When you are choosing insurance for your pet, it is important that the policy suits your needs. Policy documents will state what is and isn’t covered by insurance. Most policies won’t cover the costs of treating pre-existing conditions, dental care, or vaccinations.
It is important that you read the insurance policy details carefully so you understand what you can claim for your pet. As there are a number of insurance types to choose from, each will cover different things.
Read on to find out about the different types and if there are any exclusions you need to be aware of.
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Types of pet Insurance
All insurance providers will offer different types of policy to suit everyone’s budget and circumstances. There are three main types for people to choose from, all of which have pros and cons.
This is the cheapest of the policies as it only covers accidents. It will provide owners with a fixed sum for each accidental injury which will be used to treat the pet. The negative is that it doesn’t cover illness at all, which means the owner will have to pay for the treatment.
A time limited insurance policy is often active for a year and has a per-condition limit which a claim can be made against. The problem with time limited policies is that if a pet suffers from a condition after the 12 months are over, it will be classified as a pre-existing condition.
It will be harder in the future to get a policy that covers the condition. Time limited policies work well for short term problems that can be easily fixed, such as an eye infection.
Finally, we have the lifetime insurance policy, which is the most popular option for pet owners. However, it is also the most expensive of the policies offered by providers. It covers both accidents and illnesses, often allocating an amount that can be claimed per year before the policy renews.
Lifetime policies often offer the most coverage for pets and have the fewest exclusions. As long as the policy is renewed., any ongoing illnesses will be covered and won’t be classified as pre-existing.
What does pet insurance cover?
If your pet is injured or comes down with an illness, pet insurance will cover the costs if a trip to the vet is needed. The amount that will be covered depends on the policy. Insurance can also cover Third Party Liability, which is where an animal might attack another, and you will have to pay for any injuries or damage.
If a pet is lost or stolen, the insurance policy can sometimes pay the purchase price of the pet that’s listed on the receipt or rehoming document. There are also cases where an owner can claim the purchase price if the pet dies. However, most policies will not cover the cremation or burial of a pet.
Sometimes pets need to stay overnight at the vet, and this costs money. Some policies will cover the overnight fees up to a specific amount.
If a vet suggests an alternative treatment for an animal such as an herbal medicine, this can sometimes be covered by pet insurance. Other treatments might include acupuncture or hydrotherapy to treat an injury.
Are there any exclusions in pet insurance?
Depending on which policy type you end up choosing, there will be exclusions. These are things that won’t be covered by the insurance and you will have to pay for them out of pocket.
Exclusions can include the following:
- Deductible: Also known and an excess, this is the amount that the owner will need to pay when making a claim. The deductible you pay will depend on the plan you’re on, the age of the pet and what you’re claiming.
- Routine treatments: This includes the bi-annual checks that examine your pet’s health. Insurance also won’t cover teeth examinations, or flea and worming treatments for the pet.
- Vaccinations: Owners will have to pay for vaccinations to protect against common illnesses such as hepatitis, parvovirus, feline infectious enteritis, cat flu and more.
- Older pets: Pets over a certain age might not be able to get a lifetime policy due to them being at risk of developing long term problems.
- Certain breeds: For dogs, there are banned breeds in certain countries which you won’t be able to get pet insurance for.
- Pre-existing conditions: A pre-existing condition that started before the insurance policy was activated won’t be covered.
- Euthanasia: Most insurance policies won’t cover the cost of putting a pet to sleep.
- Pregnancy: If a pet is pregnant or has given birth, some policies won’t cover any injuries, illness, death or hospital visits related to the pregnancy. However, breeders can be offered different insurance policies that can cover puppies and kittens.
Short video: What isn’t covered in pet insurance
Frequently asked questions about pet insurance
What kind of policy should I choose?
You should choose a policy that suits your budget. It is important to consider how much it will cost each month and what the deductible is. Would you be able to pay it at short notice if your pet gets sick or has an accident?
Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing when something might happen to your pet. If you want to have peace of mind, then choosing an insurance policy that covers many different things would be a good option.
Another thing to consider when choosing a policy is the risk with your pet. Certain breeds are known to have hereditary conditions that might need treatment in the future. Insurance will help to cover these costs and ensure the pet gets the help they need.
Where can I buy pet insurance?
Pet insurance is often bought directly from the provider, whether on their website or over the phone. However, before you decide on a policy you can compare different price quotes on comparison websites. That way you can get the best deal for your pet.
Always check the policy documents
To find out what is and isn’t covered in pet insurance, it’s always a good idea to read the fine print. Whether it is on a provider’s website or in the policy documents, you will be able to find out what the policy will cover and if there are any exclusions.