If you own a pet, it’s vital to get pet insurance. A good pet insurance policy will cover you for medical expenses should your pet become ill or it is injured in an accident. For just a small amount of money, you could fully protect your pet against any such scenarios; however, insurance policies won’t usually cover routine visits to the vet or any events that you could have predicted i.e. routine vaccinations or neutering. It is still important to get pet insurance though, as costs can soon mount up if your pet suddenly becomes ill or has an injury, and in some cases, owners are left with a devastating choice as they simply cannot afford the bills.
So, how should you go about finding the best pet insurance policy? The most important recommendation is to shop around for the best deal. A wide range of companies now offer insurance for pets, so you are bound to find the best pet insurance for your pet(s) with a little research. As insurance companies need to compete for customers, you may find that they offer a range of deals for customers i.e. “first 3 months free” – this can be a cost effective way to budget for your pet insurance, but always make sure that you fully understand the terms and conditions before you purchase a pet insurance plan. A low or free introductory offer can be great, but the premium may then jump up substantially over a longer term – so don’t be fooled by enticing initial offers!
You will also need to understand exactly what a pet insurance policy will cover your pet for, and what it won’t. Top level policies will generally offer lifetime cover and reinstate benefits at the start of each year – this kind of policy is generally the most comprehensive cover that you can get for your pet(s). With this kind of plan, if you continue to renew your policy every 12 months, you may be able to claim up to the full vet fees benefit each year, even in the case of a recurring or ongoing illness (for example if your pet develops a long-term medical condition such as arthritis or a skin condition).
Mid-level pet insurance policies will generally offer treatment up to a certain amount of money, for an unconditional amount of time. For example, if your policy has a £5,000 limit per condition, you will be required to pay any amount that occurs on top of this set limit. To this end, mid-level pet insurance policies are generally cheaper to buy than lifetime/top level policies. Finally, you can get a number of cheaper policies, but these will generally limit cover to a maximum period of 12 months per condition. These ‘low-level’ policies can be the best kind to buy for owners who are concerned about initial costs of treatment after an injury or illness – but they do not serve as a long-term plan. Also check for multiple pet discounts, many companies offer these, and they can be a great money-saving option.