Everything You Need to Know About Pet Insurance

Everything You Need to Know About Pet Insurance

9th April 2018

We love our pets. They provide companionship, could make us healthier, offer unconditional love, and can even have jobs that make our lives better. However, there is no NHS for pets so, if something happens to your furry friend, you may find yourself stuck with a huge bill.

Do You Need Pet Insurance?

So, while we may absolutely adore our pets, the truth is that they can be costly, especially when they need to go to the vet. Vet visits are usually expensive (even if there are good explanations for it!) and can set you back quite a lot of money if you're not prepared.

Having pet insurance can help with this. After all, they can provide a crucial (and often cost-effective) solution by covering the cost of unforeseen circumstances, possibly preventing you from having to pay exorbitant medical fees.

And, seeing as how vets can also charge more or less money depending on where you live, it becomes even more important to stay protected at all times. An example is the treatment of diabetic pets: if you live in St Albans, you can expect to pay around £444, compared to only £96 if you live in Leeds.

What Are the Types of Pet Insurance?

Not all pet insurance policies are the same. On the contrary, there are four different types of pet insurance that you can choose from, which can be a daunting process if you're unsure of what they cover. Knowing which one is better for you and your pet is crucial, as each one covers different things and circumstances.

Briefly, the four types of pet insurance at your disposal are:

Accident Only - this covers the vet fees but only in the event of a sudden and unexpected injury or health issue within the 12-month policy period.

Time Limited - with this type of pet insurance, you can make a claim for an eligible medical condition up to a certain amount, and each new issue is covered up to the financial limit in the 12-month period.

Maximum Benefit - this is sometimes a slightly more expensive option but it covers each new medical condition up to the financial limit as long as the policy is valid. You could claim more than once for the same condition, for example. If you have an older pet, you may have to pay a bit more as they tend to require more medical attention.

Lifetime - all new medical conditions are covered in this policy up to the financial limit - the cover will stop for that condition if the limit is reached during the insurance year but will continue once the policy is renewed. For older pets, your insurance premium may be higher, and the policy excess may also increase.

For a more comprehensive explanation of how the different types of pet insurance policies work - what they cover and some of the limitations - you can go here.

When Should You Get Pet Insurance?

Looking into pet insurance as soon as you get your pet may be the best option. This way, you can have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your beloved pet may be covered against:

  • Medical bills in general (including tests, scans, dental work and surgery)
  • Third party injury and accidental damage meaning you may be able to claim for the costs of replacing or repairing something your dog has damaged; it may also help you with court fees if they hurt someone.
  • Death cover and cremation a difficult subject to even think about, but an important one nonetheless; some policies can cover costs in the event of your pet's death from illness or accidents.
  • Holiday cover some policies may provide cover for vet fees abroad should you take your pet with you on holiday

There may be exceptions to getting pet insurance as early as possible. For example, if your cat has only lived indoors, you may not have thought about purchasing insurance. However, now that little Mittens is finally going to be allowed outside, it may be time to consider it so that they're covered against unexpected circumstances.

Do You Have a Dog?

Dogs are the most popular pets in the UK, owned by 24% of pet owners, but keeping one can be costly. Taking out dog insurance can be a wise decision, especially as it can help you to protect yourself against the unexpected cost should your four-legged companion have a sudden illness or accident, without breaking the bank.

Typically, dog insurance can cover:

  • Medical conditions
  • Dental cover
  • Kennel fees
  • Advertising and reward costs for missing dog
  • Accidental damage
  • Death due to accident or illness

Do You Own a Cat?

While dogs may be the most popular pet in the country, cats are not that far behind, as 17% of pet owners in the UK have one. While dogs tend to cost almost twice as much as cats in their first year, having cat insurance is helpful not just for peace of mind but also to help you pay any expensive vet fees.

Usually, cat insurance can cover:

  • Medical conditions
  • Accidental damage
  • Dental health
  • Death by illness or accident
  • Hospitalisation
  • Advertising and reward costs for missing cat

Having a deeper understanding of the types of pet insurance and the level of cover your pet needs is important to choose the best policy - and make sure your pet is covered against unforeseen circumstances. At Compare Cover, you can compare pet insurance quotes, which can help you to make an informed decision.

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