Would you be able to afford expensive and unexpected vet bills for necessary treatment if you don't have dog insurance? That's the question you need to ask yourself

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When dog owners get together a common subject for discussion is how much vet bills are. Particularly if one of the dogs has recently had an expensive operation.

“Were you insured?” is a question that’s almost certainly going to be asked.

You might think that insurance is a gamble – you vs the insurance company who are betting that you will pay out more money in premiums that you ever receive.

The shock of a large bill

As a dog gets older your premium is going to rise. Mind you, it’s less of a shock mentally to pay the expected monthly or annual direct debit than a bill for a £1000 plus  which comes out of the blue.

How much to insure your gundog?

Out of interest I went online to get quotes for insuring an eight-year-old English springer bitch that’s spayed, micro-chipped and in good health. The cheapest I could find was an accident-only policy for £48, with an excess of £99 and veterinary-fee coverage up to £2,500 — which may not have included coverage for any injuries sustained in the shooting field.

At the other end of the scale was the £1100 annual premium with a reputable company that looked reassuringly comprehensive. The payout for vets bills was £10,ooo per year and the excess was £75 plus 10% of the remaining costs. In addition, compensation for death by accident or illness was £2,000, while the company would pay up to £2,000 for advertising if the dog was lost or stolen.

Cover you might not need

Most of the quotes included public liability cover in the event of the dog causing an accident.  Many people believe that it’s worth insuring their gundog for this cover alone, but you might well find that this cover is duplicated in your household policy. It’s worth checking.

Get a free quote for gundog insurance here.