Pet Insurance and chronic illnesses: what’s covered?
Starting to worry about how you’ll be able to afford the treatment of a chronic illness in your pet? Let me walk through your available options in the event you have a pet with a potential or existing long term illness.
What is a chronic illness in pets?
A chronic illness in your pet is an unfortunate circumstance, and caring for them can take a huge emotional and financial toll on families. A chronic illness is a condition that lasts over a long period of time and requires ongoing treatment. That being said, your pet can still enjoy a happy, comfortable life with the right treatment and medication.
A few common chronic illnesses amongst both cats and dogs include,
- IBD (inflammatory bowel disease)
If you are somebody who already has a pet with a chronic illness, you’ll already know the signs, or perhaps you wish you had known them so you could have gotten medical attention for your pet sooner. Bear in mind, animals can have a tendency to try and hide their illnesses as a survival technique, so it is possible to miss when something goes wrong.
The rule of thumb is that when you, the person who sees and loves your pet everybody, notice something is wrong, take them to the vet. Your pet can’t use their words (unless you know something that I don’t) so they will change their behaviour and body language for communication. A few signs to look out for:
- Lack of appetite or decreased activity
- Vomiting or diarrhoea
- Itchy Skin or hair loss
- Urinating more or less frequently
Insuring your pet with a chronic illness
When something goes wrong with your pet, pet insurance comes through in a tremendous way. Pet insurance is for any and every pet-parent who wants to simultaneously protect the health of their pets and the health of their bank account.
I know you only want the best for your fur-baby and so you don’t mind the vet visits and the pill organizing and the special diets. Those things are in your control and done out of love. Money, on the other hand, is often out of your control and it doesn’t matter how much you love your pet: if you can’t afford their surgery, you can’t afford it.
If you look in the right places (like here, for example) you may find that there are Pet Insurers who value pets of all shapes and sizes and in all conditions - just throw in a very worthwhile waiting period and you should be able to get your pet insured for life.
The thing is, it all comes down to your plan. A basic (even if it is comprehensive) hospital plan will not cover your pets chronic medication, whilst a plan like Oneplans Pet Super Plan will front for your pets chronic medication after a 12 month waiting period.
A waiting period is an agreed-upon period that it will take for your insurance policy to kick in and for your pet to be eligible for coverage. During this timeframe and depending on your policy, you won’t be able to claim for accidents or illnesses, or any pre-existing conditions you have declared. As I’m sure you can understand, this is one way that insurance companies can protect themselves from fraud and having to pay huge amounts of money before any premiums have been paid.
Waiting periods may seem frustrating to begin, but they do provide peace of mind knowing that after only one year of paying for your pet’s medication, that bill will be taken care of for the rest of your pets life thereafter.
Pay attention to the fine print
Not all insurance is made equal and this is where it’s your responsibility to know exactly what you are and aren’t covered for before you sign onto a new policy.
In exchange for a monthly premium, pet insurance will help cover the costs of the unexpected (accidents and illnesses) veterinary bills and the expected (for vet visits and routine care - should this be included in your chosen plan) ones. If you’re smart about it and ask the right questions, you will be right on your way to insurance that covers a potentially chronic illness or will even jump on board to cover a pre-existing condition after a precautionary waiting period.
If straightforward, jargon-free insurance is something that gets you as excited as it gets me, I would recommend checking out Oneplans satisfyingly simple insurance breakdowns.
If I were you, I would keep my eyes peeled for an insurer that has your pets best interest at heart, offering a fair and individual policy that covers all the worst of it. If that sounds good to you, the team at Oneplan have done a fantastic job keeping me up to date with the pet insurance world and I’m sure they will do the same for you.
Until next time,
The Pet Insurance Team.