When you browse for an insurance policy for your dog or fill in the forms to agree to a policy, virtually all insurance companies (regardless of the level of coverage) ask a short series of set questions near to the start of the form, with simple yes or no answers.
While this questions are simple and standard-is your dog neutered? Are they microchipped? Etc., these questions are actually very important when it comes to the algorithm that calculates the cost of your policy, and being able to give the “right” answer to all of these simple questions will actually shave quite a significant amount of money off the cost of your total policy.
In this article, we will look at these standard questions in more detail, and explain why they can reduce your policy cost, and what they mean. Read on to learn more.
One of the first standard questions for insurance policies is whether or not your dog is microchipped. This question is potentially less relevant since microchipping became mandatory for dogs in the UK, but of course this does not necessarily mean that it will have actually happened!
An insurance company today is likely to insist that your dog is microchipped before they will insure them due to the recent changes in the law, but additionally, having your dog microchipped tells your insurer other things as well, first of all it demonstrates that you are a responsible owner, and this is likely to be reflected in your day to day care of your dog. Also it does of course make it much more likely that your dog will be found if they are lost or stolen, lowering the chances of your insurer having to make a potentially expensive pay out.
You will also be asked if your dog is spayed or neutered too, and if when you first take out the policy, your pet is too young for the procedure, it is important that you update the information later once the procedure has been performed.
The reasons that this reduces policy costs is multifaceted- first of all, spaying and neutering itself eliminates the chances of your dog developing various different reproductive cancers and other problems as they age, and reduces the likelihood of them suffering from certain other problems too.
Additionally, keeping your bitch intact means that you may be planning to breed from them-or that a mis-mating accident might occur and lead to pregnancy, which comes with potential extra expenses and complications too.
In male dogs, intact status makes the dog much more likely to wander off or stray, and also means that they are more likely to get into a fight with another entire dog.
Spaying and neutering ergo can lead to a real saving in your policy cost.
Your insurer is also likely to ask directly (or if not, list in their “assumptions made about your circumstances”) whether or not your dog is vaccinated, and if you are able to answer yes, this will also shave a little money off your policy.
This is because naturally, the chance of a vaccinated dog catching a dangerous contagious illness drops to virtually nil if they have been vaccinated against it and also because once again having your dog vaccinated demonstrates your commitment to preventative healthcare and good management of your dog.
This is a question that can be a real sticking point in policies-if you are not able to truthfully answer “no” to this question, your potential insurance company, they will likely need to give you a call or request some further information from you before you will be able to proceed.
Depending on the situation, this does not necessarily mean that you will be refused insurance, but that it is likely to be more expensive and may come with additional conditions such as muzzling your dog when outside, and/or keeping them on a lead at all times.
A domestic pet policy is not appropriate for a dog that fulfils a working role, but even if your dog does not actually work but accompanies you to work regularly (including riding in your works vehicle) the risk factors are viewed as higher, and so a standard pet policy will usually not be suitable.
The vast majority of insurers offer a multi-pet discount if you insure more than one pet with them, simply because it is worth them to offer this small discount in order to gain a potential long-term customer. It is always worth insuring all of your pets with the same company if the policy is appropriate, in order to benefit from such discounts.