Choosing cheap: why the cheapest pet insurance may not be the one
If you’re looking around for insurance and the main selling point is the price, let’s have a chat about why you may not be getting what you’re paying for when you choose cheap pet insurance.
As pet-parents, we only want the very best for our pets. When it comes to giving our pets the greatest possible life, you simply can’t ignore having pet insurance. We insure the most valuable things in our lives: our homes, health and cars. Why should insuring the health of our four-legged friends be any different?
I know that times are tight and everybody is tightening their belts for the financial year ahead, but we’re going to look at why pet insurance may not be the area you want to cut down on!
Firstly, why have pet insurance?
Every day I hear awful stories about pet owners running into debt and having to face vet bills that are impossible to pay.
Pet Insurance is going to be the protection that you and your sick pet need when the time comes to make life-changing or even life-saving decisions for your pet. As veterinary science becomes more advanced and the options that are available to help our pets become more available, so vet bills become increasingly expensive. Paying a monthly premium to be covered in the event your pet gets sick is totally worth it - especially considering you can owe your vet up to R30 000 overnight in some instances.
I believe that there is a pet insurance policy out there for everybody and their fur-baby, it’s just a matter of finding it.
Choosing your pet insurance
Choosing your pet insurance can be tricky - there are so many brokers competing for your attention and with all the lingo, benefits and terms and conditions that get thrown around it can be easy to get overwhelmed by it all. First things first, you need to shop around and have all of your quotes and benefits ready to be compared to one another. Any insurance broker that you speak to should be able to tell you the ins and outs of any policy - any hidden costs are proof that your insurer was not completely thorough when explaining your policy. You are the client and have the right to ask as many questions as you want, and you should. A few of the questions you should ask a potential insurer before you ask about the price may be:
- What deductibles will I pay, if any?
- Will routine care be covered and what does that include?
- What are your waiting periods?
- Am I able to still see my veterinarian?
Asking these questions is going to tell you a whole lot more about your policy than simply banking on a cheap price. You may find that you’re getting exactly what you’re paying for: which isn’t very much.
Discover: Oneplan created this great comparison brochure to make your search a whole lot simpler.
Cheaper premiums mean higher deductibles
This is where people get caught the most with cheap pet insurance. A deductible is an agreed-upon percentage that you will contribute towards a claim.
It seems all fine and dandy paying a small amount every four weeks until you need to claim and you see that you are taking care of a lot of the bill. When this happens, you may as well have been paying higher monthly premiums and been completely covered instead of trying to fund your pets unforeseen emergency. If your deductible is set at 50%, you can see how that may be a bit scary when an R30 000 bill comes about.
Show me the benefits
It’s nerve-wracking enough to have to be in a vet's room with your sick pet - now imagine the nerves when you aren’t entirely confident in what you are and aren’t covered for. Does the pet insurance plan cover routine care? Dental care? Accidents and illnesses, or just accidents? This isn’t about asking the right questions but rather about being honest with yourself about how you can afford all the little extras - because boy oh boy, do they add up.
You need to be able to find the balance between an insurance policy that fits your budget and meets the needs of you and your pet - and I may just have somebody in mind.
Oneplan: affordable over cheap
Oneplan provides a completely comprehensive cover that fits into your budget whilst offering your pet the best possible healthcare options. These two plans are my favourite and I often recommend them to my clients: their Pet Classic and Pet Super Plan, both of which include:
- Routine and wellness cover
- An optional Routine Care Plus
- An optional Excess Buster
- Cover for accidents and illness
- Cover for emergency care
- Kennelling fees
You can check out all of their affordable policies here!
Until next time,