It took me ages to choose a pet insurer for my 2 cats. This post aims to provide the information I learned to help others in their search for a Pet Insurer.
What does Pet Insurance cover?
Each policy will be different, but you can expect to find policies covering some (or all) of the following:
The most commonly thought of area of cover. You can expect to find cover for Veterinary bills varying from cover for operations alone, through to covering almost all vet fees.
Third Party Liability
As a pet owner, you are liable for the acts of your pet. This means you are liable to pay compensation and damages to anyone negatively affected by the acts of your pet. This can cover everything from damage to someone’s property, bites and even vehicle accidents caused by your pets behaviour. Most policies will now cover any such costs. Dogs are the highest risk generally in this area.
Accidental/Illness related death
Some policies now provide a lump sum payout in cases of your pets’ accidental or illness related death. Policies will usually not payout for death brought on simply by “old-age”.
If your cat/dog gets ill at the wrong time, it can have a huge impact on you and your family. Going on holiday with the family pet ill just isn’t an option. This is an area now being covered by many Pet Insurance providers, providing cover for the costs of cancelling holiday due to your pet’s illness.
Many policies now cover expenses relating to trying to find your lost or stolen cat/dog. This includes advertising costs and even a reward.
This is a more rare element of cover, but a very usual one to help cover the repair or replacement of items you own that are damaged by your pet.
Comparing Policies – Things to look out for
As with any type of insurance, it’s a competitive market and you’ll find everybody trying to undercut each other, and although that sounds great, you need to be careful not to lose out on cover.
Shopping around is definitely vital, but keep an eye on the areas covered by your insurance. Here are a few things we recommend you watch out for:
You’re likely to find you’re faced with a limit to how much you can claim on the policy. This is usually limited either per condition, or per year…or by both. Be sure to compare any limits between policies.
I found only PetPlan to offer long running cover for long term illnesses. This means other insurers would stop paying for conditions like diabetes and arthritis after 12 months (or after a payment limit had been reached).
Excesses are an easy way to bring down the policy cost, but be careful to set this at a reasonable level. Remember, you may have to make multiple claims on the policy (and therefore pay the excess more than once), so don’t set the excess at the very highest you could afford!
Pet Insurance Advice Sites
Here are some sites which can help with further pet insurance advice:
Pet Insurance Providers
Pet Insurance brokers are a great way to get a good quote. We’ve all heard the adverts, and it’s true, they’ll do the leg work for you.
Note: It’s important though to check the details of the exact policy they recommend. This is because sometimes (and only sometimes) brokers offer a slightly scaled down version of the insurance providers standard policy, so check the policy being offered covers everything you want it to…and everything the others you’re comparing it to, offer.
Pet Insurance Providers