There are many different companies offering pet insurance and all policies offer different terms and conditions. Pet insurance provides many benefits, the main two being help towards paying veterinary fees and third party liability cover.
Main Types of Policy for Veterinary Fees
- Cover for life – these policies will pay a set amount per year for a condition throughout your animals life.
- Maximium benefit cover – these policies will pay a total amount per condition (e.g. £4000) throughout the animals life. Once you have reached this total amount the policy will not pay any more for this condition.
- Time limited cover– these policies will pay up to a set amount for the first 12 months of a condition from the first day the condition has been noticed by the owner. After 12 months has lapsed the condition and similar or related conditions become exempt from the policy.
Other considerations when choosing a policy:
- Amount of cover – the cover policies offer varies greatly ranging from £2,500 to £12,000.
- Complimentary Therapy – some policies will pay a set amount per year towards complimentary therapies such as acupuncture, hydrotherapy and herbal treatments.
- Your excess – With time limited policies this is usually a set amount that you pay towards your pets treatment for each condition.
- With maximum benefits and cover for life policies you will pay this set amount at the start of your pets treatment for a condition and then pay this amount every time the policy rolls on to another insurance year and you claim for the same condition. This amount will often increase year as your pet becomes older.
- With some policies you will also pay a percentage of every claim made for the same condition. Some cover for life policies will introduce this percentage excess as your pet reaches a certain age.
- Existing conditions – If your pet has already seen a vet or has suffered from a condition before you take out pet insurance that condition and any similar or related conditions will not be covered by your pets insurance. This applies even if your pet has not received treatment for this condition.
- When you take out your policy there will be a set time (usually 2 – 4 weeks) initially that you cannot claim for any illnesses but accidents are usually covered during this waiting time.
- Travel abroad – some companies now offer policies with extra benefits if you are intending to take your pet abroad using the Pet Passports Scheme.
Exemptions in cover towards Veterinary Fees
Different companies and polices will not cover certain conditions. These can include:
- Treatment connected with breeding from your animal
- Dental treatment of any kind
- Complimentary treatment
- Diseases that a pet can be vaccinated against if their vaccinations are not up to date.
The only way to guarantee payment from your insurance company is to request a pre-authorisation form from them which can be completed by the vet and faxed to the company. This will provide you in writing a guarantee of cover for treatment. Assurance over the telephone from the insurance company should NOT be considered a guarantee of cover for a condition.