Does Pet Insurance Provide Pets With Cover For Life?
You might already know about age limits when it comes to signing up for pet insurance, but if you sign up for pet cover before your pet reaches a certain age, does this mean that they are covered for life? Let’s find out.
As any responsible pet owner knows, pet insurance is an affordable way to ensure your pet’s health is a top priority, and your financial health doesn’t have to suffer the consequences of vet bills.
The same way that private doctor and hospital bills can leave your wallet a little worse for wear, veterinary bills closely rival those of human healthcare costs. When digging deeper into the costs of pet healthcare, it becomes clear as to why vets charge what they do. Thanks to advances in veterinary medicine, our pets can now lead longer, healthier and happier lives, and of course, this comes at a cost.
Which is where pet insurance comes in as a safety net to help protect you (and your bank account) from unexpected costs related to your pet.
What are age limits when it comes to pet insurance?
Of course, most pet insurance plans have age limits that apply. That’s because older pets come with higher health risks and more expensive vet bills. In knowing this, insurance companies try to mitigate their risks as much as possible without having to hike up their client’s premiums. If insurers allowed pets of all ages to have cover, their payouts for claims would force them to increase premiums ten fold to afford the large amount of claims.
There’s no denying that the older your pet is, the more you are likely to visit the vet for routine care check-ups. And not only that, as mentioned, older dogs and cats run a much higher risk of developing chronic illnesses or hurting themselves.
In most cases, your pet needs to be older than 8 weeks and younger than 9 years.
There are, however, some pet insurance plans where age limits do not apply. Of course, these tend to be a little less comprehensive, but having some form of cover in place is better than none at all.
One such example of a pet insurance plan that does not have age limits is Oneplan’s Pet Accident Plan. For only R60 a month, you are covered for R8000 a year for accidents (the events you don’t see coming, for example, when your pet falls from a height or gets in a fight with another pet).
This brings us to the question of whether or not your pet is covered for life when you purchase a pet insurance policy. In other words, we know that age limits apply to certain policies, but does this mean that your precious Bruno has cover for life or does his cover stop when he reaches a certain age?
Lifetime cover and pet insurance
To get into the nitty gritty of this answer, I rang up the Oneplan Pet Team. What they told me was pretty interesting.
Basically, when you purchase a pet insurance policy (according to the age limits outlined), your pet will receive healthcare cover for the rest of their lives. However, you will be unable to upgrade your plan after your pet reaches a certain age (9 years old).
This means that after your pet is 8 weeks old, or younger than 9 years of age, you can purchase a pet insurance plan for life. Of course, this cover will depend on your commitment to pay your monthly premiums. If there is a break in your payments, then you might run into some problems with your cover renewal.
Does this mean that ongoing conditions are covered for the life of my pet?
Yes. As long as your continue to renew your policy and there is no break in your cover, and depending on your chosen plan and level of coverage, Oneplan will continue to provide your pet with cover for recurring, chronic and pre-existing conditions (they are one of the few insurers who cover your pet for conditions such as these after a waiting period of 12 months).
Get your pet covered from a young age
It’s advised that you insure the health of your dog or cat from a young age. This is because younger pets have fewer health risks and are less likely to develop chronic health problems such as arthritis or cancer. Should your pet develop problems such as these at an older age and they were insured from a young age, then you will receive cover for these events immediately. That’s because you will not have to be subjected to certain waiting periods that apply when you initially purchase a pet insurance plan, as these waiting periods would have already passed.
Until next time,
The Pet Insurance Team