Our pets are less adept with a knife and fork than you or I, so they have to rely on their teeth alone. If they fracture a tooth or develop gum disease, it's important to get it fixed quickly. This isn't always easy with expensive vet bills, but pet insurance can help with your costs.
Does pet insurance cover dental costs?
Pet insurance that covers everything you need can be hard to find, and plenty of policies have restrictions on what they'll pay out for, including dental fees. You'll need to know how to make sure these costs will be covered and what else you need to consider to find the pet insurance that covers dental treatment.
Very few insurers will pay for routine dental care, such as if your vet needs to clean your pet's teeth for you. They usually won't pay for treatment of gum disease or tooth decay either; they see these as preventable if you look after your pet properly, and as a cost the owner should cover.
Some policies will cover dental treatment in certain circumstances, for example:
To fix external dental damage caused by an accident
Treatment for an abscess or broken tooth.
Illness or disease that directly damages your pet's teeth or gums
Finding suitable pet insurance including dental treatment will require looking into the terms and conditions to check what each policy covers. Some policies only include accidents, so look for ones that cover illness too.
Levels of cover for pet dental insurance plans
Pet insurance can offer varying degrees of cover that impose different limits on how much you can claim. Some policies have a maximum amount they'll pay out per condition, one of which may be dental fees. If so, look out for how much each policy will contribute for dental care each year.
Usually the cheapest option, limited policies cover your pet for a set period of time - generally one year. Once the policy has ended, any conditions you pet has developed will be seen as "pre-existing" when you look to renew the policy or find a new one from elsewhere, which will make it more expensive.
Capped cover policies
Capped cover is limited to a particular amount per condition throughout your pet's lifetime, such as what it will pay towards dental costs. When that maximum is reached, it won't allow you to claim any more towards treatment for that ailment.
Lifetime cover offers the most comprehensive cover throughout your pet's entire life, assuming you keep paying for it each year but is also usually the most expensive option. Each condition will come with a maximum amount it can pay out annually, including for dental treatments, but this will reset each year.
What else to look for in dental pet insurance
The excess is the amount you'll need to pay yourself when you claim. If you picked a policy with a £100 excess and had a vet's bill for £600, you would pay £100 and your insurer would pay the remaining £500.
Policies with lower premiums often come with a higher excess. Try to find a policy with low premiums, but make sure the excess isn't so high you won't be able to afford to claim.
Compare the maximum amount each policy specifies it can pay each year overall. You should also look at the limits on how much they'll pay out for particular conditions.
What else it includes
Good pet insurance should cover other vet bills as well as dental costs. It could also cover the costs of recovering or replacing your pet if it goes missing or dies.
Some policies will also include cover for any third party liability claims; in other words, they'll pay put for costs your pet incurs if it injures other people or damages their property.
Some insurers might refuse to provide cover for pets based on their age, species and breed. At the very least, these factors will affect how much you need to pay for an insurance policy, so look for the one tailored for your type of pet.
Compare dental insurance for pets
You won't want to pay more than you have to but it's vital not to just look for the cheapest premiums, as these policies might not offer you enough cover.
Instead, look for insurance that will cover everything you need as your priority. You can use our pet dental insurance comparison to find the right deal to suit you - find a few that fit your requirements and pick the cheapest of those policies.