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Pet Insurance

There is no free health service for your pet and every visit to a veterinary practice will cost you money, and, with vet fees increasing and medical improvements and treatments becoming available, you need to consider pet insurance.

Pet insurance is now more than ever a vital ingredient to protect your valuable pet against the rising costs of veterinary fees and the unexpected problems with your pets.

Pet insurance can cover part or nearly all the costs incurred, depending upon the premium and plan you go for, with excesses and benefit limits to keep the premiums reasonable.

Pet insurance falls mainly into three categories:

  • Cover for Life - This covers conditions in subsequent years, providing you renew the policy, and is the most expensive pet insurance premiums;
  • Set Limits of Cover - This type of pet insurance policy sets a maximum amount of money that can be claimed for a given condition, and once that limit is reached, the condition is no longer covered. This is a lower cost pet insurance policy;
  • Annual Set Limits if Cover - This is similar to the Set Limits of Cover with the added limit of cessation of cover annually. This type of pet insurance policy appeals to pet owners looking for a budget policy cost.

Pet insurance is available for virtually every household pet including the more unusual and exotic. As pet owners we all realise the value and importance of taking out the expense of pet insurance, which should really be looked at as an investment rather than an expense.

Vet fees can be very expensive. For example, here are some average vet fees for commonplace problems:

  • A cat or dog injured in a road accident can easily cost £750 or more in vet fees;
  • Operations, such as hip dysplasia, can cost more than £4,000.

Pet insurance can provide the protection against such costs and to cover the unexpected costs incurred with medical conditions and injuries.

An interesting fact is that 50% of household pets will require unscheduled veterinary treatment this year but only 10% of those pets will be insured.

Pet insurance should be taken out when you first acquire your pet rather than wait until a problem occurs as it will be too late to take out a policy to cover the problem.

Pet insurance premiums are agreed annually and paid either annually or monthly by direct debit and will invariably increases over the years. The premiums for pet insurance are at their lowest when your pet is young.

Pet insurance will normally cover vet fees, death from accident or illness, third party liability cover, cover to pay for advertising and reward for a lost pet, boarding fees, theft or straying, accidental damage caused by your pet, holiday cancellation cover if you are unable to go on holiday due to your pet suffering an accident or injury, quarantine costs and emergency expenses.

Before you commit to purchasing a pet insurance plan you should check out the following:

  • Excess - the part of any claim you are obliged to pay;
  • Exclusions - pet insurance policies do have some exclusions which varies from insurer to insurer;
  • Pre-Existing Medical Conditions - all plans will generally not cover your pet against medical conditions they already have or existed before cover was taken out;
  • Price Increase - premiums for your pet insurance will increase as your pets gets older;
  • Age Limits - most pet insurance policies have maximum age limits that they will accept your pet up to, which is generally 8 years of age.

Pet insurance policies for the most commonly insured pets, such as cats and dogs, will offer a variety of plans providing levels of insurance with annual limits and exclusions, so it pays to read the summary of cover and terms and conditions before you commit to purchasing your pet insurance plan.