You’ve just brought home a furry bundle of joy, bought supplies and introduced him to all the other members of the family. Just as you’re about to settle in and enjoy life with your new forever friend, he needs the vet and you're stuck with a large medical bill for your littlest family member.
Of course, it’s not fun to think about medical expenses, especially when your pet is young and full of energy. But you want to be sure you can give your pal the best care possible without having to worry about the cost. Insurance gives you exactly that: the peace of mind that you can take care of your pet’s health without breaking the bank. Selecting the right insurance for your pet is a serious matter, but it doesn’t have to be too tricky or hard. Know what to look out for, and you’re well on your way to making a long-term investment in your pet’s well being.
It’s Not All About Price: Think Value
Insurance is probably one of the few things in life you hope you’ll never need to use but still want to have. It’s probable that you won’t see the benefits immediately—it might be months, or even years before you make your first claim, which is great. It also makes it easy to get bogged down in price comparisons for their own sake. After all, it’s only natural to want to minimize your expense for something you don't use often.
Price does have its place in a decision to choose an insurer over another, however cheap insurance is cheap for a reason; the cheaper it is, the more carefully you should look at the fine print. It might sound counterintuitive, but a policy that looks very reasonably priced at face value might turn out to be much more expensive than you bargained for because of what it doesn't cover.
These may include a high deductible and low payouts, which make it pointless to even file a claim. The policy could also have exclusions which leave you with out of pocket expenses despite having paid the premium for years.
Instead of looking at the end price, try thinking in terms of value for money. Is it worth paying a given amount for the cover on offer? Look at what cover you’d get from different insurers at a similar price point.
What Does The Policy Cover?
There are different types of insurance policies on the market. Some insurance policies are “accident only,” which means they will only cover treatment if your pet has an accident. Other policies cover the treatment of both accidents and illnesses. The most comprehensive policies are “lifetime” plans that cover your pet from head to tail.
Getting comprehensive cover for your pet at a young age is a good idea, as this will keep premium to a minimum. It will also reduce the risk of illnesses later in life being excluded from cover because they were pre-existing. That said, comprehensive cover might not make financial sense for you and your pet if your pet is generally healthy. Accident cover might not be such a priority, for instance, if your pet is always indoors and isn’t very active.
Managing Expectations: Read The Fine Print
Before you commit to a policy, go through the fine print carefully and make sure you fully understand it. That way, you won’t get nasty surprises when it’s time to make a claim.
The Bottom Line
When you’re choosing the best insurance for your pet, you should base your decision on a number of factors. Resist the temptation to look at price or cover in a vacuum. Think in terms of value for money and in terms of what your pet’s real needs are.
Finally, don’t forget to go through the fine print, so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting into, and compare the top pet insurance providers for the coverage that suits you and your furry friends.