Pet insurance is a testament to how much we truly love our furry/feathery/scaly friends. It is health insurance designed to cover your pet. And it can cover a wide range of animals: cats, dogs, birds, lizards, fish etc.
Basically, pet insurance is there to cover the costs of veterinary treatment in case your pet gets ill or is injured. Depending on the policy, you may even get a pay out if your pet dies. So, some policies will doubly function as a form of life insurance. In addition, third party features are possible (should your pet injure someone or cause damage).
While cats and dogs are the most common types of pets, it is possible to get cover for other types of animal.
Just how important is pet insurance?
Standard pet insurance can function in a very similar manner to health insurance. You buy cover for the standard check ups and vaccinations that your animal needs. Nowadays, veterinary treatments are very advanced – although some procedures are still prohibitively expensive. If you would like to ensure that your furry friend is protected even if they get very ill, you can!
Pet insurance simply means that you don’t have to make a difficult choice – between your pet’s life and your wallet. It means you can have the best of both worlds.
Pet Insurance Premiums: Factors contributing to cost
Like any type of cover, numerous factors will contribute to how much you pay for your monthly premiums. Some of the most common factors include the breed and age of the animal (certain breeds can be more prone to certain diseases). Animals with microchips also command lower premiums.
In the UK, your postcode often indicates the fees you’re likely to pay for treatment. So, where you live will also be a contributing factor. Urban areas are often pricier – since the chance of injury or death is higher. Don’t forget that gender could also affect it.
Different Types of Policy
Like any other type of cover, there isn’t just one type of pet insurance policy. And they don’t always have to pertain to the health of the animal.
- Accident-only policies literally only cover accidents. In general, this is the cheapest type of pet insurance. Some may also cover emergency illnesses – but this depends on the provider.
- Time-limited policies cover your pet up to certain maximum amount of money per condition (such as £1,500) – but only for a certain period of time (such as 12 months).
- Maximum benefit is similar to time-limited policies. However, there is no limit on time.
- With lifetime pet insurance policies, you get cover for a set amount of veterinary fees. This is renewed each year with your policy.
Is cover really worth it?
Before you choose pet insurance for your animal, always consider what you’re currently paying in vets’ fees. Things to look out for with vet fees include level of cover and whether there are any time constraints. Weigh this against what you would pay without insurance to make an informed decision.
Things to look out for include: consider prices of consultations, tests. X-rays, bandages, surgery, hospitalisation and MRI scans. If necessary, consider the cost of acupuncture and physiotherapy.
Some pet insurance policies cover death by illness and accident. Others may provide cremation costs.
Third-party liability and accidental damage are other types of cover you may want to get. This usually pertains to dogs, should they damage another person’s property. The same can be said for if they attack or injure someone else. It can also be taken out for cats.