3 Steps To Finding A Pet Insurance Plan That Is Good Enough For Your Pet & Your Budget
When it comes to pet insurance, the cheapest policy is rarely the best. Here’s how to tell if your pet insurance plan is the best value for money in 3 simple steps.
Finding a pet insurance policy that has a good balance between meeting your pet’s healthcare needs and your budget is not as easy as you think.
Keep in mind that when I refer to ‘the best value’, I’m not talking about the cheapest option. In my experience, and I’m sure a number of pet owners will agree with me on this one, the cheapest insurance plan may have the benefit of low premiums, but it may also mean low benefits in terms of coverage inclusions.
As well as this, you may be paying a low monthly policy fee, but there might be other costs you are not aware of such as excess fees (the amount the policyholder has to pay in the event of a claim).
On the other end of the scale, a pet insurance policy might seem expensive at the onset, but when taking a closer look you might find their benefits to be extensive and inclusive of events such as pre-existing conditions, something a cheaper policy might not cover.
Basically, when you are trying to find the best value for money pet insurance policy, you need to pay close attention to not only the cost of the premium but the overall package that is being offered to you and your pet.
How to find a pet insurance plan with the best value for money
1. Make a list of potential insurers
The first thing you need to do is make a list of the potential pet insurers that you are interested in. Find out how much you can afford and figure out what kind of health cover your pet needs.
A good place to start is by chatting with your vet as to whom he or she recommends. Your vet will also be able to tell you what kind of plan you need to look for (we will get to this in step 2).
Spend some time conducting some thorough research on the various pet insurers available to you and your pet. After this, you can begin the process of evaluation and comparison between them.
2. Figure out how comprehensive you want the cover to be
Now that you have an extensive list of your top insurers, have a look at their different plan options. This will depend on what kind of plan you are looking for.
For example, older pets are more likely to develop serious health conditions such as cancer or bone and joint issues (read: Is It Worth It To Insure The Health Of My Older Cat?). Older pets also need to go to the vet for more regular check-ups and require more extensive routine care, as do certain breeds of dogs and cats.
For these reasons, pet owners who have pets who are more prone to disease or who have a history of medical ailments, then they might want to opt for a more comprehensive plan that includes cover for vet visits, routine care and expensive surgery if need be. Your vet will be able to guide you on how extensive your coverage should be in terms of pet insurance as he or she has the expert knowledge on your pet’s health risks.
3. Read the fine print
Next, you need to know exactly what the cover includes. Compare the various components such as:
● Premium cost
● Benefits (what events are covered)
● Limits (the maximum amount of payout received in the event of a specific claim for a benefit)
● Exclusions (what you are not covered for such as hereditary and pre-existing conditions)
● Waiting periods (how long you have to wait before you can file a claim for an event)
● Age limits
● Plan options
● Claims process
Let’s explore some of these points in detail…
A number of pet parents might not know this, but there are pet insurers out there who include cover for pre-existing conditions. Oneplan Pet Insurance is one of them.
“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 might think that you cannot insure the health of your pet because he or she has already been diagnosed with a chronic illness. However, with Oneplan, there is a 12 month waiting period that applies to pre-existing conditions, after this you are covered for vet bills related to this condition.
Claims system and process
The simplicity of claims is something you need to seriously consider when choosing a pet insurer. In my opinion, how easy it is to file a claim ties into how an insurer creates a valuable experience. You might have an insurer who is affordable and includes a range of benefits in their coverage, but when it comes time to claim, their process is outdated and tedious - the last thing you want!
Oneplan Pet Insurance is the only insurer I know who fronts you with the cash you need for a vet visit BEFORE visiting the vet. This insurer created their own unique debit card where clients can preload a claim and have the funds transferred to their Onecard within seconds.
I hope these tips come in handy when finding a pet insurer that offers you an affordable premium and great benefits for your pet.
Until next time,
The Pet Insurance Team