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How Pet Insurance Works

Protecting our pets can be an undoubtedly tricky task. From the get-go, we’re shown an abundance of insurance options, offered contrasting advice and then left to try and make sense of the new information and come to a resounding decision. So, it’s safe to say that you can become easily overwhelmed!

At Compare By Review, we like to keep things simple so that you can have peace of mind when it comes to your pet’s overall health and wellbeing. 
Because why waste time? In today’s insight article, we’ll be explaining how pet insurance works. 

What is pet insurance?

First things first: if you’re looking to purchase a pet insurance policy, you need to fully understand what it is. So, in the most simple of terms, pet insurance helps you cover the cost of any veterinary care that your pet might need throughout its lifetime - whether this is due to injury, disease or death.
By opting for insurance, you can rest easy with the knowledge that your pet will have access to the medical care it needs should anything happen. Simple, right?
Well, in theory, yes it is. But a good pet insurance experience relies on one key action: finding the right policy
Again, this might seem simple, but it can quickly become complicated. In our recent survey of UK pet owners, we found that a staggering 1 in 3 people purchase their pet insurance by considering price exclusively - and whilst this might seem like the right decision when looking at your bank account, it might not offer the level of cover you really need.
It’s for this reason that Compare By Review offers a separate approach, urging pet owners to consider past customer reviews and insight when selecting the right plan for their pet. In conjunction with the terms and conditions of the policy, this information will allow individuals to find the right policy without the sway of a one-off deal.

So after purchase, how does pet insurance work?

Once you’ve purchased your insurance policy, the rest is fairly simple. Most insurers will have a short waiting period of a few days before your cover actually kicks in - so if you’re switching to a new provider it’s important to check that you won’t have a period in-between the two policies where your pet is left vulnerable.
The next step is making a claim. Whilst you hopefully won't find yourself in a situation where this is necessary, it is still important that you know what to do if the worst does happen. So, here are the step-by-step actions you’ll need to follow:
  • Once your pet has been seen by a vet, you’ll be asked to pay the bill directly - i.e. from your own pocket
  • You’ll then need to file a claim with your insurer and, depending on who your insurer is, this will be done via phone, email or an online form. If you’re not sure, don’t panic, you can find the details in your original policy agreement.
  • The insurer will then evaluate your claim in conjunction to your policy agreement. If approved, they will then send the claimed costs back to you via a pre-agreed process - however, this may take several days or weeks depending on who your policy is with. 

What might affect my claim?

Understandably, a key concern for all pet owners is not receiving the financial reimbursement for a medical service they thought was included. It’s for this reason that you need to sit down and investigate your policy prior to making a purchase. Details that could impact your claim will be:
  • An excess fee - when purchasing your policy, you’ll often agree to an excess fee that you will cover in the event of veterinary care. This means that the funds you receive following a claim might not match your initial expectation, so make sure to be mindful of this.
  • Maximum vet fees - some insurers will only agree to a ‘maximum value’ when it comes to covering vet fees. This means that should the cost of care exceed the value, you could be left to pay the excess out of your own pocket. 
  • Policy exclusions - whilst you’d hope that all care is covered by your policy, that is seldom the case. For instance, most policies won’t provide cover for any pre-existing conditions that your pet has.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed when trying to understand your pet’s level of cover and care but at Compare By Review, we’re on hand to keep things simple. If you’re searching for further pet insurance advice, then check out our bespoke pet insurance page where you can find the latest advice as well as compare leading insurers!