If your pet has an accident or a serious illness pet insurance provides cover for your veterinary fees.
We support the idea of pet insurance but do not recommend any specific scheme. All polices are different but we hope the following tips will help when it comes to choosing what is suitable for you and your pet.
Compare the price
Obviously the cost of pet insurance is an important consideration. Different insurance companies have different ways of setting the price, so always good to get a quote for your specific circumstances to compare between insurers.
Compare the policy excess
There are a number of ways some providers save money for themselves by including a high excess in their policies. The excess is the amount you pay each time you have to claim for a certain condition, so choosing a cheaper policy with a high excess could actually end up costing you money.
Are you getting lifelong cover?
Time capped cover; some plans will only cover a condition for the first year of your claim.
For example, if your pet is diagnosed with arthritis, you might be able to claim up to £2000 for the first years treatment but no more. You would then have to cover the cost of treatment every year yourself, for the rest of your pet's life.
Financially capped cover; some insurers call their financially capped cover "lifelong cover". In this case, an insurer will pay out each year, but only up to a fixed total amount for each condition. After that, they will stop paying.
For example, if your pet was diagnosed with diabetes and you had a policy that was financially capped at £3500, you may need to claim £2000 in the first year- but by year two, the amount you can claim for diabetes is now just £1500. After this, you would have to pay for the treatment for the rest of your pet's life.
Although veterinary fee cover is the key element of pet insurance, most insurers offer a range of additional benefits. This can include:
Read the small print
It is annoying having to read the tiny details about a policy. All insurance plans have terms and conditions to make clear what is covered and what is not i.e prescription diets, visits, neutering.