No one wants to think about their pets falling ill. And you certainly don’t want to think about how you are going to pay for their treatment if they do fall ill. So it is always better to be prepared if ever that day comes. As with any insurance, reading through the policies and figuring out which one is best for you and your pet is overwhelming. Have a read through these common questions to make it a little easier to figure out if you want to take out pet insurance, and if so, which policy is right for you.
What does pet insurance cover?
Whether an emergency arises with your pet, or they need medication for an ongoing illness, the costs can shoot up. This is where insurance comes in handy; like most other insurances you pay an excess before your insurance kicks in to cover everything else, from operations to travel, theft to emergency costs for boarding at a kennel. Some policies will also cover in the event of your pet causing injury to someone else. However some policies exclude certain illnesses or breeds. Just make sure you read your policy thoroughly so you know what is included.
When should I get pet insurance?
Don’t wait until your pet gets ill. Most insurance companies will not insure your pet when you take a policy out as they are getting ill, or for illnesses that have already been diagnosed. When you are thinking of getting a pet, that is the best time do your research. That way you will be prepared so that when you do get your pet, you are ready to take out insurance within the first few months.
How expensive is it to take out insurance?
Whatever the cost, it will be nowhere near as expensive as what you will have to fork out in an emergency! Usually the higher the premium you pay, the more your policy covers and the less the excess. However for a reasonable amount a month, you can get a fairly comprehensive policy that covers most instances and your excess will be around 50-100. Pet insurance is much more popular now than it used to be, and with a big choice of companies to choose from, you can get a competitive quote quite easily.
Which company should I take my policy out with?
This is where you need to do plenty of research. If an urgent situation comes up, you do not want to be stuck with a company that is reluctant to pay out or that has a poor reputation. It is best to ask around; if anybody you know has pets, ask them who they are with and if they would recommend them. Have a look on the internet, you can usually find forums where other pet owners write reviews. Ask at your local veterinarian, especially if you are thinking of registering your pet with them. They may be able to give you some advice on what plan to go with.
Will an insurance company insure my unusual pet?
From reptiles to birds, most insurance companies insure exotic or unusual animals. The premium is usually higher, but the policy will usually have the same cover as with a normal pet.
How long does it take for my policy to come into effect?
From buying your policy, it usually takes up to about 2 weeks for your policy to come into effect although the time is usually shorter. Refer to your insurance company for the time.
Does the insurance company decide which vet I need to register with?
Not usually, and if they do then it is best to go with a different policy where you can decide which vet you would like to register with. For example, if you have a large breed dog it can be difficult to find a vet that both you and your dog feel relaxed around. Although vets will take most pets, not all vets are familiar with how to behave with large dogs, and your pet can always sense if someone is uncomfortable or uneasy around them. So try to choose a vet for yourself so that you are comfortable with them.
What if I have more than one pet?
Most companies will offer a discount, or a multi-pet’ option where you can insure all your pets for cheaper than if you insure them individually. If you already have insurance for one pet, and are going to get another, ask at your current provider as they will nearly always give you a cheaper policy for both pets than having another policy with another provider.
Is there a maximum payout?
Some policies do have a maximum amount they will pay out. Policies tend to vary; some will only pay out a maximum per year or for a certain illness / incident.
These guidelines should help you on your way to choosing the right plan for you and your companion. Once you know what you want included in your plan, the best thing to do is to call an insurance company and ask them questions; don’t worry they are used to it! And they will give you all the information you need to make an informed decision.