We all love our guinea pigs. They are very precious to us and we do what we can to make their lives happy and content. However there maybe times when we need medical assistance for our piggies because their health has deteriorated to such an extent that we need to take them to a vet.
Just the mere thought of taking their loved piggies to the vets sends most owners into a cold sweat thinking about the cost of such a visit. It can cost £25-£30 just to get to see a vet in the UK, and that’s not including treatment fees and the cost of medication.
However, there is another way for guinea pig owners to pay for the treatment of their piggies and that is through pet insurance. Or do you just chance it that your guinea pigs won’t get sick or worse still, let them suffer because the cost is just too great?
So is pet insurance for guinea pigs worth it and what are the kind of things that need to be thought through before taking the plunge with it?
I decided to take a look and get a quote for myself to see if it was something that I wanted to pursue.
I know insurance isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I know some people may be interested in my experience so I have blogged about it here.
Note: The following details about the quote are correct at the date of this post. The policy and premium quote may change
Where did I get my pet insurance quote from?
There are not many insurers that offer it in the UK.
Most insurers only recognize two types of animals, cats and dogs!
However, Gocompare.com offered it through Exoticpetsdirect.com which is where I got my quote from.
Using Exotic Direct
Exotic Direct offer Small Mammal insurance which covers guinea pigs. However, they only offer one policy for a maximum of three guinea pigs. So for someone like myself who has 4 guinea pigs, I would need 2 policies.
Going onto the next screen they wanted to know each guinea pig’s name, breed, purchase price, and birth date.
I wasn’t sure on the birth date, so had to provide an estimate. Interestingly, they would not accept that I had got Charlie and Fuzzy-wuzzy for free, so I had to put their purchase price in as a £1. This was the minimum amount it would accept.
Next they wanted my personal details. As usual for insurance companies, they wanted to know name, address, phone numbers, DOB, and email for a basic quote.
Then the next screen took me to the initial quote.
How much does guinea pig insurance cost?
‘Available’ gave me an annual premium of 389.60 and ‘Popular’ gave me an annual premium of £291.02. These can both be paid by direct debit in monthly instalments over 10 months.
The difference between ‘available’ and ‘popular’ is that ‘available’ insures all 3 pets individually, where as ‘popular’ only seems to insure one pet at a time.
The policy is underwritten by Allianz insurance who are one of the world’s largest insurers. and is for 12 months. I have dealt with Allianz before and I know they are a good insurance company.
What is covered under their guinea pig insurance policy?
It would cover my guinea pigs for loss by fire, theft, lightning, storm or wind.
It would cover them against death as a result of accident or illness.
Finally it would cover their veterinary fees for an accident or illness, up to a limit of £5000 in the policy period.
What isn’t covered under their policy?
However, it wont cover the loss of a guinea through escape or mysterious disappearance.
They wont cover any vet fees or death benefit in the first year as a result a of pre-existing condition. This means that if your guinea pig already has a poorly leg for example, before you took out the insurance, the policy would not cover you for it. You would have to pay for the vets fees yourself. However, if the poorly leg continued for past the first 12 months of the policy then you could claim on the insurance for it.
They wont cover the cost of a post mortem report which may be required in the event of a mortality claim, any further excess due under a recurring condition. So you would be liable for the excess on each claim.
They also don’t cover the cost of your vets fees for completing the insurance claim forms (this was a surprise!)
Both policies have an excess of £50 for veterinary treatment, although a larger excess may apply for certain treatments. This means whenever I make a claim, I will have to pay £50.
If I wanted to take it further, there were further questions they wanted to know and it would have to go up to their underwriters to review.
What to do?
I haven’t decided what I’m going to do yet, but will look around at other policies and see what they have to offer and see how their price compares.
Pet insurance for guinea pigs certainly provides peace of mind for owners, especially if the vet bill is high. But the cost is the main factor and weighing it up against just paying vets bills out of my own pocket.
But its certainly been an interesting exercise.
Have you taken out pet insurance for your guinea pigs, if so it would be great to hear from you about your experience in using it.