Advice on pet insurance - Teddington Vets
Pet insurance should really be a must-have item in any pet owner’s budget. It can help to cover unexpected health care costs, limiting the financial burden of serious illness or injury, and helping to get your pet the treatment they need.
As an independent veterinary practice, Alpha Vets wholeheartedly supports the idea of pet insurance. Although we cannot recommend any one individual insurance company, we can advise on the different types of policies and their potential benefits – see below.
The benefits of insuring your pet
Pet insurance mainly provides cover for veterinary fees if your pet is injured or becomes ill. In some cases, pets need to be referred to a Specialist for investigations or treatment, which can cost several thousand pounds. Some policies include additional benefits which may include:
- Third party liability cover if your pet injures someone or damages someone else’s property
- Paying you the price you paid for your pet if they become lost, stolen, or die as a result of injury or illness
- Paying the costs of looking after your pet if you have to go into hospital for emergency medical treatment
- Paying the cost of your holiday if it’s cancelled due to your pet needing emergency surgery close to the date you were due to leave
- Paying the cost of emergency veterinary treatment for your pet if you take them abroad under the Pet Travel Scheme
- Paying for treatments such as physiotherapy and other supportive therapies
Common types of pet insurance policies
This gives your pet veterinary cover until the end of their life, or as long as you renew. Policies usually give a maximum amount you can claim on each condition per year, and the pot refills each time you renew your pet insurance policy. As such, these policies provide ongoing cover for long-term conditions (arthritis, heart/kidney problems, skin disease etc.) Benefit limits can be ‘per condition’ or an annual amount for all conditions.
With this type of policy, you can claim a maximum amount for each condition without a time limit. After the maximum has been reached, the condition will be excluded.
These pet insurance policies will cover a condition for 12 months from the point when it started; after that time, the condition will be excluded – even if no treatment has been given. Financial limits will also apply.
Just as the name suggests, this type of policy only covers your pet if they were to be involved in an accident. They do not cover for any type of illness.
- Excess typically can be £50 – £200 per condition: This is the amount which you must pay before the insurer becomes liable for a cost of investigation or treatment.
- Heredity and congenital conditions: Check that your insurance policy does not exclude conditions common in your breed of cat or dog.
- Amount of cover: Depends on your financial circumstances. At referral centres, a medical investigation or surgical procedure can typically carry a financial bill of three thousand pounds and upwards.
- Third-party cover: If your pet is involved in a road traffic accident, you as the owner may be liable for costs involving vehicle repairs or injury to the driver.
- We do not recommend changing your insurer without giving this careful consideration. A new insurer will NOT COVER any conditions that arose prior to the onset of their cover.
- It is important to choose the insurance provider carefully as the policy could be in place for all of your pet’s life.
- You should always read the insurance policy documents thoroughly to see what they do and don’t cover.
Making a pet insurance claim
At Alpha Vets, we are able to do direct claims with most insurers when the amount is over £500. Just pop in or give our friendly Receptionists a call. If we are not doing a direct claim on your behalf, this is the process you should follow:
- Contact your insurer for a claim form – this may be available by email or download.
- The owner normally has a section of the claim form to complete – do this and hand it into one of our Receptionists.
- We will complete the remaining veterinary section and provide you with a full clinical history report to send to your insurance company.
- We ask you to allow 14 working days for completion of your claim form.