Every year we’re asked by people that come to Frank and Jellys what the best pet insurance is. Whilst we recommend a Life Time Policy that is renewed every year and covers most if not all insurable conditions we understand that it might not be the most suitable policy for everyone.
That’s why we have created this unbiased article to give you a clear and easy to read breakdown of the different levels of pet insurance that are available so that you can make the right choice for you and your fur baby.
Ultimately, pet insurance is personal preference.
At Frank and Jellys, we like to encourage every pet owner to have pet insurance but we would never enforce it upon you!
Here is the break down for the different levels of pet insurance and what to look out for when making up your own mind.
Why do I even need Pet Insurance?
Pet insurance is a way of being able to treat your dog for accidents, injury and illness without having to worry about the expense. Every provider is different but most providers cover your pets for;
- Death by accident or illness
- Missing pet cover
- Third-party liability
- Overseas travel cover
- Kennel fees
- Euthanasia, cremation and burial
- Dental cover
Another reason you might consider Pet Insurance is because as of 2015, the average vet bill costs £600 in the UK and likely to be even more now! Statistics claim that a third of pet owners without insurance wouldn’t be able to cover the cost of average vet bill.
What types of Pet Insurance is there (broken down for you)?
There are a few different options, and what you choose is up to you! You really want to make sure that you are insuring your pets while they are young and healthy (generally before 7 to 10), or they may not be insurable by certain providers.
All levels listed below will have different price options and inclusions/exclusions so it’s always best to consult with your preferred provider to make sure you have the right cover for your pet.
Lifetime cover pet insurance (per condition, per year cover):
- You have a yearly monetary limit for specific conditions your pet may have such as skin conditions, diabetes etc – e.g. £1000 per condition renewed each year (the excess is paid by you)
- The insurance and limits reset every year so you have lifetime cover for these specific conditions
Lifetime cover pet insurance (annual cover):
- Has a yearly overall monetary limit that includes and covers all conditions your pet may have (You don’t have set money limits per condition as set out in the first option, you have a total sum of money allocated per year to each pet and it can be spent wherever it needs to be spent – £5000 in total to spend where it’s needed, renewed each year)
- It resets every year so your pets are covered for life
Non-lifetime cover pet insurance (per condition cover):
- Pays a limited amount for each condition your pet may have
- Once that limit is reached, it can never be renewed or paid out again (even if you renew your policy) – it’s a one time limit.
Non-lifetime cover pet insurance (time limit per condition cover):
- This is the same as above but this time it’s time sensitive and you often only have 12 months to use this limited amount
- After your time limit expires, the cover for that particular condition will be excluded from from renewal
Accident only pet insurance:
- A fixed sum of money is provided for each accidental injury to assist in paying for your pet’s injury
- No illness cover at all
When choosing the right cover for you and your pets, always consider that:
- Most pet insurance providers exclude pre-existing conditions from any new cover, such as chronic or previous condition
- Most pet insurance providers do not cover the first 14 days of your pet insurance policy (it’s considered the cooling off period)
- Treatments such as vaccinations, spaying, castration, flea, worm and tick treatments, grooming, claw clipping and teeth maintenance are generally not included in pet insurance cover
- Pet insurance policies exclude any expenses that come up due to pregnancy, giving birth and treatment of any of their offspring
- You need to check with your provider how much time you have to make a claim, some are up to 30 days but each provider is different
- Annual vaccinations, boosters, routine dental treatment and any dental procedures that occur because of a lack of preventative care are a cost to you
- Most pet insurance policies include a clause of some sort that your pet must have an annual health check and be vaccinated against the main transmissible conditions and diseases for their species. (Most insurers claim if you don’t annually vaccinate your dog then your entire policy becomes invalid. In some cases an insurer won’t cover the illnesses/diseases which could have been prevented by vaccination. It’s worth contacting your insurer and getting a clear answer on this – get it in writing if you can.)
- Most pet insurance policy prices WILL depend on the area you live in, your pets breed, and things like the number of vet claims you’ve made in the past year
- It’s always advisable to ask your vet who their preferred insurer is, there have been circumstances where vets have refused to treat a dog because of who they are insured by.
Do I claim everything?
When it comes to claiming on your pet insurance, the more you claim each year, the more your insurance will cost. It’s good to consider all options when it comes to claiming or not claiming. The more information you can get from your vet the easier it is to make a decision.
Some people advise that if the vet bills or medicines are affordable, try not to claim on your insurance, this will help keep your insurance premium down for the future and also keep funds available for any major operations or medicine you may need for your pet in the future.
Others recommend that it’s better to be cautious because there are times when an initial pet visit which you didn’t claim on leads to a potential secondary pet visit and a condition or illness that now requires surgery or major treatment, which you now can no longer claim on. It’s always best to check with your chosen insurer as most will allow a certain time frame to do a back claim if this is something that happens.
Phew! Lots of information to take in, yes, but so worth the read and the consideration when your pet’s life and livelihood are at stake.
Always do your own research and ask as many questions as you need to when speaking with providers. When choosing your package and provider always make sure to ask if it is an introductory promotional offer that you are signing up to. It can be confusing and seem like a good deal but the reality is that the premium will go up the following year. It’s always best to be fully aware.
Hope this information helped you understand pet insurance a little better!
Paws of love,
Sarah (fur mum to Frank) xo
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