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If you did not allocate ample funds to take care of your pets and you love them, then it’s best to go for pet insurance. Pet insurance gives you a peace of mind and helps you out in times of crisis. And, just like your other insurances, the pet insurance facts too needs to be checked and compared. Here are the major factors that you need to consider when buying pet insurance. ~ Ed.
Saying that the British are a nation of pet lovers may be a cliche, but a UK pet population of over 57 million would suggest that it’s a truthful assertion.
For people of all ages, their pet is a central part in their life, a dearly loved companion, a member of the family.
When a pet becomes ill, we react as if it were a member of the family. And we want to do everything we can to alleviate suffering and restore the health of our loved one.
It’s easy to forget that there is no NHS for animals and that a sudden vet bill of hundreds or thousands of pounds could well be unaffordable. In which case, the unhappy owner has no choice other than to have their pet put down.
Here are the pet insurance facts you should know – half of all UK dog and cat owners have pet insurance, although dog owners are twice as likely as cat owners to have their pet insured. Pet insurance is on the rise, in 2016 £1.8 million a day was paid out by insurance companies.
It may seem like an unnecessary expense but pet insurance buys peace of mind. When your pet is ill you have enough anxiety to cope with, without the additional stress of financial hardship.
The average pet insurance claim is £750 but claims frequently run into thousands of pounds.
Most policies are taken out for cats and dogs, it is possible to insure smaller mammals, such as rabbits but if the animal has a short lifespan, the advantages of taking out an insurance policy are questionable.
Exotic pets can be insured but you should expect to pay high premiums.
5 Pet Insurance Facts to Check Before Purchase
Just like any other insurance, you need to check all the facts of your pet insurance before you buy it. Here are the major factors to check and compare.
What different policies are available?
Choosing the right policy for your pet needs careful consideration.
You should take into account your pets medical history, the environment in which your pet lives and any ailments to which your pet’s breed may be susceptible.
This is the most comprehensive and consequently the most expensive form of cover available. You can opt for selected cover for certain conditions or cover for all conditions. There is an annual financial limit for pay-outs which resumes each year. Both types of policy will provide cover for ongoing illnesses.
Specific conditions are covered up to a determined financial limit. Once the limit has been reached, the cover ceases. You can add in a time limit, typically 12 months, and reduce the cost of the premiums.
This is the cheapest form of cover, it pays out a fixed sum in the event of an accident but there is no cover for illness.
What information do you need about your pet?
In order to compare policies, you will need to supply some basic information about your pet though requirements will vary from provider to provider.
Some providers may require the animals breed, age and medical history along with information about your pet’s environment and its exercise and feeding routines.
What does pet insurance cover?
Your providers’ policy terms determines the precise details of what your pet insurance will cover. But in general your insurance will cover vet fees and medical expenses.
In addition, most policies will provide cover for the following eventualities:
Illness or accident whilst travelling overseas
Third party insurance
This provides insurance cover if your pet injures someone or damages their property. Under the law, cats are considered ‘free spirits’ and their owners are consequently not responsible for their actions.
Premature death by accident or illness
The cover will pay-out a sum equivalent to the market value of your pet if they die before the specified age limit, for example, 7-10 years for a cat and 7-8 years for a dog.
Cattery or kennel fees
In the event that you are unable to look after your pet as a result of personal ill health, your insurance cover will pay for the cost of temporarily re-homing your pet. The cover does not usually come into effect until you have been hospitalised for between two and four days.
Euthanasia, cremation, and burial
What pet insurance doesn’t cover?
These are some of the pet insurance facts that you may not notice initially but it is good if you know them beforehand.
The initial fourteen days
The first fourteen days of a new policy are regarded as a ‘cooling off period’. During this time you can change your mind without financial penalty. However, your pet may well not be covered during this period, so check your insurance details carefully.
This will vary from policy to policy but generally, the pet insurance does not cover the following treatments: grooming, claw clipping, flea, worm and tick treatments, spaying, castration, and routine vaccinations.
Pre-existing illnesses or injuries
There is no cover available for chronic illnesses such as heart conditions though there are a few companies who will cover pre-existing conditions for an increased premium.
Expenses incurred during pregnancy and birth
What does it cost?
The cost of your pet insurance will depend on the age and breed of animal which you wish to insure and the level of cover which you require.
The cheapest time to insure your pet is when it is young and healthy because the older the pet, the higher the premiums.
On average you should expect to pay £41 a year to insure a cat and £60 a year to insure a dog.
Pet insurance always feels like a waste of money until something goes wrong. When your pet is young and healthy, insurance may seem like an unnecessary expense.
We like to imagine that our pets will live out their lives free from illness and injury. But the reality is that at some stage in their lives they will need the services of a vet.
You may choose to take a gamble and put away a little money each month as a fund in the event of your pet’s illness.
But in a worst-case scenario, a vet bill may run to thousands of pounds. And you will find yourself faced with having to choose between financial hardship and the euthanasia of your pet.
Pet insurance offers protection for your pet and peace of mind for you. Hope these pet insurance facts help you.
Over to you
What are your views on pet insurance? Is it something more pet owners should be signing up to?