The most common reason for buying pet insurance is to cover you for unexpected vets bills, giving you the peace of mind that should your pet be injured or become ill, the cost of their treatment will be picked up by your insurance company.
Veterinary medicine is constantly progressing, with more advanced, and more expensive, procedures being developed all the time. It would be heartbreaking if your pet was ill, there was a treatment that could save their life, but you could not afford it.
Lulu, the office cat, had Pyothroax in 2015 requiring urgent, specialist veterinary care. Pyothorax is a condition where the chest cavity fills with pus, and after the initial emergency treatment to drain the fluid and stabilise the animal, months of antibiotics and further chest scans are necessary. Lulu’s treatment cost just over £5000 over three months, and without pet insurance it is highly unlikely we would have been able to afford the operations she had to undergo.
There are numerous options available for pet insurance, with varying degrees of cover and premium.
Annual Policies – these products cover your pet with a limit for each condition, and a time limit of a year. They are good for covering the cost of short term illness, or treatment required after an accident.
Condition Based – these policies cover each condition up to a maximum cost, but there is no time limit. These are good for covering relatively minor illness, but which may require more than a year of treatment. It’s worth remembering that as soon as reach the limit of cover, it will stop paying out, no matter how long you have been claiming for.
Lifetime – these policies are the most expensive on offer, but also provide you with the best benefit. This level of cover has no time limit on conditions, so can be used to fund lifelong treatment for ongoing conditions such as arthritis.
When selecting any level of policy, you should carefully read the small print regarding the policy excess. Most policies offer an excess of a set sum of money, but some are starting to offer an excess which is a percentage of the amount you are claiming for. While this can be tempting, as it often makes premiums lower, you should consider that if you have to claim for an expensive treatment costing thousbands of pounds, the excess could cost you several hundred pounds.
Did you know that if your dog causes an accident you would be held responsible? Cats are considered ‘free spirits’, but if your dog is involved in a road traffic accident, you may be liable for damages.
Most pet insurance policies will cover you for both of these, but if you only want public liability insurance, there is an option available from the Dogs Trust which just covers third party liability.