Pet Insurance is an insurance policy that covers your household pets and is mainly used for cats and dogs. Most Pet Insurance offers to pay the veterinary costs if your pet is ill or has an accident. Pet insurance can also cover other expenses such as emergency kennelling costs, theft, travel and even death.
Most people take out Pet Insurance because bills for serious vet treatment can be very expensive; often prohibitively so leading to animals being 'put down' in many cases. Pet Insurance ensures you will never have either the financial or emotional heartache of this situation. By insuring your pet you can have peace of mind for any illness or injury your pet may sustain. Pet Insurance also offers peace of mind for damage or injury your pet might cause a third party. Pet Insurance also gives peace of mind knowing that your pet will always be able to receive the best medical treatment available.
Over 50 per cent of visits to vets are unplanned and are due to either accident or illness. In fact, one out of every three pets requires veterinary treatment each year following injury or illness. Costs are high once X-rays and long-term treatments are involved involving repeat visits. Costs can quite quickly run into the £1,000s for leg breakages, hip treatment etc. Injuries to your pet can also lead to holiday cancellations, courts costs (You are liable for your dog if it causes a road accident, for example, or bites someone). Advertising and reward costs if your pet is lost or stolen can be an added bonus of some policies.
Many UK dog owners may not be aware that they are legally responsible for their dogs. If the dog is involved in an accident with a vehicle they are responsible for any damages incurred to the vehicle because of the accident (the 1971 Animals Act). By having Pet Insurance dog owners can be covered as part of their policy for an incident like this. This is called Third Party Liability Insurance.
Read Review Centre reviews for suggestions and tips. Consult your vet who may offer good advice. Check on the Internet or consult the Yellow Pages. Consult other dog owners. Whatever you do always shop around and compare different policies. Obtain several quotes.
Most Pet Health Insurance companies as a rule only cover cats and dogs. However, there are a few companies that also cover other animals such as birds, particularly exotic varieties; and reptiles and rodents. Specialist insurance is widely available for horses and is known as Equine Insurance.
When you purchase Pet Insurance your insurer will usually issue documents such as:
The Policy Document - sets out in full the terms and conditions of your policy
The Policy Handbook - contains more details about your insurance
Read and make sure you understand your insurance policy document. If there are insurance terms you are not sure of then check them out.
Don't just look at the price, check what is covered under the policy and check the policy details, especially for any exclusions.
Many companies have a variety of structured policies from basic through to premium plans each covering different aspects of your pets' medical care.
Look carefully at what is incorporated in each plan before you make a decision. What one Insurance company does not cover may be available from another and the precise details of the insurance cover will vary from policy to policy. Usually the higher the monthly payment, the greater the value of cover and number of aspects covered.
The following are the main features you need to look out for:
Some insurance companies insist on tyour pet having an assessment performed by a vet.
Policies often limit the amount they will pay out either by capping the total sum they will pay out in a year or placing a limit per illness or accident, or place a cap per claim.
Commonly in pet insurance the pet owner usually also has to make a payment towards any claim ensuring the insurance covers more expensive costs only.
Pet insurance generally will not pay for preventative veterinary care such as vaccinations, or elective veterinary care such as neutering, as these costs are known and can be budgeted for.
Pet Insurance agencies will not usually cover an animal for a pre-existing medical condition, pregnancy, dental problems, or congenital defects.
Check the terms of your policy but generally pet insurance will not cover any medical condition or symptoms that your pet had before the inception date or often any problems that occur during the first few days of your insurance cover. A pre-existing condition in your contract is often defined as any medical condition or symptoms that your pet had before the inception date of your pet insurance policy.