A New Pet Parents Guide To Pet Insurance: Know These 3 Terms Before You Sign On The Dotted Line
Don’t forget that your pet insurance policy is a legal contract between you and your insurer. If there are any terms or benefits you are unsure of, then make sure you get the answers before making your final decision. Follow this guide to ensure you make the right insurance decision.
Pet insurance is a great way to save money on vet bills and help afford the cost of pet healthcare. If you want to know a little more about how pet health cover can save you money, then have a look at this article.
In any case, pet insurance is a form of short term insurance that can cover anything from accidents and emergencies to routine care and vet visits.
Of course, your benefits will depend on the type of plan you choose - the more comprehensive your plan, the more benefits you will have.
If you are currently researching into what pet insurance company to choose, then you need to make sure you know and understand all of these terms to ensure you are getting the most out of your premium.
Vital terms to know before signing a pet insurance contract
This is possibly one of the most important terms for you to know.
These are the things you cannot claim for.
You need to make sure you ask your insurance company for a detailed list of all of their exclusions.
The thing is, there are very few health insurers (pet or human), that can cover every single medical condition.
You have to understand that, at the end of the day, your insurer is still a business and needs to make money and make ends meet.
2. Waiting periods
This is the amount of time that has to pass before you can claim.
Different medical issues have different waiting periods. And every insurer has different waiting periods.
To get some more insight into waiting periods, I reached out to the guys over at Oneplan. Here are the waiting periods for Oneplan:
● Vet visits: 30 days (14 day waiting period in between vet visits)
● Routine Care: 30 days
● Kennel Cover: 3 months
● Accident Cover: None
● Illness Cover: 3 months
Here is a great article that dives into the details of waiting periods and pet insurance.
3. Pre-existing conditions
A pre-existing condition is something your pet showed signs of (whether diagnosed by your vet or not), before you cover began.
You cannot typically claim pre-existing condition, such as cancer (read: can I insure the health of my dog who has cancer?), for the first 12 months of your policy.
Which is why the sooner you get pet cover, the better.
Some extra things to keep in mind
The fine print
You need to ensure you read the fine print of your contract and that you understand all of it.
If there is anything you do not know or are unsure of, flag this with your insurer and make sure they can answer your questions in a simple and easy to understand manner.
Cheaper is never better
When it comes to pet healthcare cover, the cheaper option does not mean better.
The cheaper your cover, the fewer benefits your pet will receive.
For example, you might only get cover for accidents, and this may only be a limited amount of cover.
You need to take your budget and your pet’s healthcare needs into account. If your pet’s breed is prone to sickness and health issues (for example, pugs and other short-snouted breeds are known for developing breathing issues which often require expensive surgery to correct), then you might want to consider a more comprehensive plan.
If you can afford it, try to choose a pet plan that includes cover for routine care and vet visits too.
Know what the age limits are
The best idea is to take out a pet insurance plan the moment you get a pet.
Even if your new addition to your family is a healthy 8 week old kitten or puppy, you can’t predict when something might go wrong, but you can prepare for when it does.
The sooner you join a pet plan, the better. There will also be fewer exclusions and waiting periods for pre-existing conditions.
The typical age limits state: Pets must be older than 8 weeks and younger than 9 years to join a pet insurance plan.
Network of vets
Most pet insurers have a specified network of vets for you to choose from.
What I love about Oneplan is that they let you go to any vet of your choice, they also front you with the cash you need BEFORE you see the vet.
Choose an insurer you are comfortable with and feel good about
You need to choose an insurer you are happy with and have a good feeling about. It’s important to choose a company with a great customer service team and one that is willing to answer any and all questions you may have.
Until next time,
The Pet Insurance Team