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Pet insurance is health insurance for pets and often includes liability cover which safeguards you if your pet attacks someone or causes a road accident.
A simple accident or illness can lead to veterinary bills of hundreds of pounds, and a serious condition could run into thousands. Without insurance in place, you may be faced with a terrible choice - how can you afford to pay for the treatment?
Pet insurance will cover the bulk of vet fees for illnesses and accidents, and usually for a very reasonable monthly fee, so taking the financial worry out of what can be a difficult time.
Many pet owners agree that pet insurance provides peace of mind. It is important to be aware that cheaper policies may offer limited protection, so seek advice to ensure you have adequate cover for your pet.
Also bear in mind that pet policies will not pay out for pre-existing conditions or those that occur within the first few days of cover. Also not covered are the (significant) costs of routine care, such as vaccinations, boosters and worming.
Types of Pet Insurance Cover
With so many different providers offering pet insurance products, searching for the right type of pet insurance policy can be a time consuming and daunting task. It is helpful to understand what types of pet insurance cover are available, and the differences between them.
Pet insurance may be divided into three types:
The cheapest and possibly most popular type of pet insurance, but it doesn't necessarily provide good cover for all illnesses. You can claim an annual maximum cost of treatment, and there is also a time limit on paying for each condition.
This is usually fine for injuries or one-off operations, but for lifetime treatments such as diabetes it will only provide cover for the first year. After that, you will have to bear the cost of the additional treatment yourself.
This is a mid range policy In terms of both cost and cover. Unlike time-capped policies, each condition will be covered for life, however subject to an overall cost limit. As an example, with diabetes, the total cost of treatment may not be greater than that stipulated in your policy. Once this level is reached, you will have to bear the cost of the additional treatment yourself.
This is the most expensive option but also provides the most comprehensive cover. Treatment is fully paid for up to the total annual limit, and will continue for as long as needed provided that your policy is renewed. Cover will also not be stopped once your pet reaches a certain age.
Selecting a Policy
You may well find that by comparing quotes from a range of pet insurance providers, the differences in costs between the different levels of cover may not be as great as you might expect, and you'll be grateful for the extra cover if the worst comes to the worst and your pet develops a long term illness or condition.