photo credit: TheGiantVermin
Is Pet Insurance Worth It?
All about Pet Insurance
You have a lovely pet at home and you want to give him/her the best care. It is natural to ask whether pet insurance can be useful in providing the best care and whether it can actually save you money. Learn all about these types of insurance policies to find out if they are right for you. Keep in mind that pet insurance is now readily available to dog, cat, horse and even rabbit owners. Some exotic pets may be covered as well upon special arrangements.
Coverage and Exclusions
Vet fees are the main things that pet insurance covers. When you take your pet to the vet for treatment, the cost will be covered up to the set amount in your policy. The entire cost of treatment including medications is usually covered. In most cases, the vet sends the bill directly to the insurer so you do not have to pay anything out of your pocket, apart from the excess. Still, in some cases, you may have to pay the bill in full and then make a claim to the insurance company to get compensated.
Boarding fees are also covered by pet insurance. If your pet needs to stay in an animal hospital or in another type of shelter due to illness, the policy will cover the costs. This is one of the great benefits of having coverage.
Straying, advertising and rewards and theft are among the other main types of coverage. If your pet gets lost or stolen, you will receive compensation. You will also be able to claim any money that you spent on searching for your lost or stolen pet such as newspaper and printed ads and any rewards that you may offer.
Holiday cancellation is another type of coverage present in virtually all pet insurance policies. You will get compensated if you have to cancel your vacation due to your pet falling ill or requiring your presence and care for another reason, such as giving birth for instance.
Third party liability coverage and accidental damage coverage are also present in most policies. These covers are designed to protect you financially as a pet owner. If your dog, cat, horse or bunny or other animal causes harm to another individual in one way or other, you will be able to make a claim to the insurance company and cover the person’s treatment without paying it out of your pocket. The same applies to accidental damage. If your pet causes property damage, the insurer will help you cover its cost.
Death benefit is also usually included in pet insurance policies. You will get compensated if your pet dies.
Vaccinations are usually excluded from per insurance policies. Some insurers may ever require your pet to be vaccinated before issuing a policy. Still, it is possible to find an insurance plan that will cover vaccinations, but it will be more expensive. Special policies for puppies and kittens are now available and some may cover vaccinations.
Flea control and spaying and castration are also excluded from pet insurance. You will have to pay for these out of your pocket, even if you have a policy. It is worth pointing out that flea control is inexpensive while spaying and castration are one-time procedures with fixed costs.
Pre-existing illnesses and injuries are usually not covered by pet insurance, but there are some plans that may cover such conditions. In many cases, insurers make exceptions on individual basis. Still, if such conditions are covered, you can expect to pay more.
Types of Pet Insurance Policies
The type of pet insurance that you choose will determine the coverage and costs to a great extent. That is why it is worth looking at the three most common types.
Annual pet insurance policies are valid for 12 months. In some cases, there is a maximum amount you can claim for the year, but usually, there is a maximum cap per condition. Basically, you can make a claim up to this maximum amount. Usually, recurrent illnesses are not covered. If your pet gets the same type of disease twice during the year, the second treatment will usually not be covered.
Per condition pet insurance covers are similar to the annual ones. You will get maximum caps per condition and you will be able to make a claim for a specific condition only once. The main difference is that with a per condition policy, you will get compensated for your pet’s treatment until the maximum is reached wile with an annual policy the compensation is terminated as soon as the 12-month period expires, even if your pet is still ill.
Life time pet insurance policies are designed for pets that are chronically ill or injured. You can make as many claims as necessary during the year. There are no limits per condition. There is just an annual limit, but it is usually suited to the owner’s requirements and the pet’s need for veterinary care.
Pet Insurance Costs and Saving Options
Annual pet insurance is the cheapest of all. Per condition cover is more expensive while life long plans are the costliest. Generally, annual and per condition policies are designed for healthy young pets while the life long covers are for old, chronically ill and/or injured animals.
The main question is whether it will be cheaper to get pet insurance or to pay for vet treatment and other things out of your pocket. The reality is that you never know what may happen. A perfectly fit and healthy pet may suddenly get severely injured. You really have to ask yourself whether you will afford to pay the high fees out of your pocket.
In general, it can be safely said that you can save and provide better care to your pet in the long run with pet insurance. Furthermore, there are a number of ways to save on a policy. You will pay lower premiums if your cover your pet when he/she is young and healthy. You can also save by getting smaller amounts of not important types of coverage. You may even drop such types of coverage. Usually, you will get a 10% to 15% discount if you buy a policy online.
Robby Davis owns a pet insurance comparison site in the UK and enjoys writing blogs about animals. We also run a kennel so we know a lot about domestic cats, dogs, rabbits etc.
Our blog writing and understanding of animals really helps our clients and the day to day running of our business. We keep all sorts of animals but mainly Dogs and cats. We also advise our clients on the best pet insurance available for their animals. And give guidance on how to keep them in good shape.
Also you might need to let your dog insurance company know if there are any major issues as unreported conditions could invalidate your insurance policy.