Insurance can be crucial for pet owners as it can help give you peace of mind. Pet insurance helps cover vet bills in the event of illness, injury or both, depending on the level of your coverage.
Doing your research before taking out pet insurance can help you find the right policy for you and your pet. It may be worth asking the provider you’re considering a few questions before you make a firm decision. This can help ensure you get the peace of mind you need and your pet receives the level of care they deserve.
Insurance can often be a tricky subject, no matter what the insurance is for. When it involves our pets, there may be a level of emotion that can make analysing your options more challenging.
Compiling a list of questions to ask your provider might be helpful to ensure you make the right choice. It may help to look at all angles of your possible pet insurance and consider what needs your pet might have in the future. You could also ask other pet owners what they looked for in their policies and get word-of-mouth recommendations for possible providers.
When Will Coverage Begin?
It is important to understand when your pet will be covered after taking out a policy. Insurers may have a waiting time between taking out coverage for your pet, with set periods for accident cover and illness cover.
For accident cover, you might find the waiting period is shorter, possibly as low as a day or two. For illness, the cover may take longer to come into effect, with a waiting period of anywhere from two weeks to two months. Understanding when your coverage begins can be vital to help you make the best decisions for your pet’s health now and in the future.
Will The Insurance Cover Pre-Existing Conditions?
Many providers may not cover a pet with pre-existing health conditions. In some cases, you might be able to find cover for a pet with a pre-existing condition, though it may be difficult to find one that offers the level of cover you and your pet need for your peace of mind.
Understanding if your pet’s pre-existing condition is covered is important to help you make the right choice. For many pet owners, it might be beneficial to take out insurance before a pet develops a condition. This could help cover them in the future, giving you vital piece of mind.
What Does Pet Insurance Typically Cover?
Generally, accident and illness coverage is included in pet insurance. This means that other care might not be included in your insurance package, which may be a cause of concern for some pet owners. You may be able to find insurers that offer a broader range of care, so it is worth shopping around to find insurers that offer more varied cover.
Are Prescriptions Included?
It could help to ask your potential provider if you can access prescriptions using your chosen insurance provider. In some cases, prescriptions might not be included as standard.
This might not be suitable for all pet owners, particularly if you have a breed that might need significant medical intervention in the future. You may also be limited on the number of prescriptions you can have filled for your pet each month, which could depend on the level of coverage you take out.
Is Routine Care Like Neutering Included In The Coverage?
Routine care can include things like vaccinations, spaying and neutering. It may be helpful to find out if these are included in your cover so that you can plan for the current and future needs of your pet.
Some insurance providers may not cover routine care at all, so it is worth thinking carefully about whether this cover is important to you. Some routine care, like neutering, are one-off treatments, so it may not be too important for these to be covered. It would be best if you weighed up your options and how important it is for your insurance to include routine care.
What Level Of Coverage Is Available?
Insurance providers often have varying levels of coverage available for pet owners. It may help to choose a specialist pet insurance provider, as they might have more levels of coverage available to suit your needs. It is a good idea to find out everything you can about the levels of cover on offer so that you can make an informed decision on which to choose.
A great example is Purely Pets, a specialist pet insurance provider that offers 15 different levels of cover to their customers. You can find out more here about the cover offered and how it could benefit you and your pet.
What Is The Excess?
With many insurance providers, you can often expect to pay an excess on your policy. The amount of this can depend on many factors, and it is a good idea to discuss this with your provider. This can help ensure that you understand your responsibility in the event of an accident or illness in your pet. You may also be able to change the excess amount, so it may also help to ask your potential insurance provider if this is possible with them.
Can My Specific Pet Breed Be Covered?
Some insurers may not cover specific breeds of pets, particularly when it comes to dogs. Certain breeds may increase the possible risk of insuring the pet in the eyes of the insurer based on possible future health complications and other factors. For some breeds of dogs and other pets, you may need to find a more specialised insurer.
How Easy Is It To Make A Claim?
When a pet becomes injured or unwell, you may not be in the best mindset to fill out complex or overly detailed forms or complicated processes. The information you may need to provide for a claim can vary depending on the insurer you select, but it could help to choose a company that makes it as easy as possible to provide documentation to support your claim.
During the selection process for your pet insurance, it could help to find out as much as you can about the process of making a claim and how quickly and easily you will be able to do so.
How Can I Access Customer Services?
Customer services might be one of the most important elements of a quality insurance provider. If something happens and you need to make a claim, it can help to know that the people dealing with your claim are easy to contact. It may help to look for insurers that offer a range of ways to get in touch with them.
At a minimum, it is best to look for insurance providers who can be accessed by phone, email and live chats. It may also help to check when their claims contact centres are manned, should you ever need to make a claim outside of normal business hours.
How Long Does It Take To Process A Claim?
If something happens to your pet, whether accident or illness, it may be upsetting to have to wait for your insurer to process the claim. Getting a quick turnaround can be vital to ensure your dog’s health and your own peace of mind. It is a good idea to find out what kind of wait you could expect and decide if this timeframe is suitable for you and your pet.
Is Dental Cover Included?
Dental care is often a key cause for concern among pet owners. Keeping your pet’s teeth clean and healthy can be vital to help them live comfortable, happy lives. Home care can be very helpful for keeping your pet’s teeth healthy, but in some cases, you may need to visit a vet if there are dental issues.
It can help significantly to understand if your policy will include dental care or if there is a more comprehensive level of coverage you could take out that will include it.
How Can I Get A Quote For My Pet Insurance?
Once you have chosen your preferred insurance provider, it is a good idea to get a quote to find out what you can expect from them. The quote process can be a good way to find out more about the company and how it operates.
It can show you how responsive a company is and how quickly they will respond to contact in the future. It may be best to avoid companies who are slow to reply to requests for a quote, as this might mean they may be equally slow to respond to a claim in the future.
There are many things to consider when it comes to taking out pet insurance. As a responsible pet owner, it is best to look into possible cover thoroughly and ensure that your pet is protected in the broadest range of circumstances.
Understanding your policy fully can be beneficial to help you plan for the future and ensure that your pet is always cared for. The questions above can be a good starting point for anyone looking for an insurance policy for their pet, but it may help to include questions that are more specific to your pet’s circumstances and breed.