Types of Pet Insurance
Pet insurance are basically of three types. Amongst these Lifetime insurance is by far the most comprehensive one where you need to pay premiums every year and the insurer keep covering you regardless of age or any existing conditions (subject to conditions). The only thing is that the premium amount is likely to climb up with the increase in age of your pet.
The next type of insurance is the Annual insurance where you pay for 1 year (12 months). With this plan you present yourself with the option of shifting to a cheaper plan every year if you feel so. The problem with this kind of policy is that though they are cost-effective they are mostly less comprehensive than lifetime insurance plans and would not cover pre-existing conditions. Furthermore, it also becomes difficult to find insurance for your pet once it gains in age. The third type of insurance is Accident only insurance plans in which only accident related issues of the pet is covered and nothing else.
It is the cheapest form of insurance available. Each pet insurance policy has got its own pros and cons. While it is the best option to play absolutely safe with lifetime policy as it guarantees maximum protection and your pet is always covered, even for long-term illnesses but it is indeed very costly and thus difficult to bear with all the time. Further, in most of the policies under this category there is an increase in premium as the pet grows older. So it is essential to get your pet insured right away and not wait for it to grow old. Because it is tough to find an insurer for older pets as possibilities are more that they would be prone to illness and diseases and thereby more likely to require treatment.
Maximum vet fees
The maximum amount of cover provided by different types of policies for vet bills is usually £6,000 per year for life, £5,000 per condition per year for life and £5,000 or more per condition in total.
Any pre-existing condition needs to be declared when attempting to go for insurance; otherwise it might well lead to the insurance getting void. Even though there is a pre-existing condition for your pet you will get a company for its insurance but that insurance company would not cover for the pre-existing condition in all likeliness. It is the rules of the insurance companies around pre-existing conditions that make switching policy tougher and difficult.
If you want to swap to a different policy because of your premium getting increased you might be struggling on your part to get hold of an insurer or cover for any treatment relating to the existing condition. It is so because the principle reason behind the premium getting increased is that you have made a claim.
Another significant matter relating to pet insurance is excesses which is a fixed amount agreed to be paid by the insured or policy holder themselves. It is of two types- flat and percentage-based. Some insurers ask for both and it is known as ‘co-insurance excess’ which can be very expensive if you are paying substantial or regular vet bills. So it is important to find an insurance company that charges only one excess (around £ 50- £100) and also doesn’t increase the excess fee with the growing age of the pet unless you desire higher excess fee in return for cheaper premiums.
There are few other ways to keep the cost of pet insurance under check but none of them can reduce the premiums drastically.
Money saving schemes on pet insurance
Microchipping your dog has been a legal requirement since 6th April’ 2016. However some bucks could also be saved by microchipping of your cat if you have cat as a pet.
- Multi-pet insurance
Multi-pet insurance is also another very good option that you can try if you possess multiple pets at home. With it you get a discount for any subsequent animal put on the policy.
Self-insuring is a good way to curb one’s expenses on pets but it demands a lot of discipline to make sure that money is always readily available particularly to meet regular and on-going care. Otherwise you could well end up in deep financial trouble if your pet all on a sudden develops a chronic disease and your money being spent like anything. Hence, though an option to consider self-insuring is very difficult to carry out in practicality.
So there are many factors associated with pet insurance much like insurance for humans but there is no denying the truth that the less expensive the insurance is the less feature will it probably cover.
Whatever policies you choose in the end make it certain that you are fully aware of the maximum amount of cover towards vets’ fees. It is remember worthy in this connection that pre-existing conditions, preventative or non-essential diseases are not covered under most of the policies.