Can I get pet insurance if I don't know how old my pet is?
In this blog we dig a little deeper into the terms and conditions of pet insurance and what happens when you aren’t sure of the age of your pet.
A number of pet owners who have rescued their pets from shelters or have inherited pets from family, might not know the exact age of their pets. And as more and more people are choosing to adopt pets from shelters, this issue is becoming far more common.
To properly answer this question, I chatted to the Oneplan Pet team. Here’s what they had to say.
Take your pet to the vet
The first thing you need to do is take your pet to the vet for your vet to make an educated guess. Your vet will be able to get an informed answer by examining your pet’s teeth and other indicators.
Most pet insurers will need your vet’s informed guess of your pet’s age in writing. So, if you aren’t sure how old your precious pet is, just take him or her to the vet for a physical examination to find out.
Age restrictions and pet insurance
The majority of pet insurers have specific age limits that apply when enrolling your pet for healthcare cover. With Oneplan, for example, your pet needs to be older than 8 weeks of age and younger than 9 years.
However, they are one of the few insurers who DO NOT have an age limit for their Pet Accident Plan, which covers your pet for unexpected accidents and burial/cremation. Keep in mind that your pet still needs to be older than 8 weeks. This is a great option for pet owners who want essential cover for their older pets.
Older pets have higher health risks
Just like humans, pets are more likely to develop dental and health issues as they get older. Which means that your vet visits will increase, and so will your pet’s healthcare bills, which, in turn, will result in more claims made on your pet insurance. Which is why pet insurance premiums might rise as your pet ages and pet insurers have age restrictions in place.
In knowing this, it becomes clear as to why pet owners are wanting to insure their pet’s health at a younger age.
Why you need pet insurance
If you are still not convinced on the need for pet medical insurance, especially if your pet is young and in good health, then I suggest you keep reading…
Most pet owners will only realise the need for pet medical cover when their precious furry member of the family falls ill or is involved in an unexpected accident, both of which result in incredibly high veterinary bills.
Accident costs can quickly skyrocket from R10 000. For example, if your dog is hit by a car, the medical costs to save his life can cost as much as R50 000. Chronic illnesses such as cancer or arthritis might require surgery and ongoing prescription medication and check-ups at your vet.
What many pet parents might not know is that there are a number of pet insurers who include cover for not only accidents and emergencies, but routine care costs and vet visits.
Oneplan Pet even fronts you with the cash you need before visiting your vet, they also let you go to ANY licenced vet of your choice. This specific insurer has also just recently boosted up their routine care benefits - check them out here.
Is it too late to insure my pet’s health?
If you are worried that it is too late to insure your pet’s health, then I advise you to do a little digging to find out what specific terms and conditions certain pet insurers have.
As mentioned, Oneplan does not have an age limit on their pet accident plan. They are also one of the few insurers who will cover your pet for pre-existing conditions (health issues that your pet has been diagnosed with or is showing symptoms of before your pet healthcare cover starts). Keep in mind that a 12 month waiting period applies for pre-existing conditions. But this does not mean your pet is not covered for other vet bills that are unrelated to your pet’s specific pre-existing condition.
Insure the health of your pet sooner rather than later
Dealing with the stress of a sick pet is enough to give you sleepless nights, and having to dip into your savings or max out your credit card will only add to your stress.
Pet insurance gives you peace of mind and ensures your pet’s health is in good hands.
Until next time,
The Pet Insurance Team