1. Select the right type of cover
When it comes to pet insurance, there are four main types of insurance policies:
Accident only: This level provides cover for injuries for a specific period of time – up to a maximum of 12 months. But it is worth noting that some insurers provide Accident Only cover but under the terms of Maximum Benefit cover (refer below).
Time-limited: This level of cover is regarded as a basic level pet insurance cover. It provides cover for illnesses or injuries for a maximum period of 12 months.
Maximum benefit: This level of cover provides comprehensive cover for all injuries and illnesses without any time limit applied. However, it covers up to a certain maximum amount – check policy for details.
Lifetime: This level of cover is the most recommended by vets. It is the most comprehensive type of cover. It provides cover for ongoing conditions for the entire life of your pet.
2. Understand and stick to your budget
Purchasing insurance coverage for your pet is crucial to the long-term wellbeing of your pet. Thus, you need to get a policy that caters to your specific needs and requirements. However, you also need to get one that you can afford. The last thing you want is to invest in a policy that doesn’t offer longevity, and you can’t manage to keep up with the payments. When it comes to pet insurance, the more extensive your policy is, the more expensive its premiums are.
3. Do your research
Given that there are plenty of companies offering pet insurance, each with different types of cover, benefits, and downsides, it is important that you research all your available options before making the final decision. Remember, pet insurance is typically a lifelong commitment, and you definitely want what is best for you and your pet.
4. Seek reviews and recommendations
It is always helpful to find out what others are saying about a particular insurer. Check review sites to get an insight into what to expect from the company and also see how they have been rated.
5. Examine the benefits
You’ll find that different insurers may or may not provide for certain sections of pet insurance cover, for example, boarding fees or holiday cancellation. Thus, it is crucial to ensure that your chosen policy provides for the section of cover you require.
6. Assess the policy excesses
Percentage excesses will often be applied to claims once your pet attains a certain age. The percentage excesses range from small contributory amounts to huge excesses. If a large excess is applied to your claims, you will be required to make a significant upfront payment to pay for your veterinary treatment.
Keep in mind that this also applies to standard fixed excesses. You will typically pay higher excesses for cheaper premiums or for specific breeds of pets. Thus, it is important that you go for an excess that you can afford in the event your pet needs treatment.
7. Check for discounts
Most companies give discounts for pet insurance policies, from new customer discounts, loyalty discounts to multi-pet discounts. It is important to note that some of these discounts only apply to your first year. Thus, you need to take into account the additional costs that may be applied to your policy when renewing your cover.
8. Disclose all information
Insurance policies typically don’t cover veterinary fees resulting from conditions that already existed before the insurance policy started. When putting in place a pet insurance cover, you should inform the insurer about anything that might affect the policy. This way, you will be sure about what is and what isn’t covered in the policy before taking out the insurance.
9. Go over the terms and conditions
It is a well-known fact that many people don’t read or fully understand the terms and conditions of a policy before purchasing it. As a matter of fact, the only time that most people check the terms and conditions is when they are about to make a claim.
To avoid any future frustrations and inconveniences, ensure that you read the terms and conditions fully and seek to understand every area that you aren’t sure about. Before buying any cover, make sure that you are fully comfortable with the terms and conditions.
10. How easy is it to raise a claim with the insurer?
This is arguably one of the most important areas when it comes to any type of insurance. Before buying any cover, you need to find out how the claims process works. This helps to make the process less stressful or frustrating in case you ever need to make a claim. Many insurers provide a downloadable claims form on their website to make it easier to commence the claims process.
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Are the pet insurance policies quite much the same?
The answer is No. For example, a lot of policies can not cover the breed-specific or genetic circumstances. Others can do it. You will need to read over the insurer’s site and print before you can sign on, or do not produce any assumptions.
Next, however, pet insurance policies are similar. They do not cover pre-existing circumstances that are particularly any health problem that the pet has before you purchase the policy. That claimed, the way every insurer considers pre-existing circumstances could be not the same, and other insurers can permit the coverage letter if the veterinary records can refer that the pre-existing circumstance appears to be cured within 12 months.
When is the ideal time to take pet insurance?
Early around the pet’s life. If you want to do it, take insurance as soon as you carry the new furry friends home or right after their initial veterinary examination, advised by Mr. McCarthy, the owner and the vet of the hospital in Queens, New York.
He recommends doing it early after you carry the pets in the house because “at this point for their life, the young puppy’s odds or kitten getting the pre-existing circumstance is quite low.