap is not very high.
Life insurance policies mean that if your pet develops a permanent illness/injury that is going to require medications/bloods/tests for the rest of their lives that the company will continue to cover this problem as long as you keep them insured. These policies will set an amount for veterinary fees per annum, eg £4000 per year, this is not per condition, it is for all problems within that policy year up to that limit.
No insurance policies cover routine vaccinations, worming, flea treatments, neutering or general dental care.
We recommend Life Insurance and would advise £4,000 coverage or more if financially possible.
This might sound like a lot of money and you may think we will never need that amount of money but please read the example costs for some examples below.
Road Traffic Accident – potentially multiple injuries at once, some of which might require surgery to fix and your pet will have a recovery of up to 2 months. You could expect a bill ranging from £250 for a case with minimal injuries up to £4,000 if the pet has multiple fractures of bones, chest injuries, blood loss and possibly requires referral to see a consultant/specialist due to the extent of the injuries.
Diabetes – up to £1,000 to diagnose and stabilise initially if very ill with an ongoing cost of possibly £150/month thereafter for insulin, syringes, needles, blood tests, so costing approximately £2,000 per year.
Urinary stones – might require bloods, scans, surgery for diagnosis and removal, ongoing medication, special diet and urine samples forever. Up to £1,500.
Rabbit with faecal impaction requiring intensive medication, fluids, surgery and hospitalisation for an extended period of time or possible referral to a specialist. Up to £1,000.
From these examples I hope you can see the importance of insurance and the potential costs involved with so many different potential illnesses and in the potential scenario that your pet got 2 problems within the one year. The above list is for example only and every case will differ depending on lots of factors.