Here in the UK we’re very lucky that if we fall ill, we have the NHS to make sure we get the treatment we need to get us back on or feet. Unfortunately, our pets aren’t quite so lucky so it is important to be sure that the cost for any medical treatment they need can be covered, whatever your financial circumstances at the time.
Having pet insurance means that if your beloved pet falls ill or is involved in an accident; they can have the medical treatment they need, without you having to worry about the cost.
It’s not just medical treatment that is covered though. Most policies also include 3rd party liability cover which means that if your pet causes damage to another person or to their property, then you are covered for any claims. Also, if you cat or dog runs into the road and causes a car accident, your 3rd party liability insurance will protect you against any claims against you for the damage caused.
Other elements sometimes included in pet insurance policies are:
- If your pet becomes lost, a contribution towards advertising for their safe return.
- Cost of care for your pet if you are hospitalised and unable to look after them.
- If your pet were to fall ill when you were due to go on holiday meaning you couldn’t go, some policies will pay for the cost of your holiday.
Once you have made the decision that your pet needs to have pet insurance it can be very difficult to decide which policy to go for. There are many different sorts of cover to choose from and prices vary a lot.
Things to look out for:
Is it a ‘Lifelong’ policy?
Some pet insurance policies will only pay out for a condition for 12 months after it is diagnosed and after that they don’t pay for any ongoing treatment. This can mean that if your pet was to have a lifelong condition such as diabetes, arthritis or heart disease, the insurance company would not pay for the medication your pet needed after 12 months, leaving you to foot the bill.
Does the cost per condition renew each year?
If you have chosen a lifelong policy, it is important to know whether the total amount paid per condition is a total for the lifetime of your pet or whether it is an amount that can be claimed each year if needed.
How much is the policy excess?
The policy excess is the amount you pay towards the cost of each claim. For example, if your veterinary bill totalled £200 and your excess was £50, then you would pay £50 and the insurance company would pay the remaining £150.
It is important to check that you are happy with the level of excess you would need to pay on each claim.
Are there any exclusions on the policy?
Make sure you are aware of anything your insurance policy won’t cover, such as common hereditary conditions for your breed.
Click here to read about Petplan, the only insurance policies recommended by Vets4Pets.