Pet Insurance Information
There’s no NHS for pets so if your pet suffers and illness or injury it can cost £100s or £1,000s in vets’ bills – leaving some owners with the horrid choice of either paying out or putting their pet down.
This guide reveals how to speedily compare policies and find the cheapest pet insurance for pets regardless of its species, breed or age.
- Pet insurance DOs and DON’Ts
- Should I insure?
- Third-party only cover
- What type of insurance to get?
Do’s and Dont’s
DO —- check your pet isn’t excluded (dangerous breed, working dogs are)
DON’T — think you’ll always lose by switching, due to previous claims
DO — check your pet’s not too old to be insured
DON’T — ignore third party cover – it could cost you £1,000s+
DO — work out the smallest amount you’d claim (and set your excess)
DON’T — lie – it can make your policy worthless
DO — be aware pedigree pets cost more due to risk of illness and theft
DON’T — forget annual injections – it could mean you aren’t covered
DO — try multi-pet policies to increase the savings
DON’T — forget to find out what happens if the insurer goes bust
DO — consider getting your pet microchipped
DON’T — forget to check your T&Cs
Should I insure my pet?
Vets’ fees are already expensive and keep rising, making the cost any treatment potentially massive!!. If you have been lucky, you won’t have faced fees for any unusual or emergency treatments, so here are some examples of what you could be looking at:
If you don’t have insurance -this could mean making the heartbreaking choice of putting down your beloved pet, if you are unable to cough up the cast required. And lets be honest some of these treatments can be the same price as a deposit for a house!. Even if you’ve got the cash saved for a rainy day, in many cases insurance can work out cheaper (in the event that you actually need to claim).
What does pet insurance cover?
Is self-insurance worth it?
Instead of paying premiums, you put the monthly premiums in a easy access account . So if your pet gets sick, there’s money ready pay for it and there’s not waiting around for insurers to decide if they are going to pay. If your pet never gets sick, then you have created a nice nest egg for yourself at the same time!
However, there are two big dangers to consider:
The problem strikes before you’ve built up cash
Self-insurance relies on having enough cash to hand when the vet needs paying. This makes the first few months or years very risky. Expensive treatment could mean you end up having to put your the pet down or having to find other ways to cover the deficit
You get sued…
- Dogs and horses are not covered for public liability, so if your pet causes an accident or damage to property then its up to the owner to cover the cost of the damage. Often animals are easy to blame so even if someone else triggered the accident (such as leaving a gate open, which allowed your pet to escape and then the caused an accident) its often the pet owner that has to pay and unfortunately these can go into the millions!
- Cats on the other hand are considered not legally responsible for their actions and are off the hook!!
Consider ‘third-party only’ cover
You can often get third party cover by joining and animal charity. The yearly fee provides this along with added bonuses and if you never need to claim your helping the charity with its vital work.
What type of cover should I get?
Before getting a policy, first decide what you want it to cover ans with any insurance there seems to be infinite options. As with any insurance make sure you ready all the policy wordings to check what is covered. For example as with a lot of medical policy’s once a condition has been claimed for once- you often can not claim for it again
Pick your policy type
Cover can be broken down into three different types and simply needs you to think about the amount of cover you want for vet fees.
Basic annual cover: ‘per condition, with time limit’
BEST FOR: One-off injuries, small surgery after accident, short-term illness such as a mild skin condition
Mid level cover – ‘per condition, no time limit’
BEST FOR: One-off injuries, surgery, short/medium-term illness
High level cover – ‘lifetime policies’
BEST FOR: Long-term illnesses such as diabetes, arthritis or some cancers that require constant regular treatment.
What to watch out for
Ensure you know exactly what you’re paying for. Pet policies can exclude all sorts of claims, impose plenty of limits and even leave you exposed unless you add extras.
Here are the key pet cover checks to make:
Pre-existing conditions aren’t always covered
What if my pet has a life-threatening accident or illness?
The Government’s pet travel scheme
Can I cancel my holiday?
Cover for missing pets
Kennel and cattery fees
Accidental damage – am I covered?
Compare and find the cheapest
What you’ll pay as a premium will vary depending on your pets age, breed, where you live etc.
As time consuming and tedious as it is, the best thing to do is use comparison websites. If you find one you like, its always worth just trying it direct on their website as these sometimes can come out cheaper. Check any free offers are actually worth it and you can always contact the company direct to see if they will offer any more discount especially if you hold/ will hold multiple policy’s.
This information is intended as a guide and we suggest that you do your own research and if unsure contact your own financial adviser/broker for more information
** Please note- extras have been take from money saving expert website- please see here for more details: http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/insurance/cut-pet-insurance-costs