3 Questions You Need To Ask Yourself Before You Commit To A Policy
Shopping around for a good pet insurance policy can seem overwhelming but having a clear idea of what you are looking for before you do all of your research can be incredibly helpful. So here are the three questions you should ask yourself before committing to a pet insurance policy.
1. Does my pet have a pre-existing health condition?
Most pet insurance plans will not include cover on any pre-existing conditions your pet may have. This can also include certain conditions that are prevalent in particular breeds. For example a German Shepherd may be prone to hip dysplasia, so make sure this would be covered in a potential insurance policy. Depending on how much you are already spending on health care for your pet, an insurance policy may still save you a lot of money in the long run. Work out the risk of accident and injury for your pet, as well as how much you are able to pay monthly, to decide on the best plan for you.
2. How many pets do I have?
If you need to provide cover for multiple pets, some providers will offer a multi-pet discount if you cover all pets in the one policy. If you have more than one pet to insure, it might be worth shopping around for a policy that offers this kind of discount.
3. What kind of pet insurance do I need?
Lifetime cover policies
Lifetime policies are the most common and most popular kind of pet insurance. Subject to annual limits, a lifetime policy will pay out throughout your pet’s lifetime. There are a few different types of lifetime policies, including annual policies, which pay up to a set amount of fees per year, every year. There are also per condition, per year policies, which have a set annual limit for every listed condition, resetting every year. There are also several variations on these policies, with some paying up to set annual amounts plus a set amount on top of that for specific conditions.
No matter the policy, if you have a higher limit, the monthly or yearly premium will be more expensive. However, you can be sure that with a lifetime policy an insurer will contribute to your pet’s health care for their whole life.
Non-lifetime pet insurance policies are significantly less comprehensive than lifetime policies and more often exclude conditions, especially if you hit your claims limit.
There are two major types of non-lifetime insurance:
- Per condition policy — this kind of insurance policy will cover a selection of listed conditions, up to a set claim limit, even if your policy is renewed.
- Time-limit per condition policy — this type of cover will include limits on both cover value and on duration. These covers usually last 12 months, although this can differ depending on your provider.
Accident only policies
The cheapest type of pet insurance is an accident only policy. This policy only covers accidental injuries, not illnesses, and will provide a fixed payment for every accidental injury to help pay for treatment. These payments will often stop after a fixed period of time, for example 12 months.
Depending on the kind of pet you have and their medical history, your insurance policies will differ quite drastically. If you have a tighter budget or a pet with an existing health condition, it may be worth looking for more flexible policies or insurance that suits slightly different needs than someone with a lot of money and an incredibly healthy, young pet. Do some research and ask yourself these questions to find the best policy for you and your pet.