"How much is that doggie in the window?" Well, the answer is quite expensive, if he develops arthritis!
Pets get ill. They have accidents, too (and I'm not talking about the kind you find on the kitchen floor!). But where we have the NHS to treat us - your pet does not. Pet insurance is a way to take the strain off your finances should your pet fall ill and can prevent you from having to make a heart-breaking life or death decision based purely on financial reasons.
The first thing to say about pet cover probably goes without saying, but let's say it anyway: shop around! Policies differ greatly both on price and by what's covered (or not covered, as the case may be), so make sure you get the best you can for your wallet and, more importantly, for your pet.
There are three main levels of pet insurance available:
This is usually the cheaper option. A time capped policy, as you might have guessed, means that a claim will only be paid for a set period of time. After this expires, you would have to foot the veterinary bills yourself. Although this gives some level of protection, if your pet ends up with a long-running medical condition, such as diabetes, you'll be faced with the vet bills for the rest of your pet's life without being able to insure them elsewhere (as this would then be excluded as a pre-existing condition).
This type of cover may not be time limited but will have a cap on how much will be paid out in the event of a claim. For instance, if your pet had cancer and your policy was financially capped at £4,000, the policy would cover the first £4,000 of treatment, after which you would then have to pay for the rest of your pet's life.
The most comprehensive type of cover available (and therefore the most expensive) will pay out, up to a financial limit, for as long as is needed. Unlike financially capped cover, this financial cap 'resets' every year, unlike financially capped cover.
The level of cover is an important consideration, but is by no means the only one when it comes to selecting a pet insurance policy.
Here are some extra things you need to think about before insuring your pooch or moggy:
Looking for Pet Insurance? Compare Pet Insurance providers
Disclaimer: This information is intended solely to provide guidance and is not financial advice. Moneyfacts will not be liable for any loss arising from your use or reliance on this information. If you are in any doubt, Moneyfacts recommends you obtain independent financial advice.
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