10 Common Pet Insurance Myths
Busting the top myths related to pet insurance and uncovering the truth to these strange claims
There are a lot of misconceptions in the world of pet insurance, the thing is, many people do not fully understand what it is and what it can offer them as a pet parent.
1. I don’t need pet insurance
If this is your mindset, then this is your first mistake. I have written a few articles on the costs of pet healthcare. Just a check-up can set you back R300 or more. Then for surgery, depending on what needs to be done, this can range from R1000 to R10 000 (of course, each vet has their own pricing structure).
A simple tooth extraction can cost between R1200 to R1500. And the older your dog is the more it will cost as extra precautions need to taken and can result in a higher bill.
What’s worse, is not having the money to afford a procedure your precious pet is in need of. The reason pet insurance was created was to allow pet parents to afford the medical bills for their pets instead of being forced into a situation where euthanasia is the only choice.
2. All pet insurers pay BEFORE you see the vet
As far as I know, the only pet insurer to front you with cash before a vet visit is Oneplan. All you have to do is login to their app, load your claim amount and the funds will be transferred onto your Onecard in seconds - a Onecard is like a debit card for Oneplan clients.
Do some research and find out what the process is for claims with different pet insurers.
3. I don’t ever use my pet insurance, I should cancel it
Your dog or cat might be in good health right now, but you never know when an accident can happen. They might get in a fight with another pet, get hit by a car or get sick.
The thing is, you can’t predict the unexpected, but you can plan for it.
If you think your monthly premium is something you no longer need to pay for, keep in mind that this amount is pale compared to the cost of surgery or treatment.
4. The cheapest plan is the best plan
You should never pick a pet insurance plan based on cost alone. Cheap plans are normally cheap for a reason. You need to take into account medical coverage the pet plan you are interested in will provide and the kind of cover your pet needs.
5. I only need to get pet insurance when my dog or cat is older and gets sick a lot
I have heard a number of people say this. But what many do not realise is that pet insurance plans have waiting periods. This means that if your pet has a disease or condition such as cancer before you take out a pet insurance policy, then a waiting period (typically 12 months) will be applied to any claims relating to this sickness.
This means that if you want to claim for medical bills relating to cancer, you have to wait 12 months to do so.
The older your pet is, the more of an insurance risk they are. The higher the risk, the higher your premium.
I always recommend that pet parents take out a pet plan the moment their pet is old enough (8 weeks). And keep in mind that there is an age limit to pet insurance and this is usually 8 years.
6. I don’t need to read the fine print and understand how my policy works
This is like owning a car and not knowing how to drive it until you actually have to go somewhere in it.
So many people do not read the fine print in their insurance policy or fail to ask vital questions to their insurer such as “What are the waiting periods?” “What is covered?” “What is not covered?” You don’t want to end up in a situation thinking you are covered for something when in actual fact, certain conditions apply such as waiting periods and exclusions.
7. I don’t need to do any research, all pet insurance plans are the same
Although it might seem as though all pet insurers are the same, each one has their own coverage, exclusions, prices and terms and conditions.
You need to properly do your research before you choose a pet insurer. Some of them have fantastic benefits for routine and day-to-day cover, and like Oneplan, they even pay you before you see the vet and let you go to any vet of your choice.
8. I can go to any vet of my choice
The majority of pet insurers have a specified network of vets they work with and if you have insurance with them, then you can ONLY go to these vets in order to be reimbursed for the medical costs.
9. I don’t have to be completely honest with my insurer
If you are thinking about trying to omit certain diseases, conditions or issues your pet has in hopes of getting a cheaper premium, then this is considered fraud.
If your insurer finds out you have lied on your premium, then this can land you in some serious trouble. Your claim will be rejected, your policy might be cancelled and you might find it difficult to get insured with another company.
10. My pet insurance will cover ALL costs
There are limits to every pet insurance plan. This means that only a specified amount of your vet bills are covered and this amount will depend on the type of cover you have.
Until next time,
The Pet Insurance Team