Choosing the right pet insurance is such an important part of becoming a new pet owner. Protecting yourself from the unexpected costs of having a pet is vital, as injury and illness can get expensive really quickly. However, you may not know where to start when looking for the right policy for you. We’ve compiled a list of things you should consider when choosing pet insurance.
Before you begin looking through all the different policies and reading the fine print of every insurance company, consider these questions:
- How old is your pet? Finding insurance for older pets or extremely young pets can be difficult, and will almost certainly be more expensive, given the increased likelihood of illness or injury.
- Does your pet have any existing health conditions? Getting cover for health conditions is not common, only a few insurers will do it (e.g. Petsure). Unfortunately, most insurers pets with existing conditions as too high risk so they won’t cover them.
- What kind of pet do you have? While insurance for dogs and cats is easy to find, you may have to look a little further for more exotic pets.
- How many pets do you have? If you have multiple pets you may qualify for a discount if your policy covers all of your pets.
What kind of pet insurance do I need?
Depending on the kind of insurance you need, you will most likely choose between one of the four main types of pet insurance:
- Accident only
This will cover any injuries your pet may suffer from an accident. It will not cover health conditions later in life or any illnesses, so understand the breed of pet you have and any associated health risks you may need to cover.
- Time-limited policies
This kind of policy lets you protect against a certain condition or illness for a set period of time. After that time, you won’t be able to make any further claims, and it usually comes with a maximum claim limit.
- Maximum benefit policies
You will be able to use a maximum benefit policy to insure up to a set limit until you have claimed that much. As long as your maximum claim limit is high enough, this kind of policy may be enough to cover a lifetime.
- Lifetime policies
A lifetime policy offers a set limit of cover which renews yearly. They are the most expensive option, but also the most comprehensive. If your pet is susceptible to medical problems, this would be a great option for you.
Should I include extra cover?
If your provider offers it, you may have the option to add any combination of extra benefits to your policy, for an added fee. These extra benefits include anything from loss cover, which covers the initial cost of your pet should they die, to lost and found cover, which will cover the costs of advertising should your pet go missing as well as the cost of a reward in the case they are found. Extra benefits could also include things such as overseas travel, which would include any vet fees abroad as well as quarantine costs and holiday cancellations.
It is well worth noting that many pet insurance policies will offer these extra benefits as a standard part of their cover, so do check the policy properly before getting a quote. Weigh up the costs of extra cover and work out if it is something you need, and which parts will be most beneficial to you.
Getting the right pet insurance for both you and your pet is so important. Take time to consider your pet’s age, their breed and any health conditions that may come with that. Opt for the best pet insurance you can afford to keep your pets as well-protected as possible.