Abbey Veterinary Surgery







01795 662578





7 Minster Road, Minster-on-Sea, SHEERNESS, Kent, ME12 3JD
































































02 June 2015 | Pet Insurance







































There are so many different pet insurance products available that it can be like stepping through a minefield on your way to getting the best policy to cover your pet. We are not allowed to recommend any specific policies, but it is important to know what the differences are between the policies, and we can offer you some general guidance.


There are three basic types of policy, categorised by the way in which the insurance company deals with claims. When you are comparing products from different companies it is important that you make sure that you are comparing like-with-like.


1: Time Limited Policies: These policies will only pay out for any given condition for a set period of time, usually one year. At the end of that period, your pet will still be insured, but the ongoing condition will not be covered. These policies tend to have the lowest premiums. There is nothing wrong with this type of policy, as long as you know and understand the limitations.


2: Benefit Limited Policies: When you take out this type of policy the insurers will set a maximum amount of money that they will pay for any one condition. The exact level will depend on the level of premium, and may vary between £1000 and £8000. If you make a claim the company will pay out until you hit the limit, at which point the condition will then be excluded from the policy.


3: Cover for Life Policies: These tend to be the most expensive group of policies, but as their name suggests there are no exclusions as the result of claims, no matter how long the condition goes on for, but each company has slightly different terms and conditions. For example you may have a cash limit for each year.


There can also be other factors which may affect your choice of policy.


It is always worth considering the things that are not covered. No insurance company will pay for routine items of pet care such as vaccinations, parasite treatment or neutering, but some will cover complications if something unexpected happens after a routine procedure.


Different companies have different levels of cover for dental care, for example some will only cover for accidental damage to teeth, whilst others will also allow cover for infections.


You cannot take out insurance to cover a condition that already existed before the policy started, but some companies will re-instate cover if your pet does not have any recurrences in a given period of time.


Most standard pet insurance policies do not cover veterinary treatments associated with breeding, but that type of cover is available if you shop around, or with some policies breeding cover can be added in as an option.


If you travel abroad with your pet, you will need to make sure that you take out a policy that specifically includes cover whilst you are abroad, or at least has an option to allow you to add temporary cover when you need it.


Please consider the non-veterinary cover that is included in the policy, for example offering a reward and paying for adverts if your pet goes missing; paying for kennels or cattery if you have to go into hospital; holiday cancellation cover if your pet is critically ill when you are due to go away; public liability cover, or legal expenses cover should they be needed. It is up to you to decide if these things are important to you when you choose your policy.


Like motor insurance, all pet policies have an excess, that is, the amount of contribution that you have to pay toward any treatment costs. This may be a fixed amount usually between £60 and £150 or it may be a percentage of the total cost. As with car insurance, the higher the excess, the lower the premium. Some companies will allow you a choice of excess when you take out the policy, but with others these levels are fixed.


On the whole, pet insurance is worthwhile, but it is important to make sure that you know what you are buying, so that you will not be disappointed if you have to make a claim.



























































































































































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