Policy Matters – The world of Pet Insurance
In the US and the UK and generally any of the other established countries of the world, pet insurance is a must.
You simply never know what is going to happen with your dog and to not have it when you really need it can be devastating.
All of us will, no doubt, have taken out insurance for our cars and homes at some point in our lives. Pet insurance is equally important, with the rising cost of medicines, so here is some advice to look out for the usual pitfalls when choosing a policy:
Cheap Dog Insurance
“Cheap and Cheerful” – not so cheerful when the payout never comes and you’re faced with a huge bill; too cheap and you could end up paying a lot more in the long term.
Advice? Check the reviews and small print
“Read the Small Print“! – This goes for all policies, in fact, as policies are often graded to the number of conditions or amount per condition; for example:
£4,000 per year – check the small print, as this could translate as £4,000 in total potential payout, and not per condition.
The limited payout on treatments -check this also, as some treatments (X-rays, hydrotherapy to name just 2) could be limited to £500 or 10 sessions, for example.
Advice? Check the limitations per amount, per condition, per treatment.
“Pre-Existing Conditions” – an extremely important category, as anything in your dog’s clinical notes is considered as a pre-existing condition.
Advice? You can ask your vet for a printout of your pet’s medical history and try to insure your pet in their youth!
So that’s all covered then?
Don’t relax just yet; other conditions often excluded are pregnancy, giving birth and dental care. Any food recommended to treat a particular ailment will not necessarily be covered, even if it has been prescribed.
Routine treatments such as vaccinations, parasite prevention, and neutering are NOT covered by insurance,
Other useful tips:
Be loyal to your insurer!
Keeping with the same insurance company, even if premiums increase slightly year on year in line with your pet’s age, is often better than switching policy, as you would have to start from the beginning.
Any condition your existing policy covered would be considered a pre-existing condition by the new insurer and would be excluded.
Percentage of excess
Some insurers will apply this, especially for older pets, so there could be a percentage charge on top of your usual excess.
Ask your vet!
Vets may give you a list of insurance companies they are happy to deal with on claims (although they are not permitted to recommend any one company!).
This can be a big help should you be faced with a bill for an accident, as the vet can claim directly to the company.
Pay as much as you can afford
As mentioned before, policies are graded, typically “Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum”, so apply the aforementioned points of reading the small print, checking amounts per condition and any excess, then consider your pet’s individual needs.
Top Dog Insurance Quote ⇓
Common ailments and typical costs as a guide are as follows:
– Arthritis and Osteoarthritis
Over 60% of older dogs suffer from these conditions, displaying joint discomfort and a year’s worth of treatment can be anything between £300 to £800, depending on the size of the dog.
A hip replacement can set you back £3700 to £7000.
– Growths and tumors
can affect all breeds and the removal of a medium-sized lump in a large breed dog is around £500 to £700.
– Skin disease
Allergies can affect 1 in 10 dogs and testing can be £100 to £600, with the ensuing treatment for a severely affected dog of 10kg costing between £1200 to £3600 per year.
– Vomiting and diarrhea
Unfortunately a frequent occurrence in dogs, with a simple case costing £100 but up to £2,500 for surgery to remove a toy.
These can be not only distressing but extremely expensive, with an out-of-hours consultant fee of £60 to £260 and surgery for a fractured leg costing around £1000.
An MRI for spinal trauma will be £2500 to £3600.
As you have read, the size of your dog will affect the premium paid and the cost of any treatment. For example, a week’s worth of antibiotics for a Jack Russell weighing 5.6kg costs £30, compared to £158 for a 50kg dog.
Top Dog Insurance Quote ⇓
Want to buy a Policy?
So. you’ve decided to take the plunge; what types of policies are there?
The condition is covered for a limited period, such as 12 months and not a day beyond this, whether your pet is cured or not.
The condition is covered for a limited amount of funds, such as £1000 per condition and, as above, there would be no payout beyond this limit.
The condition is covered for a limited amount of funds per year, such as £4000 and, at the end of the year, the pot of money is replenished for the forthcoming year.
Per Condition Per Year
Similar to the above but, instead of a total amount of funds per one condition (e,g £4000), the budget is split between different conditions that may arise, hence £1000 per condition per year and, again, the pot is replenished for the forthcoming year.
Cheaper on the pocket but, considering that illness and disease are more of a likelihood, they could leave you high and dry with a large bill to pay should your pet becomes unwell.
Very important and perhaps often overlooked aspect of pet insurance; it will protect you and pay out should your pet cause damage to people or property.
Still not convinced?
Armed with all of the above information and still don’t want to part with any cash?
You have made a commitment by having a pet, so you need to put some money aside for any eventuality.
Chat to your vet to help you maintain a healthy budget and a happy and even healthier pet!