2 Vital Things You Need To Do Before Purchasing A Pet Insurance Plan
Choosing the right pet insurance plan can be a daunting experience. Before signing on the dotted line, make sure you know exactly what you are getting yourself into. We cover the top tips on what to do before choosing a plan in this blog.
Before you make the final decision to sign on the dotted line of a new pet insurance policy, there are some things you need to do in order to ensure you are making the right decision. Through preparation and education on pet insurance, you will be able to choose a plan that not only suits your budget, but your pet’s healthcare needs as well.
Before I get into the important things to know before you choose a plan, have a look at this article I recently wrote on - 3 Steps To Finding A Pet Insurance Plan That Is Good Enough For Your Pet & Your Budget. Reading this will help you to find a pet insurance plan that is the best value for money. Combining that article with this one will give you an expert understanding of the topic of pet insurance and leave you fully prepared to choose the right plan.
1. Make sure you understand how your policy works
Remember, every insurer is different.
They all have different benefits, exclusions and claims systems. One of the biggest things you need to know is how your cover works and what you are covered for.
Here are some things you need to keep in mind:
This is the amount you have to pay in the event of a claim. Every insurer has a different excess amount. Make sure you know exactly what yours is.
Oneplan Pet, for example, has something they like to call their Excess Buster. This little add-on product (from only R20 a month) ensures that all hospital excess fees are waived. In knowing the cost of emergency pet healthcare, this sort of product makes a whole heap of financial sense.
A pre-existing condition is a medical condition that first occurred or showed symptoms before your pet’s insurance policy began, OR during the waiting period of 3 months for illness cover (according to Oneplan). You can find out more information about this topic here.
Not all insurers will cover pre-existing conditions which can be frustrating for a number of pet owners as their reason for seeking pet insurance cover is to help pay for the expensive vet bills their pets are starting to accumulate due to a chronic disease or illness.
This is another important topic and something that the majority of pet owners of senior pets struggle to afford. If you choose a pet hospital plan, then your insurer is unlikely to cover chronic medication costs.
However, a more comprehensive pet healthcare plan might be able to help.
I chatted to Oneplan about their coverage options and some of their top plans include cover for scripted medication.
The bottom line - choose your insurer and your plan wisely.
The last thing you want is to choose an insurer who seems reluctant to pay you for your claims. You need to ensure you choose an insurer and a plan that has developed a claims system that is easy to use.
When it comes to claiming, my personal favourite is Oneplan. They created a claims system that is second to none. The gist of it is that they pay you BEFORE you see the vet.
2. Make sure you understand your pet’s healthcare needs
I always advise pet owners to purchase a pet insurance policy while their pets are still young and in good health.
The reason for this is that as your pet ages, her risk of health concerns developing will rapidly increase. Thus, her healthcare will become exponentially more expensive and finding a pet insurance plan when your pet is deemed a high insurance risk can prove tricky.
Insurance policies and their exclusions, terms and conditions, age limits and benefits will be far more beneficial for younger pets and having a pet insurance policy from a young age will only improve your pet’s healthcare and lower her risks of illness and disease as she gets older.
However, this is not to say that pet insurance is not a viable option for older pets. If you are the owner of an older pet, then it’s a good idea to chat with your vet about your pet’s healthcare needs and risks.
Your vet will be able to give you a good idea of what sort of pet healthcare plan to choose (accident-only, hospital cover or a more comprehensive plan that includes routine healthcare benefits and vet visits).
The final bark
At the end of the day, you need to take your budget and your pet’s state of health into account when choosing a pet insurance policy. And most importantly, you need to read and understand the fine print of your policy to ensure you know exactly what you are covered for, and what you are not.
Until next time,
The Pet Insurance Team