What does pet insurance cover?
A standard pet insurance policy may be used to cover the cost of emergency medical treatment for your pet, depending on the type of policy that is selected.
Other pet insurance policies could also cover you for the following:
- Chronic conditions that your pet might suffer from
- Dental cover for your pet
- Treatment for behavioural issues
- Hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, acupuncture and other alternative therapies
- Death of your pet, sometimes including burial or cremation costs
- Missing pet cover
- Boarding fees
- Holiday cover
- Cover if you took your pet abroad under the government’s Pet Travel Scheme.
You may also wish to consider purchasing a policy that would also offer third party liability cover if you are looking to insure a dog. This could cover you for any costs that you may be liable to pay in the event that your dog was to injure a third party or damage their property.
Which types of pet policies are there to choose from?
A time-limited pet insurance policy would cover you for up to a maximum amount per condition; you would only be eligible to receive payments for up to 12 months for each condition, after which the illness would be excluded from your policy.
Maximum benefit pet insurance policies cover conditions up to a designated amount, with no limit on how long you are allowed to claim for per condition; the policy would have a limit to payments from the policy as a whole, meaning that it may not provide full cover for ongoing illness.
A lifetime pet insurance policy is the most comprehensive policy available, covering veterinary fees for up to a certain amount each year; upon renewal, this amount will also be renewed.
Which factors affect the cost of a pet insurance policy?
The level of cover required
The more comprehensive a policy is, the more expensive it will generally be per month; although, in the long term you may save more money with a more comprehensive policy depending on the health of your pet.
The age of your pet
Policies for older pets (usually above the age of 8) may carry higher premiums.
The breed of your pet
Certain breeds may more predisposed to suffer from particular conditions, and so may not be covered for these or related conditions.
Your pet’s previous medical history
The more cases of illness your pet has had, the more expensive your premiums are likely to be; pre-existing medical conditions will not usually be covered by your policy.
If you live in a more high-risk area, such as by busy roads, your premiums are likely to be higher.
- Your age, gender and marital status could also be taken into consideration.
How can you reduce the cost of premiums?
- Opting to pay a higher excess upon making a claim
- Fit your pet with a microchip, as this could help to locate your pet should it go missing
- Ensure that your pet is neutered.