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Pet Insurance Buying Guide Part Two

pet insurance buying guideIn part one of our comprehensive buying guide for pet insurance, we asked you to look at a number of important factors. Not least the systems in place for contacting a preferred pet insurance company. We encouraged you to test the system you’re potentially paying for, while highlighting that cheap pet insurance, isn’t necessarily the best pet insurance policy.

So you’re an expert in finding an insurance company with great internal policies, but what about the pet insurance policy you’re paying for?

There are a number of things which affect the type of policy you choose, such as the breed and general health of your pet, as well as your budget.

Types of Pet Insurance

Generally speaking, pet insurance comes in three types:

  • Lifetime Pet Insurance Policy

Arguably the best type of policy, if you keep up the annual repayments on your pet insurance policy your pet will be covered for life, and subsequently cover the cost of any new injuries or health issues.

  • Monetary Cap Pet Insurance Policy

As the name suggests, this mid-level policy offers a cap on the amount payable per condition. For example, if the company states a cap of £3,000 per condition, once that limit is met the cover for that particular condition expires. This is especially popular amongst cat owners, whose finery bills are generally cheaper than that of dogs.

  • Time-limited Pet Insurance Policy

The time-limited style of pet insurance typically covers any injury or illness your pet suffers from, for up to 12-months from the moment of first diagnosis.

Naturally there are variations in the interpretation of these three styles of policies, but they almost always take on one form or the other. Get into the habit of note taking. Many people like to sketch a quick table detailing the cost, and terms of the pet insurance policies on offer.

When to Buy Pet Insurance

Of course, when it comes to buying the right type of policy, it helps to be honest. Trying to dupe an insurance company on the eve of a large vet bill is probably not going to work out well for you.

It is advisable to take out pet insurance cover as early as possible, and while your pet is still healthy. The main reason for this is fairly obvious, insurance companies will not cover any existing illnesses.

This is also a good reason to do the legwork early. If you can find the right insurer for you and your pet, thus avoid moving from one insurer to the next, you can ensure you are reasonably covered throughout the life of your four-legged friend.

For example, if you insure your dog with John’s Pet Insurance company in the first year, and he develops arthritis, then John’s Pet Insurance will cover him within the terms of your policy. Whereas, moving to the cheaper policy offered by Penny’s Pet Insurance will prove difficult, as it is unlikely that they will cover your dog’s existing arthritis condition.

Who and what is covered?

Of course, pet insurance doesn’t suit every kind of pet. Foe example, dogs registered under the Dangerous Dogs Act cannot be insured, and working dogs, guard dogs and racing dogs are also difficult to find appropriate cover for.

Aside from this, you should realise that pet insurance doesn’t provide a cure-all for every cost associated with your pet’s health.

For instance, it is unusual for spaying and neutering to be covered under any style of policy, meanwhile vaccinations, boosters and grooming procedures such as trimming and clipping will not usually be covered, so consider this as an extra cost and something to budget for.

Getting Cheaper Pet Insurance

One of the most common factors causing the cost of pet insurance to fluctuate, is the size of the excess.

This is a fixed fee which you will agree to pay towards a new claim. It’s mainly used as a deterrent to erroneous claims. The typical level of excess is in the region of £80 – £100, and often there’s an option to add what is known as voluntary excess which can bring the price of your premium down considerably.

If you’re hoping to insure pets of different ages, don’t be surprised to see different levels of excess. It’s normal for pet insurance companies to vary the level of excess depending on various factors including your postcode, and the age of your pets.

Also be aware that any treatments that cost under the minimum excess, will need to be covered by yourself.

What else can pet insurance cover?

Pet insurance is rightfully popular, and it’s not only in place for times of ill health. Many pet insurance companies now cover you for a range of pet-related costs. Typical inclusions would be a reward offered for the safe return of a lost pet, and quite often the funeral costs.

Others may give you access to specialist help lines, and open up a range of discounts with selected retailers. Above all, there will always be small temptations to choose one insurer above another. It’s a highly competitive market and this should be used to your advantage.

Ensure that you are purchasing the right pet insurance policy for your pet. Consider their age, and any current health issues and speak to other pet owners about their own experiences.

The primary reason for most pet owners taking out an insurance policy is to combat the rising cost of veterinary costs in the UK. Unless you have extraordinary circumstances, this should be your primary goal.

With this in mind, we invite you to share your experiences with Britain’s pet insurance companies and if you’re looking for a good pet insurance policy, consider comparing pet insurance policies from those companies who we endorse here at Simply Pet Insurance.

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Category: Cat Insurance, Dog Insurance, Equine Insurance, Insurance Tips

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