Pet Insurance

Is it really necessary?

Whilst minor ailments and routine procedures at Natterjacks should be easily affordable, costs of treatment for longer term illnesses or major injuries can be considerable.  Whilst advances in veterinary medicine mean we can do more for your pet, treatment costs can soon mount up.  For example, treatment of skin disorders (very common in both dogs and cats) can easily exceed £12,000 over a lifetime whilst repairing a broken leg can cost £2500 or more. For most people these sorts of costs are not likely to be within the scope of the family budget leaving some very difficult decisions to be made.

So which is the best insurance company?

PetPlan are the market leading pet insurance specialists and their top policies provide some of the highest levels of cover for absolute peace of mind.  For 4 weeks free Petplan insurance simply click here and quote our practice reference number 1300051347.

Agria pet insurance is one of the world’s leading pet insurers, insuring cats and dogs in the UK. Agria offers a unique choice of cover and optional benefits tailored to their customers’ pets, lifestyle and budget. Follow this link to find more or get an Agria insurance quote for your pet.

It’s important to be aware that not all pet insurance is the same.  Don’t just shop around on price alone.  Some cheaper policies have disconcertingly low levels of cover which will cost you a lot more in the long run or may leave you without any cover at all.  However with a bit of research you should be able to find an affordable policy that will provide you with ample cover for the lifetime of your pet.

Whichever insurance company you opt for, check the small print for any exclusions and ensure that the insurer doesn’t restrict the types of conditions that are included – this is the sort of thing that we are seeing almost weekly at Natterjacks now and the article also contains a useful guide:

Excellent websites with lots of information to help you decide about pet insurance can be found on the Which website, Money Supermarket or Money Saving Expert but here is our summary of the essential points to look out for:

  • LIFETIME COVER – Select a policy that will not exclude a condition after a certain time.  If you select a ‘time limited’ policy where cover typically only lasts 12 months you will not be able to insure your pet against anything that it has been seen for at any veterinary surgery in the past – regardless of whether a claim has been made!!  This is why it is so important to get it right the first time. Insurance companies have access to medical records for the lifetime of your pet so think long and hard before switching insurers as it the most minor ailment in the past could lead to a claim being rejected in the future.
  • WHAT’S THE YEARLY LIMIT? – Avoid policies with a total yearly limit of under £2,500 for each claim or less than £5000 for all claims within a policy year.
  • CONDITION LIMITS – Ask if your company imposes a limit on total amount you can claim per condition over the lifetime of your pet – so called ‘maximum benefit’.  These may apply to all policies (including good lifetime policies) but be aware of the fact that conditions like allergies, arthritis or diabetes can cost £20,000+ over a lifetime so ensure that this limit is not .
  • ARE ALL CONDITIONS COVERED? Lots of cheaper policies only include a very narrow range of conditions so check if every medical and surgical condition is covered including hospitalisation fees.
  • EXCESS – WHAT WILL I PAY NOW AND IN THE FUTURE?  Some cheaper policies offer low premiums or excesses for animals in their first year of cover and but increase this by asking that owners pay an increasing percentage of the total bill each year so that owner’s can still be faced with thousands of pounds of excess to pay.
  • EXTRAS – Don’t be persuaded to buy a policy on the basis of extras like a low (or zero) policy excess, boarding fees in the event of your own ill-health, compensation for the death of your pet, help with finding a lost pet etc as these are either rarely needed or won’t save you a lot of money.  They are often used to make low-end policies look more attractive but always remember the points listed above.

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