Shopping for pet insurance can be difficult; there are a number of different insurers all with slightly different offerings.
The purpose of the pet insurance reviews is to review each of the individual policies to allow you to choose the right one for you.
This article will summarize some the policies reviewed so far. This is a work in progress so keep checking back as I will be updating the table as I review more policies.
I have provided some ideas about the sorts of information you should be looking for when comparing pet insurance in a previous article. Here are a few other things it is important to ask your insurer when doing your own pet insurance comparison.
Five Important Pet Insurance Questions
1. How much does it cost?
This is an obvious one. It is important to stay within your monthly budget, but your focus should be on the quality of the offering rather than price alone. For example some will offer lower premiums but charge you an excess, or only rebate a proportion of the claim. Sometimes you can opt for higher excesses for lower premiums, although this will only make it worth claiming for large vet bills. Some insurers will also offer a multi pet discount so it is worth asking if you have more than one furry friend.
2. How long will you cover chronic illnesses?
This refers to cover for chronic illnesses such as diabetes or heart conditions. A number of policies will allow you to claim for these expenses until you reach the annual limit for the year. When your policy is renewed for the following year, you will no longer be covered for this condition. Which means you will be required to foot the bill for chronic illness yourself. My brother had a cat that lived on heart medication for seven years this means he would have been covered for the first year and then would have to cover 100% of the bill himself. Petplan will allow you to claim for the same condition every year.
3. What is Covered?
The reason you are looking for insurance is to receive reimbursement for your veterinary expenses if your pet is injured or falls ill. Some companies have different exclusions or waiting periods. Ensure you know what is covered and what is not, so you don’t get any nasty surprises at claims time. I have discussed in a previous post some of the questions to ask about rebates. Here are some specific conditions to ask about;
Hereditary and Congenital Conditions – Some companies will not cover conditions such as diabetes, and heart defects. It is worth asking specifically about these conditions.
Cruciate Ligament and Orthopedics – Ask insurers if they cover Cruciate ligament tears. If they say “yes”, ask if it is bilateral coverage, meaning that if one leg is affected will the other leg still be covered. Hip dysplasia is another orthopedic issue that some dogs are susceptible to, if you have a dog such as a Golden Labrador that may be susceptible to this condition hip dysplasia then you should specifically ask.
4. Do you pay a percentage of the claim or do you have an excess?
This is important as it will help you decide which procedures are worth claiming for and whether some of the routine benefits are worth paying extra for. So for example if you have a procedure that costs less than $400, having a percentage rebate of 75% will be more valuable than an excess of $100 off. But once you get into larger bills, such as a $10,000 operation to pin a broken leg, then you will get a better rebate if you only have to pay a $100 excess. Some insurers have an excess only while others offer a percentage rebate, do the math on this to decide whether it is worthwhile.
5. Do you offer any other bonuses?
Some insurers offer a number of additional bonuses, for example Petplan will reimburse some of the expenses of looking for a pet that has strayed, and third party cover for those whose dogs have destroyed other people’s property.
When shopping for insurance it is always good to call the company and ask about the policy. Remember though they will all claim to be the best value for money option, but don’t take their word for it ring around. I rang a few and found large differences in pricing.