The pet insurance market can be a minefield to navigate with so many different policy types to chose from and plenty of fine print to scroll through.
Perhaps the most important point to consider is that your pet has the right cover for your circumstances. Certain policies are aimed at different situations, but it proves prudent to fully inform yourself of the limitations of your policy before agreeing on cover.
This is because once your pet has a “condition”, be it illness or accident, this is then classed as a “pre-existing condition” and therefore should you wish to change insurance companies a further policy will no longer provide financial cover against this condition.
The way in which an insurance company will provide cover year to year is also dependent on the policy type chosen. A brief description of the main categories is found below:
Time limited policies
Time limited policies provide cover for a specifically nominated amount per condition, with financial aid being provided typically over a period of 12 months ONLY. This means that after the allotted year, the condition will not be covered for again, and therefore will be excluded from the policy regardless of the amount of money used.
Maximum benefit policies
Maximum benefit policies vary from time limited, in that these cover up to a specific value, but offer no time constraints in which to claim. For example, £3,000 worth of cover per condition could be spent over a few years, but once that nominal sum has been met, this condition will be excluded from your policy for further coverage years.
Does the policy cover:
Some companies will cover for complementary treatments for example hydrotherapy, physiotherapy or acupuncture. They may charge an extra excess for these treatments which is fairly normal procedure. Most companies do not cover routine dental procedures unless the pet has had an annual health check.
Behavioural problems are covered by some companies but they will specify that you are seen by professionals registered with their chosen awarding bodies. Neutering is not commonly covered by insurance companies.
A lifetime policy is definitely the most sought after, and is typically what your veterinary professional will recommend to you. Cover is provided to a set amount yearly, with “pre-existing conditions” continuing to be covered for in the future as long as there is no gap in policy. For example, £4,000 of cover per year is automatically renewed providing the policy renews at the end of the coverage period. This lack of break in cover is excellent for chronic on-going conditions such as diabetes or skin complaints. The most important point to take away is to ensure that your cover is comprehensive, and that you notify the insurance company of all the relevant details of your pet’s current veterinary history prior to accepting the policy.
To try and make things easier Arun Veterinary Group can provide you with 4 weeks free insurance from Pet Plan for a pet under a year but over 8 weeks of age, Pet Plan is a reputable insurance company with over 30 years experience, and one of the most commonly used companies in the industry. Should you wish to continue with this then all you need do is contact Pet Plan independently and renew your coverage for the next policy year.
Please remember there is an excess which you will need to pay; either one excess per year or one excess per condition depending on your policy coverage. If you have any questions relating to insurance policies or claims, please do not hesitate to contact us.