What’s the topic today?
I’m going to talk about health insurance for pets
You mean to cover vet bills when they get injured?
Yes but it’s not just for when they are injured, its for all those ongoing vet bills for things like skin problems and heart disease too.
So is pet insurance worthwhile?
Yes absolutely. It could make all the difference between life and death for your pet. If you could easily find the funds for a 3000 dollar plus operation to save your pets life then you may not need insurance. But if you cant afford to spend that sort of money on your pet then euthanasia is often the only option.
I guess pet insurance is buying peace of mind?
Yes but it can also save you money. If your pet develops a lifelong problem like heart disease the cost of ongoing treatment can easily exceed the cost of the insurance.
How do people go about choosing which insurance policy to buy?
Well the first thing is don’t choose a policy based on price alone. The cheapest policies also provide the least cover. Decide what sort of cover you want and then choose a company that offers just that.
What sort of different cover is available.
You can choose cover for just surgery and this will be cheaper than comprehensive insurance that covers everything. But remember that surgical cover alone won’t cover those lifelong illnesses.
Is there a lot of difference between the different insurance companies?
Yes there is and that is a very important point. It’s important to find out what each insurance company is willing to cover and more importantly what exclusions they have.
Tell us more, what sort of exclusions?
Each company has a list of specific breeds that are genetically predisposed to certain illnesses and if your pet is on that list they will charge you a higher premium or may not insure them at all. The lists are different for each company. The boxer for instance is excluded by some companies but not others so it is worth looking around.
What else should people look out for?
Some companies will only pay out for the first 6 months for any problem whereas others will continue to pay out for the life of the pet. This is a very important point if you want cover for lifelong illnesses.
What about old pets, can they be insured?
Again it depends on the company. Some just won’t insure older pets whereas others will for a higher premium. Some will guarantee to cover your pet for life so long as you take out insurance whilst they are still young.
So does it pay to start insurance as soon as possible?
Yes it does. You should start as soon as you get a new pet before they develop any problems because no company will cover pre-existing conditions.
So you mean whilst they are still in the puppy or kitten stage.
Yes. Some companies offer a 4 week period of free insurance for puppies and kittens in a hope that you will later take out full insurance. These sorts of offers have no strings attached and people should take advantage of them.
How do people find out about the different companies?
We have brochures for the main insurance companies at The Vet Centre reception which people can pick up. But also each company has a web page and you can search for them with google. There is more info on the web pages than in the brochures.
So do you have a favourite company?
I do but I’m not allowed to say. I favour the fully comprehensive policies with the least exclusions including cover for dentals and routine vaccinations, neutering and microchipping. I favour the policies that continue cover for life and don’t exclude older pets. If you read all the brochures you will soon see which my favourite is.
Ok everyone. Go and check out those brochures!