Exotic Pet Insurance
Exotic pet insurance can be complex and expensive. It’s an essential insurance to cover your pet in the event of expensive vet fees, theft or death. Exotic pet insurance is a specialist insurance area.
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What is an exotic pet?
Traditionally, an exotic animal is any animal that is not indigenous to the UK. You may be surprised to learn that this definition includes mice, which were introduced by the Romans, and rabbits – only wild in the UK since the 12th century.
This definition has been debated by experts, and even defined federally in the US. In the UK, the RSPCA admits that the term is difficult to define, but does offer guidelines for owners and potential owners of exotic pets, as well as extensive species-specific advice on their website (https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/other/concerns)
Which companies offer exotic pet insurance in the UK?
Understandably, pet insurance for exotic pets is not as common as insurance for more traditional pets, such as cats and dogs.
Some pets that are technically considered exotic, like rabbits, may be easier to find insurance for, whereas others, like snakes and spiders, are considerably more difficult to insure. This is usually due to the difficulty in finding a UK-based vet that specialises in treating certain exotic species.
What does exotic pet insurance cover?
Cover usually varies according to species and breed. Generally, all policies offer cover for vet treatments, although the cause of injury or illness covered does vary.
It is important to note that some exotic animals do not reveal any signs of illness or injury until they are gravely unwell. This is because in the wild showing signs of weakness can be lethal. This tendency makes good veterinary cover all the more crucial to the pet’s survival.
Exotic pets can be valuable, which might make them a target for thieves. Specialist insurers cover reptiles, tortoises, parrots, birds of prey and large mammals against theft (but not small birds and small mammals).
Some exotic animals, particularly certain types of snakes, spiders and birds, may be dangerous to both humans and other animals. This makes third party liability insurance important – it covers you in case your pet harms another person or their property.
Is exotic pet insurance worth it?
This is a tricky question to answer, as it is up to the individual pet owner to decide. Some prefer the peace of mind of knowing their pets are covered by professional insurance, whereas some prefer to put money aside every month for use if an issue arises.
As we mentioned above, exotic pets often don't reveal they are unwell until the situation requires urgent medical attention, which can make treatment expensive. You may be able to find a vet in your local area who can treat your pet, but be aware that some exotic animals require specialised treatment and so this may not be available or affordable.
Additionally, it is worth considering third party liability insurance, even if you opt not to cover your pet's vet bills. If action is taken against you as a result of injury or damage caused by your pet, claims can cost thousands and even millions of pounds. For animals which may be considered dangerous or venomous, such as those on listed on the Dangerous Wild Animals Act, liability cover is required by law.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure you understand all of your exotic pet's needs and requirements, and what exotic pet insurance offers.
Insure Guide provides a niche service to take the anxiety out of finding the right insurance broker for your exotic pet insurance. We are a supportive service for ‘difficult to find’ and specialist insurance. Simply complete our web form at the bottom of this page and a specialist broker will call you back within the hour.
There are many different types of insurance out there on the market and a specialist broker will retrieve all the information they require to ensure you are fully covered. Then you can then sit back and enjoy your pet without worrying about exotic pet insurance.