Having a pet is a profitable experience that many of us enjoy, but it can also be difficult and costly. In addition to all the routine costs such as food and grooming, you may also face unforeseen expenses such as veterinary bills in the event of illness or accident. These bills can unfortunately be very high, in order to ensure that their pets can get the treatment they need, many people decide that purchasing pet insurance is a good way to help amortize these costs. But what should you look for in a pet insurance policy?
The first thing to consider is the type of animal you have. The cheapest pet insurance is that of the most common pets – cats and dogs. The prices of these insurance policies can indeed be very reasonable, representing only the cost of a few boxes of pet food per month. If, however, you keep a more unusual pet as a pet, the price you pay may well be higher. Make sure that any pet insurance policy you purchase specifically includes your type of pet, as many will exclude more “exotic” types of pets.
The main reason why you are considering pet insurance is medical coverage, but there are certain exclusions of which you should be aware. First, your policy will certainly not cover routine treatments such as vaccinations, flea control or dewormers. Second, you will not be covered for preexisting conditions already known when you took out the policy (you must also declare all existing conditions when you take out the animal insurance policy, or you risk being declared invalid when you come and make a complaint).
You should also check your pet insurance policy for claim limits: there may be a time limit on coverage, so for example a long-term condition like arthritis can only be covered for a period of 12 months, after which you will be responsible for invoices. There is also usually a limit to the total cost of medical bill claims you make in a year, but this is usually high enough to cover almost every conceivable situation.
Another major reason to take out animal insurance is to help you cover the cost of returning your pet in the event of disappearance. Most policies will assist with advertising in local newspapers, etc., as well as the provision of reward money for the safe return of your pet.
Another very important part of this insurance coverage is public liability, especially for dog owners. Even the quietest and best-behaved pets can damage someone’s property or even hurt someone. In this fortunately rare case, you could be open to huge legal bills and claims – make sure your pet insurance policy includes a substantial amount of liability coverage as standard.
Finally, check to see if the pet insurance policy you are considering limits the age of your pet. Many fonts are only available, for example, for cats up to the age of eight. As it is in the following years that your pet will be most likely to receive treatment, it obviously makes sense to make sure that this pet insurance will cover this, especially if your pet is a few years old!