Pay as you go pet?

As most of you know by now, I have a cat called Flash (seriously THE most un-fitting name in the world). He’s an old man now and over the years has had a fair few ailments that have left us with large vet bills.

When we first got him we never really thought about pet insurance, I mean no-one plans for their beloved animal to get ill or injured right?

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, taking in to account jabs, medications, a few surgeries/overnight stays and other delights, insurance would have been kind of handy! It’s quite a double edged sword though; do you want to pay monthly for something you may never need (I don’t think animals come with a no claims bonus!) and swallow the bills are they come (I’ve coined the phrase “pay as you go pet” for that one), or would you rather be prepared and set aside x amount per month to cover anything your pet might need?

I’d say, if we were just getting Flash now I would be taking out insurance. Treatment for animals doesn’t come cheap. I think we’ve had bills run in to about £500 at times with a combination of operations, tests and follow ups. And you know, for peace of mind and instant access to treatment for my baby, I think I’d rather just set up a direct debit (err, forget about it) and know that it’s there, and I’m sure if I shop around I’d find the perfect balance plan. I can’t imagine how distraught I’d be if I found myself unable to pay for his care.

What do you think? Do you have insurance for your pets? Have you ever needed to use it? Did it cover every aspect of your pet’s treatment?

23 comments for “Pay as you go pet?

  1. Flash is so cute! Neither of my puddycats can be insured as they’ve both got ongoing health problems; one needs regular steroid injections and the other is on permanent twice a day thyroid tabletts! x

  2. We have pet insurance for Tommy just in case but we have never used it (touch wood).


  3. What a cutie! We have pet insurance for our two cats. We’ve never had to use it, but we have the type of insurance that goes on covering you for ongoing illnesses if they crop up. x

  4. Yes! Pet insurance is brilliant (we use Sainsbury’s). Poor Stephen Squirrel picked up a nasty virus and had to have an MRI scan after the vet detected an irregular heartbeat. The insurance covered the whopping £300 cost of his treatment and we got the cheque back within a week of sending the claim form off. xxx

  5. I’ve never had pet insurance but as my Mum was a vet-nurse hence we had LOADS of animals, it wasn’t financially viable. It’s a good idea though- operations can be horrendously expensive!

  6. I’m in the same situation as you- Bwackums is 17 now and has never been insured.. in the last year we’ve paid probably £600 in bills for various blood tests and examinations and medications! Insurance would’ve been good from day 1 I suppose. xx

  7. We have both of ours insured even though my cousin is a vet and can do most of it for free. She still recommended insurance as there are certain things that she couldn’t get away with not charging for. We’ve never had to use it but it is relatively cheap. People getting insurance though just make sure you keep the annual jabs and check ups up otherwise its void! We luckily get all that free xx

  8. Our vet told us we were better off setting up an easy access saving account and putting a set amount in each month to use towards vets bills rather then paying out for unsurance you may never need. We also shopped around for vets, one of the dogs needed an eye op, at one vets it was £400ish and at another was just over £100! x

  9. Hello my lovely!!

    Insurance is like that with everything. It’s when you DON’T take it out, that things happen. Murphy’s Law. And most of the time, when you have insurance, nothing happens. So i guess you are paying for A) peace of mind and B) lower chances of crap happening. So yeah, I don’t have pets anymore but when I do get a dog, I will definitely get insurance… just because the alternative is a huge pain in the butt!


    PS I’ve totally been MIA with my book being published and been a bad blogger (slacker). Will drop by more often! Glad to see you are doing great!

  10. Helloo, I have a 18 month old cat and we have insurance for her. It’s definitely been a bonus as she likes getting into scraps with other neighbourhood cats and we have taken her a fe w times to get patched up! As Flash is old now, he might need vets attention more often, but I think if you have an indoor animal then they are less likely to need care. Saying that, our old cat swallowed a needle. Nightmare. xxx

  11. We never had it for my old cat, I think we were very lucky and never needed to pay for anything – he kept himself in good condition luckily. I defiantly think I’ll consider it in the future – i’ve hear some horror stories so I think it’s a wise investment.

  12. I’m going to get a cat (eventually) and I know I should get pet insurance. If there’s a way to combine it with my renter’s insurance that’s what I’ll do. Vet bills can be more than doctors bills! Flash is quite a cutie despite his slowing down.

  13. I’m a firm believer in Pet Insurance! My cats weren’t insured as I naively assumed they wouldn’t get ill being house cats. How wrong I was! My tom, Marmalade, got cystitis which turned into a blocked urethra. I was sick with worry and had to rush him to the vet at 6am, meaning it was classed as emergency treatment. One night and day in kitty hospital and £700 later (we took him to Croft, D’oh) I could bring my baby boy home. They’ve both been insured ever since. For £15 a month for the pair, it’s worth it for peace of mind!

    Katie xox

  14. I have had quite a number of pets but never insurance… In hindsight at times it could have been helpful. Each pet had something major (well more than the need for jabs) happen like a disease, injuries… And those were not cheap! But it only happened once in their lifetime *knock on wood* so I don’t think it’s that worth it but the thought of not being able to pay for care would be horrible.
    Flash is adorable!

  15. We didn’t get pet insurance, but wish we had, yikes we’ve spent a lot there! Every little thing costs a fortune!

  16. When Chaos was 18 months old one of her vets recommended I had her put down. One referral and a payout of over £1000 from Pet Plan and her problems were diagnosed and six years later and I love more than ever. I’d never go without pet insurance.

  17. I did think about this when I got my cats but the cost of insuring two of them against the chance of one of them needing treatment … I thought I’d chance it. I have rainy day savings which I could use if something expensive came up so I’d never be stuck.

    Love Flash 🙂

  18. Sorry I’m late to comment about this, but your hair looks lovely, the colour really suits you. As for pet insurance, we don’t have any, but like you say vet bills can be very high. Even check-ups for our guinea-pigs can be pricey. I think it depends on the pet and what’s wrong with them. If I had a cat or a dog, I’d probably get insurance, but the g-pigs, rabbits and hamsters we’ve had only needed jabs every now and again or a few check-ups when they got ill, so they haven’t cost too much money. Sorry this is such a long comment! xxx

  19. We don’t have it for Oscar – he’s at the age now where I don’t think you can even take out insurance, even though he’s a healthy cat. I’d definitely consider it if I was getting a young pet though.

  20. never had pet insurance for my cats. Mind you, if we were going to treat Poppy (our cat that we had to put to sleep last week), our bills would definitely cost over £2000. Something to think about as we’re thinking of getting a dog….

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  22. pet insurance is a rip off, as it hardly covers the costs anyway..or so ive heard from friends, it dosent come cheap. I had a dog that had two really expensive operations, but even then i worked out i would have paid more to the insurance company than the ops cost.If i had another pet i would put money in a seperate account myself rather than feed the insurance company x

  23. Our cats look really similiar! Except mine would go spastic if I tried to dress him up…!