What is accident only pet insurance?
Accident only pet insurance is designed to pay out solely for vet fees resulting from injury to your pet in an accident, it does not provide any coverage for illness. This is the cheapest, most basic form of pet insurance, which is why it comes with the lowest level of cover.
The majority of accident only pet insurance policies have maximum financial limits on the amount they’re willing to pay out both annually and within your pet’s lifetime. You can expect this figure to be around £1,000 - £3,500 annually, and roughly £15,000 for your pet’s entire life.
Coverage is also often capped at a set term, usually around 12 months.
What does this sort of pet insurance cover?
Accident only pet insurance policy only covers your pet in the case of accidents, off-setting the vet’s fees and cost of medication, up to a certain limit. Some policies will also provide coverage should your pet get ill as a result of an accident, but this will typically be limited to emergency situations.
- Vet fees. In the event that your pet is involved in an accident, your policy will cover any vet fees (up to a certain limit as defined in the policy).
- Scans. Any hospital scans your pet needs after an accident will be covered, at least in part, by an accident only pet insurance policy.
- Medication. If your pet needs medication after having an accident/surgery after an accident, your policy will have financial provision for this.
- Death. If your pet dies in an accident, your policy will usually pay out a small amount to help cover funeral/cremation costs.
You may also be able to find providers who offer additional coverage including the following, although this isn’t always the case given the low cost of the policy, and may increase your monthly premiums:
- Third-party liability. If your pet causes injury or damage to someone or their property, some providers will help cover the associated costs up to a certain limit.
- Cover for loss and theft. Some policies will pay out a set figure (e.g. £1,000 - £2,000) should your pet go missing, this can help cover the costs of advertisement and/or a reward for their return.
- Bereavement service. Some providers will offer free councilling for grieving owners should their pet pass away.
Are there any exclusions?
As implied by their name, only accidents are covered under accident only pet insuance policies. However, not every pet is eligible to be covered by this type of policy. Accident only pet insurance is only offered in the UK for cats and dogs. If you’re looking to insure your rabbit, horse, or even an exotic pet, you’ll have to consider an alternative insurance option.
How much does accident only insurance cost?
Accident only policies are typically the least expensive type of pet insurance, and you’ll find accident only pet insurance policies advertised for as little as around £3 per month.
However, any payouts will usually be subject to an excess fee. This is the amount you will need to pay yourself before a the policy will start covering the bills. They are usually set around £50 - £100, and the excess can be higher on any third party liability claims.
What affects the price of accident only pet insurance?
Your monthly premiums are likely to be affected by the following:
- The type animal you’re insuring. Accident only pet insurance policies are typically only offered for cats and dogs. Of these two animals, dogs are usually slightly more expensive to insure, however the premiums on these types of policies are still lower than with other pet insurances.
- The breed of your animal. Especially for dogs, your accident only insurance premiums may be higher if your pet is a rare or valuable pedigree breed.
- Your pet’s age. Younger pets tend to be cheaper to insure. It’s also worth bearing in mind that if your pet is quite old, it is likely that you will need insurance that covers them for illness, which an accident only pet insurance policy won’t provide. You may want to consider a maximum benefit policy.
- Where you live. Where abouts you and your pet live can impact the cost of a pet insurance policy. This is a result of the differing costs of treatment in parts of the UK. It’s usually most expensive to insure a pet in London or the South East.
- Whether they’ve been neutered. If your pet has been neutered, they’ll be cheaper to insure.
- Whether they’ve been chipped. Like with neutering, getting your pet chipped will bring down the cost of your premiums.
- Your pet’s health. If your pet is in good health, they will typically be cheaper to insure. However, this effect is more noticeable in policies that cover your pet for illnesses as well as accidents.
How do I make a claim?
Making a claim on an accident only pet insurance policy is very straightforward. If your pet is involved in an accident, then contact your insurer as soon as possible. Usually there’ll be a simple claim form provided online that you fill out and get your vet to sign.
Remember that your accident only pet insurance policy will usually include an excess, meaning you’ll have to pay up to that amount for your pet’s treatment before your insurance will start paying out. The level of the excess varies from policy to policy, but is commonly in the region of £50 - £100.
What other pet insurance options are available?
If you’re looking for more comprehensive pet insurance, then there are a variety of different options from which you can choose. Here’s a quick summary:
Lifetime pet insurance
The most comprehensive form of pet insurance, a lifetime policy covers your pet’s vet fees for life and is renewed every year. There’ll be a set amount you can claim each year, but this will reset annually when you renew your policy (provided you don’t have a break in cover).
Typically, pre-existing conditions are excluded from all types of pet insurance that cover illness. This is still the case with a lifetime policy, but the advantage of this style of policy is that if your pet develops a chronic condition such as diabetes while being covered by the policy, you can continue to get them covered for their treatment year after year.
Time-limited pet insurance
Time-limited pet insurance offers similar cover to a lifetime policy, but with the difference that you can’t keep annually renewing the same policy. Usually a time-limited policy lasts for 12 months and offers a set limit of coverage for a variety of illnesses and injuries.
Once you reach the end of the policy, you will have to take out a new policy that will likely have higher premiums because your pet will be older. Also, if your pet has developed a long-term condition, this will now be classed as pre-existing and will typically be excluded from any new pet insurance policy.
Maximum benefit pet insurance policies cover your pet for everything (illnesses, injuries, accidents), with a maximum payout for each condition you claim for. This type of policy lasts for your pet’s lifetime, but only allows you to claim for each condition up to the limit set in the policy.
For instance, your policy may include £1,500 of coverage for if your dog breaks a leg, and the same amount for if (s)he gets an infection. You can claim up to this limit for each condition (including if it happens more than once and there’s still money left to be claimed), but you cannot transfer available money to cover one condition to treat a different one. Once the limit for a treatment has been reached, you will have to fund the vet bills yourself.
If you’re looking to insure more than one pet at a time, then multi-pet insurance policies are a good way of keeping everything simple and reducing the cost. Like with accident only pet insurance, multi-pet policies are commonly restricted to cats and dogs, but some offer the ability to cover small mammals such as reabbits as well.
Is accident only insurance right for my pet?
It depends on what you need coverage for. Accident only pet insurance policies are the cheapest pet insurance coverage you can get, but also provide the lowest amount of cover. If your concern is to provide some financial security in the event of an accident such as your pet being hit by a car, then accident only insurance is definitely worth looking into.
It is worth saying that the fact that accident only insurance doesn’t cover illnesses means that it is best suited to a younger pet that’s unlikely to have any complicated health concerns.
How do I find the best policy?
We can help with that one. Our team have extensively reviewed all your pet insurance options to break down what they offer and help you find the best policy. Our reviews will take you through everything you need to know before putting pen to paper.
Where can I get a quote now?
Right here. If you’re ready to get a quote, simply click below and fill out a quick form, then one of our brokers will find you a quote and get in contact within minutes!