Looking after pets can be an expensive business. Insurer Primary Direct says about one in three animals will need veterinary treatment at least once a year and a recent survey by Mintel reveals that 27% of pet owners worry about medical bills. Here's our guide to prices and cover:
Falcons, Harris hawks, owls and other birds of prey
Insurer: Exotic Direct
Policy: Restricted cover starts from £28 a year to insure an animal worth £200, going up to £80 for a pet worth £1,800. Full cover, including up to £5,000 of vet fees, starts from £74 going up to £332. Some packages include cover for death, vermin, theft, shows and exhibitions. Aviaries can be insured separately.
Conditions: There is a 10% excess for each theft claim and £25 deductible or 10% of value (whichever is the highest) for each course of veterinary treatment.
INSURER: Exotic Direct
Policy: Hamsters can be insured for £46.20 a year (£3.85 a month), with additional animals costing £43.20 (£3.60 a month). Cover pays for veterinary bills up to £2,000 with an excess of £30 per course of treatment.
Conditions: Hamsters must be kept in recognised cages with sufficient heating available if required. The mortality of the pet is not covered and no benefit will be paid towards vet's fees if the hamster becomes sick within the first two weeks of inception of the policy.
Insurer: Petplan Equine (part of Allianz Cornhill)
Policy: Cover varies widely, with a basic premium starting from £45 per year. Policies can include cover for veterinary fees of up to £1,000 per incident, death or humane destruction, disposal after humane destruction up to £150, theft or straying, including advertising and reward. Some policies include third party liability for £1m, £3m or £5m, personal accident and dental cover up to £10,000.
Conditions: Horses must be wormed regularly and vaccinated against tetanus and flu.
INSURER: Catterall Insurance Services
Policy: Premiums vary widely, but a £1,800 monkey with a veterinary costs limit of £150 will cost £159 a year to insure. Policies also cover theft, death of the animal through accident, sickness or disease and taking it to a show or exhibition.
Conditions: Animals must be kept in recognised enclosures and these must be adequately secured to prevent possible theft. If the monkey is taken to a show or exhibition, it must be accompanied by the person who insured it.
Chinchillas, rabbits, guinea pigs
Insurer: Pet Protect
Policy: Premiums for four-legged companions are £67.16 a year, with a 10% discount for insuring three or more pets at once. Cover pays for veterinary bills up to £2,000 with an excess of £35 per course of treatment. This includes alternative medicine, recommended physiotherapy, homeopathy, acupuncture and herbal medicines and the cost of a clinical diet as prescribed by the vet.
Conditions: The policy covers animals aged between eight weeks and six years. Pets must be taken for annual dental check ups. Rabbits must have received regular vaccinations as recommended by the vet for myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic disease.
INSURER: Primary Direct
Policy: A standard policy insures cats for up to £2,500 in veterinary fees, £1m of third party liability and £300 for accidental death. "Deluxe" cover includes up to £5,000 in veterinary fees, £2m in third party liability and £500 for accidental death. Premiums start from £65 standard or £85 deluxe per year.
Conditions: Cover is provided from eight weeks to eight years but in most cases the policy can be extended for life. There is a £50 excess for veterinary bills.
Dwarf crocodiles, racoons, ostriches, venomous snakes, wolves, wandering spiders and other dangerous wild animals
Insurer: Exotic Direct
Policy: Premiums start from £73 a year, giving £400 veterinary cover and cover for death, fire, lightning, storms, wind, vermin, theft, shows and exhibitions. A separate policy covering up to £1m of public liability insurance costs £88 a year.
Conditions: Owners must have a dangerous wild animals licence issued by the local council. They will also require a movement licence for transporting the animal.
INSURER: Primary Direct
Policy: Same as for cats, but standard premiums begin at £99 or at £125 deluxe. Animals are also insured for third party liability, advertising and reward, emergency kennelling, loss by theft or straying and holiday cancellation. Alternative medicine and an allowance for travel to the vet is included under the deluxe policy.
Conditions: Although Primary Direct does not discriminate against the type, breed or size of the dog, it will not cover those defined under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. Dogs are insured up until they are ten years old.