While we cannot recommend one company we are able to give some advice and helpful tips on what to look for when deciding on your insurance provider.
- It is usually best to look for a lifelong policy. These policies are usually more expensive but this should mean that your pet is covered for all conditions for the duration of his/her life.
- Check condition limits. It doesn’t take long for the price of treatment to build up, particularly in the diagnostic stage if your pet is diagnosed with a long term illness such as diabetes. Some insurance policies have surprisingly low limits for some conditions. Always check the fine print before taking out a policy.
- Think carefully before changing insurance companies. If your pet has been treated for an injury or illness in the past and you have claimed on your insurance this condition will be exempt from any new insurance policy from a different provider.
- Some of the less expensive insurance policies can have a 12 month limit or conditions. This means the company will cover your pet for the first 12 months of treatment for a condition. After the 12 months that condition will be exempt from your policy and your insurance company will no longer pay for treatment.
5. As pets get older it is not unusual for the premiums to get higher. This is because there is an increased possibility that you wll need to make a claim for an older pet. Some insurance policies will also add a percentage excess on top of the normal excess for older animals. This can dramatically increase the cost of insuring your animal and is worth discussing with your chosen company even if you take the policy out while your pet is young.
6. Some insurance companies will advertise that they can pay fees direct to your vet. This is at the discretion of the individual veterinary practice. It is our practice policy that any treatment is paid by the client and we will then claim the fees back, less any excesses, on your behalf. A direct claim, where the fees will be paid back to the clinic, can only be arranged in exceptional circumstances. This has to be discussed with our practice principal and we would ask that you contact your insurance company prior to any treatment to ensure that the condition and treatment are covered by your policy.
7. A good way to find out the range of insurance available is to use price comparison sites. Use more than one and always read the fine print. If there is anything you are unsure of, telephone the provider and ask them to explain it to you until you feel comfortable. If you are unhappy with any part of the policy offered to not feel obliged to take it out. If you do take out a policy and find something you are not happy with the standard ‘cooling off’ period during which you can cancel your policy with no repercussions is usually 14 – 28 days. Always check this with your provider. If you have not received your policy documents within 7 days of taking out a policy contact your insurance provider.
8. There is usually a period after the policy is taken out during which your pet is not covered for treatment for illness. This can range from 7 – 28 days. Check this with your provider when taking out the policy. Emergency treatment cover (for treatment resulting for a road traffic accident for example) is usually in place immediately, again it is important to check this with your provider when you take out a policy.
While there is a lot to think about and to take on board when considering insuring your pet, it is recommended to save heartbreak if anything should happen to your pet.