When thinking about pet insurance it can be confusing with all the different companies and policies they offer. However, there are a few key points to look out for:
- What is the amount of coverage for any illness/injury?
- Does it offer third party liability?
- Is it lifetime cover or will the cover for an illness end after a certain amount, or time?
- Are there any exclusions?
- Will there be a co-payment or other change in pricing structure when your pet hits a certain age?
- What is the excess?
- Does your vet deal directly with the company?
Lifetime cover is typically the most helpful type of pet insurance as it usually offers cover for illness (including ongoing conditions like arthritis) and injury for the rest of a pet’s life, so long as you’re insured with that provider.
How much cover do you need?
When looking at the amount of coverage provided, Worcestershire pet owners need to think about the size of the animal they have and the likely costs that may incur. For example, treatment for larger dogs will quite often incur higher veterinary costs due to them requiring larger amounts of medication. However, this is not the only consideration; if you have a breed that is more likely to have more or ‘expensive to treat’ health conditions, you will also likely need a higher policy amount.
What about previous/exiting conditions?
If your pet has a previous or existing condition, this will need to be disclosed before purchasing a new pet insurance policy and may result in exclusions within the policy - it is a legal requirement that all conditions are disclosed.
Why is third-party liability important?
One other consideration is third-party liability. Whilst you might think of pet insurance only looking after the health of your pet, it is also there in case your pet was to cause injury or damage you would then be covered.
What is a co-payment?
Due to the fact that pets typically need more treatment for illnesses as they get older, some pet insurance companies increase policy prices (or renewal prices) by a higher percentage when pets hit a certain age. Some insurers might also require a ‘co-payment’ - which means that should you need to make a claim, you will pay (usually) a percentage of the costs before they settle the rest.
What about excess?
When looking at the excess amount (the amount you will pay towards the claim cost), you can often understand how changing the excess amount changes the policy monthly or annual price, before you purchase it. You might decide that paying a higher excess amount and lowering the cost of the policy is the best option for you, or vice versa.
The team at Clent Hills Vets advise pet owners that it is important to remember that a pet insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurance provider. It is not a pet health plan and does not cover routine pet health care. Pet insurance is there to provide cover for illnesses and injuries that could occur and therefore you should always make sure you understand the policy benefits, exclusions and terms before making your purchase.
Our team also recommend that Worcestershire pet owners put a lot of consideration into choosing a policy as if you decide you want to change your policy provider down the road, any existing conditions will probably not be covered.