Supporting agility dogs with specialist lifetime cover


Can you afford not to have it?

Are you one of the many people who think that dog insurance is too expensive? Every year it is estimated that two out of three pets need some veterinary attention. Are you aware that an average vet bill is 115? A hip replacement operation could cost 1,700 or spinal surgery could set you back 800. Don't you owe it to your dogs to ensure that they are protected? Neil Flint of VIP offers some free advice about what to look for when deciding which insurance for the canine athlete.

Pet Insurance is being sold today by many companies such as banks, supermarkets and insurers direct. With a wide variety of insurance policies from an ever increasing number of providers it makes choosing a pet insurance policy ever more difficult.

As both brokers and dog owners, we know that choosing the right insurance policy can be confusing. There is so much to consider when insuring your pet. Here are the ten most frequently asked questions that we get asked at shows when people are deciding on which insurance policy is most suitable.

1. I know I should insure my dogs but it's always seemed too expensive. But now with escalating vet bills, I suppose I owe it to my dogs to look into it. What would it cost me, for instance, to insure my dog and can I get a discount on more than one policy?
Policies are available from as little as 55 to as much as 263.50 a year or 4.55 to 21.95 a month. The amount you pay usually reflects the type of cover you buy. If you shop around, often you can get discounts on multiple dog policies, so in the end that the more you insure, the more you save.

2. What types of cover are available?
Vet fee insurance does not cover routine examinations but does protect again illness and accident, including essential hospitalisation and referral. Plans offer different levels of vet fee cover from 1,000 to unlimited. Other policies offer third party liability and other extra benefits are available, if you know what to ask for.  Some cover your dog for life while others must be renewed on an annual basis and may exclude past claims.

At this moment in time, we estimate that there are at least 20 insurers offering pet schemes with two or more variations to each scheme. You need to think carefully about what level of cover you want. This could have a big impact on the price you pay.

3. Does the age of your dog make a difference?
Many insurers have a cut off point of  eight to ten years old for insuring your pet. There are other companies that offer pet insurance to any dog regardless age without the premium being excessive. Some companies increase the cost of pet insurance in line with the age of the dog. There are some companies, however, that do not increase the cost as the pet gets older.

4. Does the cost of insurance vary according to your geographic area. Is it a post code lottery?
Several of the major pet insurance companies vary their premiums according to the area where you live. The premium is related directly to the cost of veterinary care in that area. For example, if you live in the Home Countires you may be charged more than if you live in Scotland. A number of companies calculate the cost of pet insurance according to the area you where live in line with vet fee costs. Other insurers charge only one rate nationwide.

5. I've seen the term 'excess' mentioned. What does that mean?
All policies carry an excess. This is the amount you must pay on any claim before you get any money back. Excesses vary greatly from company to company. Check before you buy.

6. If I decided to switch insurance companies, would there be continuity of cover?
Some insurers will exclude conditions claimed for in previous years, and others offer cover for life.     

7. Premium Payment, what is it and is it worth taking advantage of~
Most companies offer direct debit and annual payment, but some may offer improved cover for direct debit payers.

8. Do all insurance policies cover dogs that do agility and flyball?
This is important. Check that your pet is covered for agility or any other activity as some companies may not insure agility dogs.  It is recommended that you inform the insurer that the dog is an agility dog on the application form.

9. Are any specific breeds excluded from insurance?
Each company calculates its rates in a different way. The cost of pet insurance can vary with breed types and pedigree but not necessarily. A particular breed of dog may be more expensive to insure with one company than another. You may be charged more if your dog is a pedigree rather than a crossbreed.

10. How are claims paid?
Claims settlement varies from insurer to insurer. They can be settled direct to the vet or paid to the policyholder. Often it is the choice of the policyholder.

Having read and considered all of the above, there is no doubt that there is much to consider when insuring your dog. Vet Fee Protector was set up by agility people to take the hassle out of insuring your pet.

For more advice or information about insurance
for your dog, cat, horse, rabbit, caravan, house... whatever,
call the team:-

VIP Independent Pet Insurance Brokers
Tel. 0845 6018575

Visit for a free quote or email

And don't forget to mention Agilitynet.

Neil Flint was introduced to agility six years ago by his partner Debbie Benton. They share one dog between them except when it's raining, snowing, windy or blowing a hurricane. When it's time for walkies, then it's Neil's dog.

An ex-Royal Navy accountant, Neil moved into Financial Services sector, working way up the ladder to Sales Manager for a major national insurer. Three years ago he and John Bruce established the Bruce & Flint Consultancy Independent Financial Advisers.

This year they set up a new company called Vet Fee Protector to specialise in agility and other canine sports. Their aim is to offer comprehensive, low cost insurance to agility people. By searching through their list of leading pet insurers, they are able to provide the most suitable and competitively priced policy for individual needs.

Jonathan Bruce, an ex-quantity surveyor, is a family man with three children, a Cocker Spaniel and an overworked wife. He enjoys long walks with the dog away from the ever ringing phone. In his spare time, he runs a local children's football academy and attends agility shows which he really enjoys.


Debbie Benton has been doing agility for a number of years though recently the pressure of work as a freelance IT Consultant and Web Page Designer has left her little time to train or walk the dogs in the rain! She runs Collie IT, training people to use basic computing skills.


High praise from Rosemary Elliott...
Just to let you know I have insured my dogs through VIP after contacting them from agility net page. They are superb. Not only did they talk 'to' me, not at me as so many others do now who want a hard sell, but fitted a policy around all my dogs to suit them, not the company being used. Highly recommended.


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