Pet Insurance Explained
Don’t you just find pet insurance a told mind field? I know I certainly do!
Well, I hope this will help to explain the different types of policies available on the market. To help you find the right one for you and your pet.
What does Pet Insurance cover?
Generally, pet insurance tends to cover vet fees and certain medial expenses most will tend to cover the following:
– Death by accident or illness
– Missing pet cover
– Overseas travel
– Cattery & Kennel fees – should you be taken poorly and there is no one to look after your pet
– Euthanasia / cremation / burial
– Dental cover (accidental)
However, there are normally some exclusions:
– Pre-existing medical conditions
– Waiting period – You may not be covered for the first 14 days of the policy
– Routine & preventive treatment
– Pregnancy & birthing
So, Lifetime cover is the most comprehensive pet insurance on the market. It will pay out for ongoing issues that your pet may have during their lifetime.
There are 2 different types of policy:
- Per condition per year
- Annual lifetime
Both types will cover for ongoing medical conditions unless you cancel the policy.
The per condition lifetime cover sets an annual limit per condition that you will be able to claim for.
If your dog developed arthritis the maximum you could claim for medical treatment for the disease in any one year would be £7,000.
If the vet’s bills one year came to £6,500 you would be covered by the policy. But if the bill for the year came in at £8,000, you would have to pay £1,000 out of your own pocket.
At the end of the year and providing, you renew your policy you dog would continue to be insured for arthritis with the limit of your claim being reset back to £7,000.
In addition, the limit applies to ‘each condition’. So if your pet was unfortunate to contract both arthritis and diabetes in the same year, then you could claim up to £7,000 (in this example – please check amounts in your policy) for treatment per condition.
The annual lifetime policy sets a lifetime limit for each condition.
If the lifetime limit is £45,000, then you would be able to claim up to £45,000 for each condition over your pets life or unless you do not renew your policy.
If we use the same example from the per condition cover. To be treated for arthritis for 10 years and the total cost was £40,000 then the policy would payout. However, if the total cost was £50,000, then you would have to pay the additional £5,000 towards the bill.
This is less comprehensive than the lifetime cover and excludes certain conditions after you hit the claim limit.
There are 2 different types of non-lifetime cover policies:
- Per condition
- Time limit per condition
Per condition, will payout limited amounts for each condition and when the limit has been reached then the condition is excluded from any future payouts.
Your dog has an eye condition and the limit is £800. Once the limit has been claimed then your dog is no longer covered for eye condition even if you renew the policy.
Time limit per condition:
This policy has both a per condition limit and time limit. This is typically 12 months before a condition is excluded.
Unlike lifetime policies, pre-existing conditions are excluded when you renew your policy.
This is policy is the by far the cheapest of them all and it excludes cover for illness entirely. This type of policy will provide you with a fixed sum of money for accident/injury to help pay for the pet’s treatment.
What’s the alternative?
You could look at self-insurance. This is where you would put a set amount of money away weekly/monthly to cover any potential vet bills. You have to be really honest with yourself about how much you can realistically afford to put away. There could be a risk that the vet’s bill may be more than you have saved – what would you then do?
I hope this has helped to understand the different pet insurance policies on the market and chance to think have you got the right one for you. Lets us know your experience of pet insurance in the comments below.
If you would like to see more of Oscar and Ernie’s adventures head over and check us out on Instagram.