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Insurance for your Pet Bird

Exotic Direct

Owning a pet bird can be a very rewarding experience, however it also comes with huge responsibility to care for their health and wellbeing.

Naturally you'll want to do all you can, to keep your pet bird happy, healthy and in tip-top condition. No one wants to think about a beloved pet becoming ill or suffering an injury, but these things occur, just as they do with humans. And, when that happens, there’s a good chance they may need to be seen and treated by a vet.

As pet owners in the UK, we’re each responsible for ensuring the welfare of our animals and are obliged to adhere to five specific welfare needs, as laid out in the Animal Welfare Act 2006. This specifies the need to protect the animal from pain, suffering, injury and disease, which means there’s a responsibility to ensure that they receive appropriate treatment if they are sick or injured.

With that in mind, it's reassuring to know that veterinary care for birds has progressed hugely in recent years and there are more advanced diagnostic and treatment options for birds than ever before.

However, this increasing knowledge and ability to provide the best possible care for avian patients inevitably comes with a fee. As there isn’t an NHS equivalent for pets, this prompts the question of how owners plan to meet the costs of veterinary treatment, should their bird need it.

We have discussed the nutritional and environmental needs of pet birds in other articles on this website. This article focuses on another important aspect of pet ownership, which is how to ensure that your pet bird will be able to have appropriate veterinary treatment, when needed.

Some owners are fortunate to have savings that they can dip into to pay their vets. However, when you consider that there are conditions that can cost hundreds, or even thousands of pounds to treat, many people will have concerns about just how far their savings will stretch. The good news is that there’s another option, which can help with the cost of veterinary fees. Did you know that you can take out an insurance policy for your bird, to help with those unexpected veterinary costs?

Pet Insurance isn’t just for cats and dogs!

Many people are already familiar with pet insurance being available for cats, dogs, rabbits and horses, from a wide range of pet insurance providers. Thankfully, there are also some options of specialist cover for a variety of exotic animals, including pet birds.

Taking out pet insurance for your bird can provide peace of mind that if your bird does have an accident or become unwell, you’ll have a policy in place to help with bills for their veterinary care.

Pet insurance, at a glance

Pet insurance policies are primarily designed to cover the cost of veterinary fees relating to treatment for unexpected illness and injury. Most pet insurance policies don’t cover routine consultations and preventative treatment costs, for things such as regular health check-ups and vaccinations, etc.

Ideally, pet owners should aim to set up their insurance policy as early as possible in the pet’s life. Most pet insurance policies have an initial ‘waiting period’ before the cover kicks in, and many don’t offer cover for ‘pre-existing conditions’ – which is the term used to describe conditions, illnesses or injuries that happened or first showed clinical signs prior to the policy start date and the completion of the waiting period.

It’s important to be aware that not all pet insurance is the same, and what’s available differs from provider to provider, and also depending on the species of animal you want to insure. There are four main different policy types within mainstream (cat and dog) pet insurance, ranging from comprehensive ‘Lifetime’ cover options, which tend to be at the higher end of the price spectrum, right through to limited ‘Accident only’ options which will usually be considerably cheaper. If you’re quoted or are paying what seems like a very low premium for your policy, compared to other policies, check what it actually covers, as it may be fairly restrictive which means that there might be lots of conditions and scenarios that aren’t covered.

Across those different policy types, the various providers offer a range of cover options and benefit levels, with varying excesses and premiums. Some policies also offer cover for things like Third Party Liability, advertising and reward costs, and for the loss or death of your pet. As mentioned above, the types of insurance and what’s available may depend on and be relevant to the species of pet.

Policyholders usually have the choice of either paying for their policies in one lump sum, or in smaller monthly amounts. It’s good to be aware that some providers may charge extra for the monthly payment option, however there are others that don’t.

There’s usually an excess to pay towards claims. This is the amount that the policyholder contributes towards the treatment costs, and it’s something that varies from provider to provider. Some insurers offer a choice of excesses, and the general rule of thumb is that the higher the excess you select, the lower the premium, and vice versa.

Key Takeaways:

· Not all pet insurance is the same! Take time to read through the policy terms and conditions. Contact the insurers to ask any questions you may have

· Most pet insurance policies don’t offer cover for pre-existing conditions

· Ideally, aim to take the most comprehensive policy you can afford, and try to get cover in place as early as possible in the pet’s life

· If your policy premium seems very cheaply-priced compared to others, check what it actually covers and what’s excluded



Exotic pet insurer, ExoticDirect focuses on responsible pet ownership, taking much time to work with experts in the exotic pet field to publish pet care articles offering advice and giving owners access to extensive knowledge and experience.

Offering a wide range of policies to suit circumstances and budgets, the highest level of cover ExoticDirect offers is the Superior product which includes £5,000 of vet fees, death and theft cover.*

ExoticDirect provides cover for a variety of parrots, including African Greys, Macaws, Amazons, Cockatoos, Alexandrines, Galahs and more. 


*Terms, conditions and excesses apply and may be varied at renewal. Cover is subject to acceptance criteria, policy limits and exclusions may apply. Please consider the policy wording before making a decision to purchase the product.

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