Best Exotic Pet Insurance

In this article, we explain what exotic pet insurance covers and how much it costs, as well as reviewing if it is worth having.

If you're looking to get pet insurance for exotic animals, you can get a quote with Bought By Many's sister insurance provider, Exotic Direct.

Read the guide to learn:

  1. What is an exotic pet?
  2. Where can I get exotic pet insurance from?
  3. What does exotic pet insurance with Exotic Direct cover?
  4. How much does exotic pet insurance cost?
  5. Is exotic pet insurance worth it?

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.

Where can I get exotic pet insurance from?

You’ve probably noticed that pet insurance for exotic pets is not as common as insurance for more traditional pets, such as cats and dogs.

Understanding exotic pets and the illnesses they suffer with, may be a challenge for some insurance providers.  And this could be the reason why some only cover rabbits and not a full range of exotic pets.

Furthermore, ownership of exotic pets isn’t as widespread as cats or dogs, and many insurance providers prefer to focus on more common pet types.

However, Exotic Direct are specialists in insuring exotic pets, and have been since 1996.  Exotic Direct cover a wide range of animals. We will break down what animals they do cover, the levels of cover and the cost to cover with them, within this article.

Exotic Direct review

Exotic Direct is the leading name in the UK when it comes to exotic pet insurance. The company has been around for over 20 years and offers insurance cover for a long list of exotic animals – from bearded dragons, pythons and parrots to llamas, pigs and reindeer.

Exotic Direct have received many positive reviews. They have a 4.7/5 star Customer Experience Rating on Feefo, based on 295 service ratings. And they have also received the Feefo Platinum Trusted Service Award for 2021.

Exotic Direct also features a news section on its website, which contains useful advice on caring for exotic pets.

In 2015, Bought By Many acquired Brooks Braithwaite (Sussex) Ltd, the parent company of Exotic Direct.

Follow this link to get an exotic pet insurance quote from Exotic Direct.

What does exotic pet insurance with Exotic Direct cover?

Exotic Direct offers vet fee cover for accident, sickness and disease between £1,000 and £5,000, depending on the species. It also offers theft and death cover, depending on your pet type.

Here is a breakdown of their cover levels.

Parrots

  • Premier - Up to £5,000 of vet fee cover including death, theft and weather perils.
  • Essential - Up to £2,500 of vet fee cover including death, theft and weather perils.
  • Basic - Covering death, theft and weather perils only.

Reptiles (lizards and snakes)

  • Premier - Up to £1,000 of vet fee cover including death, theft and weather perils.
  • Essential - Up to £1,000 of vet fee cover.
  • Basic - Covering death, theft and weather perils only.

Tortoises

  • Premier - Up to £2,500 of vet fee cover including death, theft and weather perils.
  • Essential - Up to £2,500 of vet fee cover.
  • Basic - Covering death, theft and weather perils only.

Small mammals and rabbits

  • Premier - Up to £2,000 of vet fee cover per pet covered on the policy.
  • Essential - Up to £2,000 of vet fee cover per policy. This means that vet fee cover is spread across all pets on the policy. If you're only insuring one pet, this will be the option presented to you.

Small birds

  • Up to £1,500 of vet fee cover.

Birds of prey

  • Premier - Up to £5,000 of vet fee cover including death, theft and weather perils. Non return is available for phone applications only.
  • Essential - Up to £2,500 of vet fee cover including death, theft and weather perils.
  • Basic - Covering death, theft and weather perils only.

Exotic mammals

  • Premier - Up to £2,000 of vet fee cover including death, theft and weather perils.
  • Essential - Up to £2,000 of vet fee cover.
  • Basic - Covering death, theft and weather perils only.

It is important to note that some exotic animals do not reveal any signs of illness until they are gravely unwell. This is because in the wild showing signs of weakness can be lethal.

Vet fee cover can be crucial to ensure you can provide the right vet treatment, when its needed.

Public liability

Exotic Direct offers public liability for animals kept on private land, including cover in case they escape.

It also offers cover for animal shows, displays and events, animal centres and clubs, Birds of Prey and animals included in the Dangerous Wild Animals Act. This cover can only be arranged by calling Exotic Direct, though you can find out more information by clicking here.

How much does exotic pet insurance cost?

Based on their Essential policy you will pay the following amounts. Prices are calculated using Exotic Direct’s Direct Debit option, with payments spread over 10 months.

A policy will cover your pet for a full 12 months.

  • Lizards £12.82 for £1,000 of vet fee cover (based on a bearded dragon costing £100)
  • Snakes £12.82 for £1,000 of vet fee cover (based on a Corn snake costing £80)
  • Tortoises £12.69 for £2,500 of vet fee cover (based on a Hermanns Tortoise costing £150)
  • Parrots £20.10 for £2,500 of vet fee cover, death, theft and weather perils (based on an African grey costing £800)
  • Small mammals £15.36 for £2,000 of vet fee cover (based on an Abyssinian Guinea pig costing £20)
  • Birds of prey £20.08 for £2,500 of vet fees cover, death, theft and weather perils (based on a Harris Hawk costing £250)
  • Exotic Mammal £15.88 for £2,000 of vet fee cover (based on a Pygmy Hedgehog costing £150)

Click on the names of the animals above to find out more.

The prices above are based on one pet per policy.  You can add up to three pets, but this will affect the price.

Is exotic pet insurance worth it?

This is a difficult 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 insurance, whereas some prefer to put money aside every month for use if an issue arises.

Those who do decide to save money may be concerned about the cost of insurance, and that the money is being wasted if no claims are being made.

Increasing costs at renewal can also be a concern, especially as a pet ages, or if a claim has been made. The cost of insurance with Exotic Direct is not affected by an ageing pet, which can be welcome news for pet owners.

Although saving money is an option, pet owners need to be mindful that vet bills may far exceed any money saved. Furthermore, it’s important that regular savings contributions are made, to ensure there’s enough in ‘the pot’ for that unexpected bill.

As mentioned above, exotic pets often don't reveal they are unwell until they require urgent medical attention, this may mean treatment takes longer, leading to greater expense. Pet insurance can mean the difference between what your pet needs, and what you can afford. And it’s always there ready for when you need it.

This article was written by Bought By Many. We were not paid to write it but we will receive commission if clicking on a link to one of the named insurers results in a reader taking out a policy with that insurer. We also charge for advertising space so a particular insurer may be highlighted in the article and, where insurers are listed, it can dictate where they appear in the list.