Most people take out a pet insurance policy to provide cover for unexpected vet bills. This can provide you with peace of mind, knowing that if your pet has an accident or becomes ill, you will not be faced with vet fees you cannot afford to pay.
Unfortunately pet insurance is not as simple as most other insurances. If you are to get the best pet insurance for your pet you have some research to do and decisions to make.
1. What type of vet fees cover?
The most complex aspect of pet insurance is the different types and levels of vet fees cover.
The cheapest pet insurance policies available will only pay vet fees for accidents. If your pet needs treatment for an illness.. you pay!
The cheapest policies which cover accidents and illnesses will only pay for treatment for a condition for 12 months from when it starts. Any costs for that condition after the year is up.. you pay… for the rest of your pet life!
If you want a policy which will pay for treatment for more than 12 months you can choose between a condition limit policy which will pay up to a stated limit for each condition, and a lifetime policy which will provide a set amount each year to cover all conditions for the lifetime of the policy.
Generally a lifetime policy is regarded as the better option but it depends on the financial limits. For example a condition limit policy which has a limit of £6,000 per condition is likely to provide more cover than a lifetime policy which has a limit of £1,000 per year.
2. How much vet fees cover?
Cover limits range from £500 to £13,000
Essentially the choice is yours. The higher the cover limit the less likely it is that you will run out cover and consequently have to pay vet fees.
3. Will any of the other benefits be useful to you?
Most pet insurance policy provide a number of additional benefits. Sometimes these are optional.
The most important of these is third party liability cover.
You are legally responsible for the actions of your dog. It is therefore important that you have third party liability cover in case you get sued!
However pet insurance is not the only way of getting this cover. It might be included in your household contents policy or alternatively if you join the Dogs Trust they will provide you with third party liability cover.
Death benefits will pay a sum of money if your pet dies which some people find helpful when the time is right to get another pet.
Loss or theft benefits are similar but they apply if your pet is permanently lost or stolen.
Advertising benefits will help cover the cost of advertising or paying a reward to get you pet back if it lost or stolen.
Holiday cancellation benefits will cover the cost of holiday if you have to cancel because of your pet (in certain limited circumstances).
Boarding fee benefits will pay for your pet to be looked after in boarding kennels (some policies will also pay for a minder) if you have to go into hospital.
If you think any of the above might be useful to you then read the relevant fact sheets to find out more about these benefits so you know what to look for in a policy.
Types of Vet Fees Cover