Choosing pet insurance
We do not sell or recommend any particular pet insurance products, but offer this advice to help you make the right decision about what is best for your circumstances.
We would always recommend that you get your pets insured as it means if the worst happens you are able to choose the gold standard treatment without having to worry about cost. In most cases you pay us for the treatment and get reimbursed by the insurance company, however, in some circumstances it may be possible for us to claim the amount directly from the insurers.
When to take it out
If you are getting a new puppy or kitten we recommend getting them insured at the earliest opportunity as they are prone to accidents (particularly being stepped on!) and problems such as diarrhoea. It is important to get them insured as soon as possible as many policies have a 14 day exclusion period and also once a problem has been picked up on at the vets it will be excluded from any policy for the lifetime of your pet.
Even if your pet is older and has not been insured previously it is still often worth looking into insurance, however policies may be more expensive, and some conditions may be excluded.
Choosing a policy
Ideally spend some time choosing a policy – this is not an area where you want to pick the cheapest from a price comparison site!
Once you have insured your pet it is preferable to stay with that insurer for the lifetime of your pet so choose wisely. Read all the small print and be absolutely sure what you are buying.
Wherever possible we strongly advise taking out a ‘covered for life’ rather than yearly policy. Otherwise if your pet is unlucky enough to be diagnosed with a life-long condition, for example diabetes, the company will only pay for the first year of treatment and you will be unable to take out a policy with another company.
Make sure the amount you are able to claim per condition or per year appears reasonable – costs can quickly mount if your pet needs a broken bone repaired, or a long hospital stay.
Which pets can you get insured
Although many people only think of getting their cats or dogs insured, you can take out insurance for rabbits or other exotic pets. At this practice in particular we see a lot of rabbits; as they have lifespans comparable to dogs, and advances in veterinary science mean we can now offer many sophisticated diagnostic and treatment options, it may be worthwhile taking out an insurance policy for these pets too.
Policy premiums usually increase as your pet ages, and it can be tempting to hunt around for a cheaper policy. Wherever possible we strongly advise clients not to change insurers as any previous conditions you have visited the vets for, even if a claim has not been submitted, will be excluded from the policy. Again there is usually a 14 day exclusion period and some people have been unlucky enough to have their pets fall ill during those 14 days.
If you have any questions regarding pet insurance, please contact us, but please note that we are not able to recommend particular companies.