What Does Pet Insurance Cover?
Find out what to look for in your insurance policy with this expert guide
Modern vets are able to do extraordinary things in order to help injured and sick pets and save their lives. Due to these incredible medical advances, the cost of veterinary procedures (treatments, surgeries, expert care etc.) closely match those of medical treatments for humans.
Pet insurance saves lives
Families who are financially savvy enough to have made the decision to purchase pet insurance will find themselves better equipped to make decisions that are based on what is best for their pet’s health and not have to worry about the financial implication their decision will make.
The right form of pet insurance protection can quite literally be a lifesaver for the health of your pet (and your wallet), but not all pet insurance coverages are created equal.
Making an informed decision on your insurer of choice
There are a number of pet healthcare cover providers, each with their own limits and benefits. This wide selection of insurers available to you can make it tricky to find a policy that meets your pet healthcare needs and your budget.
When shopping for pet insurance, it’s advised that you pay close attention to the terms and conditions outlined in your policy document. Remember, this is a legally binding document between you and your insurer. Your insurer cannot be held responsible for you ‘skimming through the fine print’ and not knowing what you are covered for.
The last position you want to be in is assuming you were covered for a certain event, when in fact, according to your policy, you are not. Meaning you now have to pay the vet bill in full out of your own pocket.
What does pet insurance cover?
What kind of pets am I covered for?
Most insurers will cover cats and dogs. With a discounted rate for cats as they tend to have fewer vet bills and are a lower insurance risk. If you have exotic pets, then you will need to have an insurer who covers these kinds of animals.
Does pet insurance cover regular vet visits?
Some pet insurers will include cover for vet visits and routine care. However, the majority of insurers will include these benefits at an additional cost to your monthly premium.
Something I admire about this particular insurer is that they also front you with the cash you need for your pet’s consult BEFORE you see the vet.
They make this possible using their Onecard claims system. This transactional card, unique to Oneplan, acts as a debit card with preloaded funds for vet visits.
What about scripted medication?
Then there is the case of prescription medication. As with vet visits and routine care, it can be a little difficult to find an insurer who includes cover for this benefit.
Once again, looking at Oneplan, they include cover for scripted medication, even chronic medication for older pets. You can find out more about these benefits here.
Is my pet covered for pre-existing conditions?
These are typically issues and health conditions that existed before your policy began or started to show symptoms during the first 3 months of your policy.
A number of pet insurers will NOT cover these conditions. So you need to pay close attention to the fine print in this particular situation.
In chatting to the guys at Oneplan, they include cover for pre-existing conditions after a 12 month waiting period. Which, if you ask me, this cover is well worth the wait as the vet bills for pre-existing conditions can quickly add up over time.
Does pet insurance include cover for kennels?
Not usually. You might find an insurer who will cover you for kennel costs should something happen to you and you are hospitalised and unable to look after your pet. Oneplan is an example of one such insurer.
Pay close attention to the fine print and don’t be afraid to ask questions
What it comes down to is how well you read your insurance contract and how much attention you pay to the fine print.
Whilst I get that reading an insurance contract is the last thing you want to do with your time (when you could be walking in the park with your furry member of the family), you really need to invest some time and research into your contract.
You should know exactly what you are covered for, what you are not covered for, how claiming works and what the insurer’s customer care is like.
I advise that you never choose a pet insurance policy purely based on price as this might lead to disappointment when it comes time to claim and you realise how low your limits are and how much you have to pay out of your own pocket.
Do your research and find an insurer who offers the best value for money.
Until next time,
The Pet Insurance Team