Pet owners caught out by vet bills
Pet owners underestimate the cost of treatment for unexpected injuries by hundreds of pounds, according to research.
Treating cuts and bites can cost as much as £372 in some cases but a survey by Asda Money found that pet owners only expect to pay up to £100.
That's despite average claims data from suggesting that a snake bit can result in a vet bill of £461, breaking a limb £1,163 and retrieving swallowed items up to nearly £1,250.
Asda Money said owners had two pets on average and more than half them don't have pet insurance.
Of those without insurance, some 44% said the reason was because it is too expensive. In response, the insurer has launched a low-cost insurance plan that cover accidents only.
Compared to its standard pet insurance policy that would cover a three-year old Golden Retriever for £1,500 per illness at a cost of £27.58 a month or £330.94 a year with an excess of £85, the accident-only policy would cost £7.09 a month, £85 a year and cover treatment of up to £2,500 for the same excess.
Kirsty Ward, head of Asda Money, said: "We all want our pets to run free and enjoy themselves, but sometimes these adventures can result in injury for the animal and an unexpected bill for their owners.
"We know budgets are tight and the thought of taking out pet insurance could be seen as a stretch too far for many families but we hope this new product allows for flexibility and offers protection against unavoidable treatment costs for injuries."
This is more usually a feature of car insurance but it can also crop up in contents, mobile phone and pet insurance policies. An excess is the amount of money you have to pay before the insurance company starts paying out. The excess makes up the first part of a claim, so if your excess is £100 and your claim is for £500, you would pay the first £100 and the insurer the remaining £400. Many online insures let you set your own excess, but the lower the excess, the more expensive the premium will be.