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A new way to save money on pet insurance

AN EXCESS protection policy is now available enabling dog owners to pay lower pet insurance premiums and recoup their excess costs if they make a claim.

Cover starts at around £35 per year and complements existing pet and other insurances by allowing people to opt for higher excesses and reduce their premiums. It’s believed this will encourage a greater take-up of pet insurance, relieving the pressure on charitable organisations to fund animals’ medical treatment - it’s estimated the recession has caused some 1.91 million dog and cat owners to delay purchasing pet cover, despite RSPCA reports that 50% of pets in the UK will require medical treatment at some point this year.

Reputable excess protection providers pay costs incurred as a result of claims on the five most commonly-held policies: pet, home (buildings and contents combined or separate), motor, travel and private medical insurance. Recent insurance industry research shows that by increasing a pet excess by £100 and home and motor by £250, up to £120 could be saved in premiums.

If excess protection is never claimed upon, the premium savings appear to offset the cost of a policy. Those who do claim can have up to £250 worth of costs returned via basic excess cover and policies are also available at around £55, paying up to £500 worth of excess fees and at £69, reimbursing up to £750. An unlimited number of claims can be made, providing they do not exceed the policy aggregate limit.

Feedback from dog owners suggests excess protection is socially responsible as it addresses key insurance concerns such as increasing rises in premiums and escalating excess costs.

Pet premium comparison table

Voluntary vet fee excess increase in addition to standard excess (varies with each policy).

Tesco Sainsburys Direct Line PDSA Esure
60 £114.72 100 £162.72 80 £138.36 0 £126.72 0 £150.33
120 £98.16 150 £146.28 160 £123 25 £122.16 25 £144.83
200 £129.24 50 £116.76 50 £138.39
100 £110.28 100 £130.64
£16.56 difference £33.48 difference £15.36 difference £16.44 difference £19.69 difference

Comparable cover for 5-month-old Border Terrier, purchase price £500. Sourced online 7 May 09.
*Excess increases = minimum savings of £47.87, maximum of £119.25 across three policies.

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