Pet insurance is essential if you own a pet. There will come a time when unplanned visits will be made to the vet, so ask yourself is it worth leaving your pet's health care to chance?
Treatments for pets can be costly and they can soon mount up if you have no insurance. Vet bills aside, you may also have to pay for damage to someone else's property by your pet or kennel costs if your pet has to stay in hospital.
Policy restrictions may apply to your cover for example for the type of pet requiring cover, the age of the pet or pre-existing medical conditions.
When seeking cover get quotes based on your pet's circumstances and not based on information in a leaflet. This will save any nasty surprises later.
The majority of insurance policies will require an excess to be paid when making a claim. Cheaper premiums indicate higher excess payments so this type of product could end up costing you more money.
The following guidelines may help you decide on the best type of cover for your pet.
- Time capped cover - some of the cheaper plans will cover a specified condition for the first year of a claim only. So, if your pet dog develops arthritis you can claim for the first year of treatment. After that the cost will have to be paid by you
- Financially capped cover - here an insurer will pay out each year up to a fixed total amount for each condition. After that, they will stop paying.
A key element of pet insurance is veterinary costs but most companies will include other benefits as well, such as:
- The cost of advertising if your pet goes missing;
- The cost of looking after your pet if you have to stay in hospital;
- The price you paid for your pet should they pass away or go missing;
- The cost of damage caused by your pet that you are legally liable for.
This is not a complete list of benefits on offer by pet insurance companies, so you will have to read the policy to make sure the cover is right for you
Reading the policy means reading the small print. This can be time consuming but it is important to know what terms and conditions you are agreeing to and what the exclusions are.
Make sure you have read all the relevant information and are happy with the cover applied for, because once you sign on the dotted line there is no going back!