Pet Insurance: The Exclusions You Need To Know About
Breaking down the basics of pet insurance when it comes to coverage exclusions
As any pet owner will tell you when it comes to securing the health and wellbeing of your pet you’re often willing to spend whatever amount necessary. And with veterinary specialists consistently expanding their skillset – from open-heart surgery to cancer treatments - the medical options are endless! If you can handle the price tag.
In the fight for all pet owners to take out pet medical insurance, the staggering veterinarian statistics speak for themselves. A recent survey proved that a significant number of veterinarian institutions encounter pet owners that underestimate the costs associated with their craft. The result? Severely disappointed families that are forced to assess cheaper alternatives. Which usually ends in having to euthanize their pets.
So with this fear in mind, pet insurance becomes the obvious answer.
Whenever people ask me why my family and I have opted for comprehensive pet insurance, my answer is always the same: Our choice to take out pet insurance was as emotional as it was financial. Ultimately, our decision was rooted in our assessment of our financial predicament and establishing how much we were willing to pay for peace of mind.
Essentially, if there is anything that you are to take away from this blog, let it be this: pet insurance is the greatest asset to the health of your pet.
I truly cannot stress that enough. And I speak from experience as I have witnessed the power and peace of mind that this insurance offering has had and it truly is euphoric!
How does pet insurance work?
In my experience, I have found that whenever I bring up pet insurance, I’m usually met with quite a bit of confusion. What’s next to ensue – following their surprise that this kind of coverage exists – is several questions based on how it works.
I find myself happy to mention that it essentially follows the same metrics as human health insurance. You’re going to see your usual insurance terms like deductibles, premiums and copays! There’s nothing too arbitrary in the policy documents, so there is no need to exert any brain muscles trying to unpack its contents – it really is rather simple.
What’s better is that most cat or dog insurance plans are tailored to your specific pet. The costs of coverage are typically based on your pet’s health profile, level of care that you want and their age. But don’t let these specifics deter you. Especially given the fact that I have already scoured the internet, crunched the numbers and stayed on hold for hours with various pet insurance companies so that you don’t have to! And while a number of them made some interesting offers, I found one to reign supreme: Oneplan.
Let’s talk T’s & C’s
Before I get into why this specific pet insurer is my new-go to, you must be aware that while many pet insurers offer comprehensive care – there are many T’ & C’s involved. So many of these policies have a large number of exclusions that you’d wonder how they ever had the confidence to use terms like “comprehensive”. So take my advice and don’t be lured by sales-driven terms like “holistic” and “full circle insurance”. Check it out for yourself first to make sure that you truly are getting the best coverage around!
My top pick
So on the topic of exclusions, I found Oneplan’s to be the best, with their exclusions including:
- Costs incurred for the treatment of obesity and behavioural conditions.
- Participation in any form of racing or dogs used for any form of working such as but not limited to search and rescue dogs, guard dogs, police dogs, custom or quarantine dogs, commercial breeding and laboratory testing.
- Expenses incurred as a result of participation in a sporting activity, from which you earn an income.
- Events which occur outside of the borders of South Africa
- Cost of treatment for infertility, breeding, mating and pregnancy or conditions arising therefrom.
- Causes as a direct or indirect result of negligence to your pet’s medical needs or health.
But it seems that the Oneplan team were looking to impress, and to be honest, they immediately set themselves apart from the rest of the pet insurance gang! When they say “comprehensive” they seriously mean it. Their policies include routine care for my pet as well as kennel cover whenever the family and I are away.
This isn’t even the best part!
Oneplan also has an exclusive Onecard that essentially works as your personal debit card. The Oneplan team essentially front you with cash BEFORE you see your veterinarian of choice, so you don’t have to worry about footing the bill … which is a definite win in my books!
Hang on, it gets better…
Oneplan is one of the few insurers who include cover for pre-existing conditions after a waiting period of 12 months. Most insurers completely exclude these costs from your coverage benefits as they are typically expensive to treat. A pre-existing condition is something your dog or cat was diagnosed with or showed symptoms of before the inception of your insurance or during the first three months of your cover. Having a pet insurance policy that helps to shoulder these costs later on down the line can make the world of difference for both your pet’s health and your bank account!
And here’s the kicker, just because you cannot claim for a pre-existing condition during this 12 month waiting period, this does not mean you cannot claim for other unrelated costs included in your plan.
Prioritizing your pet’s health has truly never been easier, so take the time out today to take a proper look at pet insurance. It hands-down is worth all of the hype that it receives!
Until next time,