Chances are, if you have a pet, you consider him or her part of the family. We quite rightly get very attached to our furry friends and want to be there for them when they become ill.
The cost of vet visits can very quickly get expensive, and if you have an animal that develops a sudden medical requirement, you may end up with a significant bill.
The American Veterinary Medical Association endorses the idea of pet health insurance and encourages its veterinary professionals to educate their clients about such schemes.
What Is Pet Insurance
Pet insurance, like any insurance is there to cover the unexpected.
Most often, pet insurance covers the costs incurred to to injury or illness in dogs and cats. However, other pets can be covered as well, but you may need a specific policy for exotic pets.
Cover will be for either a part or all of the costs, depending on the medical situation and the cover you have purchased.
Like any insurance policy, there will be fine print and a stringent set of criteria that will need to be met for payout.
Types Of Pet Insurance
Pet insurance cover usually falls into three main categories.
Comprehensive Policies: These policies cover you for accident and illness. Just as it sounds like, depending on the individual policy, you will have some or all costs involved with veterinary treatment for accidents and diseases suffered by your pet.
Accident Cover Only: These policies cover you for veterinary bills associated with accident, and will not provide any assistance for illness
General Cover: Usually, policies like these provide some or all of your cover for regular, foreseeable issues such as yearly check-ups, flea and/or tick treatment and other regular expenses.
What Am I Covered For
Your cover is going to depend on the type of policy that you take out, and the fine print for that policy. Generally, you will need to choose between a comprehensive and an accident only policy.
Comprehensive plans will cover hospitalization, emergency care in case of accident or illness, congenital diseases, hereditary conditions and prescription medicines that may be required for each of these conditions.
Your pet may need an initial health check, and there may also be age restrictions for individual policies.
Accident policies will cover emergency care and hospitalization in case of an accident, and will not insure you in case of a congenital or hereditary illness.
The general well-being policies cover some or all of foreseeable expenses involved in pet ownership, and as such may well turn out to be more expensive in the long run. If you are considering pet insurance, then be especially sure that a policy like this is right for you otherwise you could end up spending more money that you should.
Extras To Consider
There are some extras that are worth considering when reading the fine print of your policy.
Some insurers cover boarding costs whilst your pet is hospitalized. You should make sure you know if this is part of your policy or not.
Also, carefully check the age limits of your policy. Some insurers do not cover pets over a certain age.
In addition, some policies offer flexible ‘deductable’ amounts. This is the amount that you pay in the event that you trigger the policy. It is an important consideration, and will vary from policy to policy.
Pet insurance is a great way to protect your pets and cover your self from the financial expense of unexpected veterinary bills. There are many different policies available and many can be tailored to suit your needs.
You should be clear about what you want to cover, and consider carefully before taking out a wellness policy.