MyPawsOn.com is pleased to share an article with you to help with choosing pet insurance.
The Pet Insurance guide
This article was written by Sally Hayward from The Pet Insurance Guide. Sally is passionate about making sure that all UK pet owners are able to choose the best policy for their pets. The Pet Insurance Guide was featured on the BBC1 consumer programme, Rip Off Britain. It provides independent and unbiased information about popular pet insurance policies. Including policy verdicts, reviews and small print analysis.
10 things you need to know about pet insurance
Pet Insurance mainly covers vet fees
Most people take out pet insurance to pay for their pet’s healthcare costs. There is, of course, no NHS for pets and vet fees can be very expensive. Almost all policies will also provide third party liability cover for accidents caused by your dog.
Pet Insurance is not like car insurance or home insurance
Pet insurance is much more complicated than buying car or home insurance. Most car and home policies are reasonably similar. Pet insurance policies are not. Pet insurance policies differ in how much they will pay out. For example, how they will go on paying and what they will actually pay for. So doing your research is essential.
Cheap Cover is often very limited
Many pet insurance companies which will offer you a policy for just a few pounds a month. It may seem like a bargain but most of these policies only offer very limited cover. Perhaps only providing cover for the treatment of accidents, or for certain illnesses, or have low cover limits. Be clear about what is included.
All pet insurance has financial limits
All policies have a financial limit. No pet insurance company offers a policy that pays for any treatment regardless of cost. Some policies have limits per condition. Others have limits per policy year and some have both. Cover limits range from £500 to £15,000.
Some policies have treatment time limits
Many of the cheaper policies will only pay for the first 12 months of treatment. This is usually dependent on the policies being renewed when it becomes due. These policies are either known as time-limited policies or 12-month policies. The latter term is somewhat misleading as many people believe it refers to the length of the policy rather than the treatment time-limit.
Ongoing cover may not be for life
The more expensive policies will offer ongoing cover, with no treatment time limit, provided you renew the policy each year. However some policies which offer ongoing cover have a financial limit for each accident or illness your pet has. Once you have reached this limit your cover for that condition will stop. These are called maximum benefit policies. The other policies which offer ongoing cover will reinstate the cover limits each year. These are often referred to as lifetime policies, renewing policies or reinstatement policies.
Pet Insurance small print is important
Some pet insurance will pay virtually all dental costs. Others will only pay for dental treatment required as a result of accidental damage. Some require your pets to have a dental check every year. Others won’t pay dental costs for the first two years. Many pet insurance policies won’t pay for any dental or gum treatment at all. There are similar differences for prescription food, complementary therapies and many other treatments. But you will need to read the small print to find out what any particular policy covers.
Excess payments can be a significant cost
All pet insurance policies require you to pay an excess for each claim. These are normally between £55 and £125. In addition you may have to pay a percentage of the claim (usually 10-35%). Some companies only require this if your pet is over about 8 years old, whereas others apply the charge to pets of all ages.
Renewal premium increases can be substantial
Many pet insurance companies will give you a “special introductory discount” for the first year. This is to persuade you to take out a policy with them. As you will lose this after the first year you may find that the premium shoots up. Pet insurance companies also increase premium as a result of rising vet costs and the increasing age of your pet. Some companies, although not all, will also increase the premium as a result of claims you make. So do your research and buy the policy which will give you the best long term value.
There are some standard exclusions
Pet insurance companies will not cover any illnesses or conditions that your pet had before the policy was taken out. Nor will they pay for any routine, cosmetic or preventative treatments. Examples of these are vaccinations, neutering and flea treatments.
A word from mypawson.com
We hope you find this article useful. If you have any comments about your experiences with good or bad pat insurance, please let us know.