Why insure my pet?
For many responsible pet owners, insurance is just one of the many ways of caring for their pet, like feeding, grooming and exercise. But unfortunately despite these best efforts our pets are just as susceptible to illness and injuries as we are, and unfortunately with the advance of veterinary medicine over recent years, the price of treatment has also increased.
It is important to stress that here at Lamond Vets money is not our priority, that we will treat your pets whether you are insured or not, and will always be willing to discuss costs openly and provide full estimates before any treatment is undertaken. However, with an estimated one in three pets making an unexpected visit to the vet each year, the question is can you afford not to consider insurance?
How much will pet insurance cost?
The cost of pet insurance can vary enormously depending on where you live, your pet’s species, age, and breed and most importantly, the product and company you choose. With so many insurance providers in the market offering pet insurance, it can be difficult to decide which policy is right for you so it’s important to make sure you do some research to find out which policy suits you best both in terms of cost and benefits, and make sure you read and understand the small print carefully.
What types of pet insurance are available?
Normally, pet insurance policies can be divided into three categories. Here is a brief description of each:
1). Individual Condition Cover/Financial limited Cover
This type of insurance policy will pay out a maximum amount per condition and usually there is no time limit over which time it can be claimed, but once the maximum amount has been claimed that specific condition will be excluded from future cover.
Advantages: Less expensive for premiums, should provide sufficient cover most short- and medium-term illness.
Disadvantages: Once you exceed your policy limit, you will no longer be covered, and so is not really a suitable level of cover for expensive long-term conditions.
2). Time Limited/12 month Cover
A policy that is time limited to a set period, usually twelve months from the onset of the condition.
Advantages: Generally the cheapest type of policy, helpful when faced with short term conditions/emergencies as the insurance policy will pay out a maximum amount for each new condition claimed for.
Disadvantages: Once the policy has come to an end any condition which has developed is unlikely to be covered again by any future policy, so is not useful for chronic long-term conditions.
3). Lifetime Cover
This type of cover allows you to insure your pet for the full duration of its life. There is a fixed, and maximum, amount of cover you receive each year, but in general this type of cover is considered the most comprehensive, and although the premiums for lifetime cover are the most expensive, this option is the most flexible and long-term.
Advantages: You can usually repeatedly claim for conditions that you have claimed for in the past providing there is no break in the policy cover. This means that it is suitable for long-term conditions, such as arthritis, which often results in recurring claims.
Disadvantages: The excess and premium on lifetime cover policies tends to be high, because the protection you receive tends to be greater than that provided by Individual Condition Cover or Annual Cover.
What isn’t covered?
As well as everything that is included in a policy, it is also important to be aware of what may not be.
Common exclusions that are usually not included in a policy are:
Any pre-existing illness or injury
Flea and worming products
Dental disease (though some policies may cover fractures/accidental injuries)
Can I still purchase pet insurance if my pet has been previously ill?
If your pet has previously been ill or injured you can still purchase pet insurance to provide cover for any new conditions that may develop during the life of the policy, however any pre-existing conditions are likely to be excluded.
You may also find it difficult to find an insurance policy if your pet is less than eight weeks of age, if you breed from your pet, take it abroad or use it for work purposes including guard dogs or racing dogs.