As we know there is no National Health Service for pets, yet accidents and sickness do happen to our pets.
In order to deal with many different medical situations and ultimately ensure the health and well-being of your pets, veterinary practices are obliged to invest heavily in equipment, training and staff.
For these very good reasons, bills can be higher than you might expect and at such times of stress and anxiety, worrying about the cost of veterinary treatment and prescription medicines is avoidable.
Holding pet insurance means that your loved ones have the best available treatment without you facing the full financial burden - it's peace of mind for you and your pet. If you accidentally damage your car, or the washing machine leaks and floods the house, generally, you have an insurance policy which will help to take care of the costs for you. However, what happens if your pet is unfortunate enough to have an accident and badly breaks it’s leg? Are you insured for that?
There are many pet policies to choose from these days – from specialist pet insurers to well-known retail chains. Policy premiums can vary depending on:
- the type of pet you are insuring (ie dog, cat, rabbit),
- the age of your pet,
- the size of your pet (ie smaller dogs are cheaper to ensure than larger dogs) and
- where you live.
There are also specialist policies for exotic pets.
When considering a policy make sure you clearly understand exactly what cover you will get. Most policies exclude routine examinations, vaccinations and preventative treatment such as cat flu and distemper jabs, pregnancy and neutering.
Read the small print carefully. Some policies do not give immediate cover. Check for exemption clauses as some policies will not cover for any injury, illness or disease that occurs prior to or within 14 days of your pet being covered.
You are also likely to have to pay an excess.
It can also be difficult to take out cover on elderly pets or those who have a history of serious medical problems.
However, pet insurance is worth considering as it could save you a lot of money over your pet’s lifetime. A broken leg that needs pinning; a condition that needs referring to a specialist or injuries from a road traffic accident can cost an uninsured pet owner hundreds, even thousands, of pounds, whereas the pet owner with pet insurance will only need pay the excess.