The Benefits of Pet InsuranceNovember 12, 2020
Pet insurance is an extremely valuable product to have and we recommend it to most of our clients. Unlike humans in the UK, we have no NHS paying for our pet’s medical care. Medical care is expensive, but sometimes because we are so fortunate to have the NHS, we can easily forget – or never learn – exactly how expensive it is.
Having insurance can benefit your pet dramatically. If you have insurance, it allows vets to investigate cases in a gold standard manner, rather than factoring in price as a primary factor in each decision. This allows optimum protocols to be followed, enough relevant diagnostic tests to be performed and therefore, top quality care to be provided. This helps us to prepare better for surgery and reduces the risk of anything unexpected occurring.
Paying a small, affordable amount monthly can prevent you trying to find a large, unaffordable amount of money all at once. This small fee per month could be the difference between affording life-saving surgery vs euthanasia. How would you deal with an extra, unexpected bill?
Knowing you have insurance gives you peace of mind that anything starting to worry you can be investigated. It often means we can start the investigative process much earlier, as the decision is easier to make rather than wondering if you should wait and see if the issue naturally resolves. Time is often key in preventing the most sinister diseases progressing, meaning the quicker we diagnose and start treatment, the better the prognosis.
Starting to pay for insurance while your pet is young and healthy may seem less useful, as it is less likely your pet will need long-term, costly medication. However, many different insurance companies will be willing to offer lifelong insurance at this stage, meaning you can have a detailed look into each one and choose the one best suited to your needs. Trying to insure an older animal is more costly and fewer insurance companies will be willing to offer deals – or even any cover at all. Remember, once a pet has had an accident or illness, many insurance companies will refuse to cover them, and virtually no company will cover your pet for an illness that started before the policy did.
Thinking about the type of pet you have and their life expectancy may affect whether or not you get insurance. Small furry animals such as hamsters do not live as long (on average) as cats and dogs, which means you will not need to pay for insurance for as long. This may affect your decision as to whether or not to purchase insurance.
There are many different types of insurance and different things to look out for:
– type of insurance – lifelong insurance is the most expensive, but most comprehensive cover.
– the amount of money they will pay per claim or illness (some companies will cap the amount per case)
– the number of different illnesses covered (some companies will only cover a certain number of claims in a year or lifetime). You should also look into how much money they will pay per condition, as this is sometimes capped.
– the excess value. You need to make sure you always have enough money to afford the excess.
– how long the insurance covers you for, whether you should expect any price changes and if so when. This information will help you budget.
– when the cover actually starts. Many insurers do not start their policies until 14 days after the first payment.
– check the terms regarding pre-existing health conditions.
Make sure you shop around. You can even ring companies to try to get better deals. Be sure to read the fine print.
Along with veterinary bills, items that can be included are:
– Ill-health due to mental or behavioural problems
– Rehabilitation after an injury or surgery
– Complementary therapies
– Lost and found cover: to pay for advertising if your pet strays or is stolen
– Death by illness or injury: will need to cover the pet’s purchase price. You will need a qualified vet to certify the cause of death. Check the upper age limit on this clause. A good policy should also cover euthanasia if your pet has to be put down. After such a tricky decision, it is a relief not to have to face a bill afterwards.
– Liability cover: available for dogs only and will cover any costs you are legally responsible for paying if someone is injured or property gets damaged in an incident involving your dog. Sometimes our pets can act unpredictably, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
We want to provide the best care possible for your pets. Insurance really does help us to provide the best veterinary care possible.