Pet Insurance – Why should I insure my pet?
Did you know that it has been proven that persons claim more on pet insurance each day than car or home insurances? And that good quality pet insurance can provide life-long funds to ensure your pet is given the best care possible in any circumstance? The team at St Clair Vets are trained insurance advisers who can advise you on any pet insurance inquiries and recommend the best insurance policies.
By owning an animal, you have a legal obligation to provide a reasonable standard of care. This includes veterinary treatment when your pet is unwell or injured.
By neglecting your animal and not seeking veterinary attention when required, you could be breaking the animal welfare act and could be prosecuted for neglect of the animal. Some animals may become injured or ill and require immediate surgery or medical attention; other animals may become ill with long term, sometimes life-long illnesses where you are required to pay for veterinary treatment for the pet’s life. Pet insurance covers your pet for illness and injury, where depending on the individual case, you can claim back your money or submit a direct claim for your insurance company to pay the veterinary surgery directly, claim protocols depend on the veterinary surgery in use, direct claims at St Clair will only be considered for any claim greater than £500 and will be subject to pre-authorisation by the insurance company. This provides a peace of mind that you can provide the best standard of care for your animal, which in turn prevents stress, and prolongs the life of your pet. Unfortunately there is no NHS type of industry for animal care; therefore it is an owner’s responsibility to pay for animal medical care when necessary.
Many pet owners leave medical conditions until they worsen in the hope that they will improve and not require treatment due to funds; however this is known to cost more in the long run as each condition worsens and may cause further damage and distress for the animal, this situation can be prevented when an animal is covered under their pet insurance policy.
Which type of policy should I choose?
Lifetime policies provide a pot of money for Veterinary Fees each year. Every time you renew your pet’s policy (without a break in cover) the pot of money is refreshed back to the original Veterinary Fees amount. This allows you to claim for ongoing conditions for the life of your pet as there is no time limit on how long each illness or injury can be claimed for. Please note that some insurance companies provide ‘lifetime cover’ but do not refresh this pot of money yearly, so although there may not be a 12 month limit for the condition, once you use up your pot of money you will no longer be able to claim for that condition.
12 Month Cover
Time limited policies provide a pot of money for each illness or injury for a 12 month period. At the end of the 12 month period the pot of money is taken away and the existing illness or injury will no longer be covered by the policy. This means that you will not be able to claim for ongoing conditions for any longer than 12 months but will continue to receive a new pot of money for 12 months for any new conditions that occur.
Maximum Benefit Policies
Maximum benefit policies provide a pot of money per condition. Once you have used up all of the money in the pot the existing illness or injury will no longer be covered by the policy. It could take you several months or several years to use up the pot of money depending on the condition. You will receive new pots of money for any new conditions that occur but again you will only be able to claim for each condition until the pot of money runs out.
A pre existing condition is a condition that has already occurred, i.e. an ear infection 1 year ago or a sore paw last month. Insurance companies will not cover pre-existing conditions that have occurred prior to insurance cover being taken, this means if your pet has become ill, you cannot then take out insurance in the future for that condition. This is why we strongly recommend good quality life cover from a young age. This is also the case if there is a lapse in your pet’s insurance policy, so please ensure that your pet’s policy is renewed annually so there is no break in cover.
We encourage all of our clients to ensure their pet has a form of pet insurance; Lifetime Cover is a great way to cover your pet for illness and injury for life. Not only does this prevent vets from providing restricted treatments, it also ensures that animals are covered for life for their conditions, as long as there are no breaks in the insurance policy. When claiming on your pet insurance, all you are required to do is hand the relevant pet insurance claim form into our reception with the client sections accurately completed, where we will then complete the veterinary section FREE OF CHARGE and submit the paperwork with the animal’s full clinical history to your pet insurance company.
If you want the privilege of owning an animal, please be responsible and ensure that you take out a good standard pet insurance for the life of your pet. It’s the least we can do in return for the many happy years they give us.
If you would like more information on pet insurance, please do not hesitate to contact the team at St Clair Vets on 01670 457271.