Some people say that pet insurance is the best thing they have ever got for their pet. Others do not find their policy useful or consider it to be too expensive. There are even people who would never even think about purchasing coverage for their animal companion.
When you have to make a decision whether to buy a policy or not, you have to ensure that you base it on thorough and accurate information. Learn everything you need to know about this type of insurance before you make a decision.
What does pet insurance cover?
The main item on every policy is the vet fees coverage, also called veterinary, medical or health coverage. It is designed to pay for the treatment of the animal in case it falls ill or gets injured. The standard policies cover all sorts of conditions.
Pet insurance is designed to pay for a wide range of treatmentsm including medication, surgical and dental treatments. Complementary therapies are usually covered as well, provided that they are recommended and performed by a licensed veterinarian. You will be able to pay for hydrotherapy, electro-stimulation therapy and even acupuncture using your policy. The cost of vet clinic stays is covered as well.
Pet insurance often includes not just vet fees coverage. Third party liability coverage designed to pay compensation to any person incurring bodily injury and/or property damage due to the actions of the pet is available as well. The advertising and reward coverage allows you to pay for these items in case your pet goes missing.
With boarding fees coverage, the insurer will pay for your pet’s boarding in case you have to stay in the hospital for over three or four days. With vacatioin cancellation coverage, you will be compensated in case you have to cancel your vacation because your pet has gotten ill or injured. You will be compensated if your pet is lost, stolen or dies if you have coverage for such events.
What are the things that are not covered by pet insurance?
With each policy, there are different exclusions that apply. Some are valid for all standard policies. These are the exclusions from the vet fees coverage.
Pre-existing conditions will not be covered by any pet insurance policy. The same applies to preventive treatments such as vaccinations, flea control, worming and teeth cleaning. The insurer will not pay for elective treatments. These are treatments that are not necessary for the animal to live and to develop normally.
Castration and spaying are not covered. Treatments related to breeding, gestation and whelping are excluded from standard policies as well. Still, you will be able to pay for them with breeder’s insurance.
Different exclusions and limitations apply to the other coverage benefits of pet insurance policies. They tend to vary considerably from one insurer to another so it is essential to check them yourself.
What do the different levels of pet insurance cover?
There are three levels of coverage. Lifetime plans cover your pet for life. As the policy holder, you are entitled to maximum annual coverage. You can make any number of claims during the year and any number of claims per condition. Per-condition plans have a maximum coverage limit per condition. The insurer will pay for the animal’s treatment up to this limit.
You will not be able to make a claim on a condition which you have already made a claim for. Time-limited plans have a maximum per-condition limit and a maximum time limit. The insurer will pay for the treatment of your pet until one of these limits is reached. Again, you will be able to make a claim per condition only once.
Lifetime pet insurance is the most comprehensive and flexible, but it is also the most expensive. Time-limited plans are the cheapest, but the most restrictive.
How much does pet insurance cost?
The premium and the excess are typically determined on an individual basis. They are calculated on the basis of the insured animal’s breed, age and overall health and the typical vet fees in your area of residence. It should be pointed out that most insurers reserve the right to change the premium and excess if there is a change in these specific circumstances.
You have to decide whether pet insurance is affordable for you. Request quotes from different companies to find out exactly how much it will cost you, then compare the cost of the policy to the cost of any treatments which your pet may need.
Is my pet worth insuring?
Owners that choose to insure their pets do it mainly because they are emotionally attached to the animals. Only a few do it because their pet has a high monetary value. In general, it is important to assess the risk of your pet getting ill or injured. You should also try to estimate the likelihood of the animal causing property damage and/or injuries to other people. This will help you decide on liability coverage.
Now you have the necessary knowledge to decide whether pet insurance is worth it to you. Take into account your pet’s needs and your requirements along with your budget. You might want to consider the consequences of not having insurance if something happens to your pet or it causes an accident.
The Bottom Line
You can never have enough pet insurance due to the fact you never know what can or might happen to your pet.
Photo credit: Annette Crimmins