Choosing The Right Pet Insurance

We love our pets and want them to have the best care. With no NHS for our four-legged friends, a pet insurance policy can prevent a poorly pet from turning into a pricey one. Over 80 insurers now offer pet insurance, so it’s easy to find the right policy for you and your pet.

Buying pet insurance can be extremely rewarding for your animal’s health. But there are some things to be aware of before you invest. From vet bills to lifetime cover, we break down what you should be aware of when purchasing a policy.

When Is The Best Time To Insure?

The best time to insure your pet is when you bring them home. That way, you’re covered if they are injured or fall ill.The younger your furry friend is, the more likely you are to be accepted for a policy. If your pet is older, getting insurance can be problematic. Some insurers will only let you take out a new policy for pets under eight-years-old, as older pets are more likely to need treatment. The easiest way to get pet insurance is to take out a lifetime policy when your pet is younger to guarantee your pet will always be covered. Although, you might have to wait between 5 and 8 weeks before insuring newborns. Sorry puppies.

The Price of A Pet

Unfortunately, there isn’t an NHS equivalent for pets, so they become ill, get injured or have an accident, you’ll have to foot the vets bill – and it doesn’t come cheap. Vet bills range from the hundreds to the thousands depending on your location and pets condition. Thankfully, a pet insurance policy can help cover this cost.

What Can Pet Insurance Cover?

Pet insurance policies can vary widely. Along with veterinary bills, policies can also cover loss and theft of your pet, treatment for behavioural problems, death by illness or injury, and cattery or kennel fees. Pet owners can choose from four main types of cover:

  • Accident only:
    • This insurance covers a pet if they need treatment after an accident, but not if they have an illness. Some policies may also have a time limit for treatment, with a fixed excess for each accidental injury, to pay towards treatment.
 
  • Per condition with and without a time limit
    • This cover is one of the cheapest and will pay for both accidents and illnesses. However, it is limited to one condition and only for a maximum of 12 months after your pet has been diagnosed.

      You can also opt for this policy without a time limit, meaning the cover will continue for any treatment as long as you renew the policy after 12 months. Recurring illness or injury will not be covered by this type of policy.

 
  • Maximum Benefit:
    • A maximum benefit policy allows you to claim year after year, up to a specified limit. Unlike a time-limited policy, this means you can claim for the same condition more than once. However, once vet bills reach the maximum amount, you have to fund further treatment yourself.
 
  • Lifetime cover
    • Lifetime cover is the most comprehensive type of pet insurance, with insurers setting high maximum amounts per year for vet fees, dental fees or burial expenses. While this policy is considered the best one to take out for your pet, you will still have to renew each year, and some insurers can refuse to renew it.
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Things To Be Aware Of

Pre-existing conditions are not covered by most insurers. If your pooch is already poorly, a policy bought after the illness won’t be valid. It’s best to get your cover as soon as you can.

Most of us tend to choose the cheapest insurance option – but beware the bargains! Cheaper doesn’t mean better. Rather than looking at the price of a policy, read the fine print to make sure it covers exactly what you’re looking for.

Comparing insurers by reviews is the best way of ensuring your policy will pay out in the event of a claim. At Compare By Review, we are the first and only comparison site that focuses and ranks providers exclusively on customer experience and product quality. We find the best insurers so you don’t have to. Check out our list of top providers today.