Pet Insurance (Frequently Asked Questions)
Please note these are general guides to insurance and do not constitute provision of advice or indicate that a particular product is appropriate for you. Benefits, conditions and exclusions vary from one pet insurance policy to another and you should always check the policy summary and policy document to make sure that you understand what you are buying. If you have any questions please talk to your insurance broker.
Why do I need pet insurance? Every year approximately 30% of all dogs and cats need the services of a veterinary surgeon, and bills in excess of £300 are not unusual. But vet's fees are not the only expense covered by pet insurance. Depending on the cover you choose, benefits include everything from behavioural problems to accidental damage, even boarding fees if you have to go into hospital! Costs vary, but it's typical for a good policy to cost for dogs from under 35p a day, and only 25p for cats!
Why are some pet insurance policies so much cheaper than others? It is not always obvious why some pet policies are more expensive than others and it is often difficult to compare products unless you know what to look for. Although the amount of cover is certainly important, there are some other points to bear in mind when comparing one policy against another. The age of the pet (lifetime cover) - Limits on claims - The district you live in - The excess payable.
The age of the pet (lifetime cover): Some contracts reduce the cost of insurance by limiting the age of the pets that they cover. When an animal reaches a certain age (say 10 years) then they are no longer eligible to remain in the scheme. Whilst this enables the insurer to keep the premiums low - it does mean that as your pet approaches the time when a claim is most likely they may not be covered. Of course by this time it is also impossible to get insurance elsewhere. Check that the insurer is happy to cover your pet for their entire life.
Limits on claims: Some policies only pay for a single condition during the first year of the policy and then exclude this from following years. So, for example, if your pet were to suffer from cancer, then this would only be covered for a single year. Upon renewal you would no longer be able to claim for treatment of this or any related condition. Check that claim payouts are not limited to a single year.
The district you live in: Often the premiums you pay are linked to where you live. If you move house then the premiums may be affected. Check that if you move house the premiums will remain the same.
The excess payable: For each and every claim you make you may be asked to make a financial contribution towards the cost of the claim. This is known as the excess. The amount of the excess can vary from one section of the policy to another, sometimes making it uneconomic to make a claim. Check whether there is an excess and if it applies to all sections.
What about working, sporting or show animals? Unfortunately working, sporting and show animals are excluded from most standard pet insurance products. The risks involved for these animals are different for the average pet and are outside the scope of a standard contract.