6 key considerations you don't want to overlook when it comes to finding affordable pet insurance
Choosing the right insurer can be tricky. Sifting through the different types of plans, pricing and insurance providers can be a daunting task. But, if you consider these 6 key points before committing to any insurer, navigating the process of buying pet insurance will be a breeze.
1. Do your own research
Reviews and ratings should be every pet owner's go-to source of information when it comes to choosing an animal health insurance plan and provider for your furry family member. The only real way to get to know the type of support and service you can expect to receive from any animal health insurance provider is by consulting fellow pet owners who have experienced the claims process and customer care experience firsthand.
This simple search strategy could change everything you once thought you knew about pet insurance. Many pet insurance seekers get caught up in the price of the premium, but fail to read the genuine insight and feedback from real customers.
Without that, you only have half the story. Will the insurance provider put the needs of your pet first? Is the insurer really the most affordable option that still provides quality service? Does the insurer really care about the health and wellbeing of your pet or do they put profit and policy first?
That's why my recommendation is Oneplan. They're a top-rated animal pet insurance provider, well-known for great customer service, helpful support staff and an easy-to-use claims process on their Oneplan app.
2. Consider factors other than price
Price shouldn't be your only priority when committing to animal pet insurance. There are a variety of other factors that you should consider when deciding which insurance company is right for you. From the complications of the claims process to the fine-print of policies, some important services might just beat price comparisons and budget concerns.
It's also important to consider the quality of service you can expect with each insurer, as well as the excesses you can expect to pay (these may differ with each plan), as well as p the plan-specific exclusions of each insurance provider.
Also, I’d recommend that you pay attention to the specific services offered by each plan. While cheaper might sound better when considering a pet insurance plan, it's important that you choose a plan which includes the vital services that will cater to the unique healthcare needs of your precious pet - such as routine care, vet visit cover and dental care.
3. Determine the plan-specific policies
What most pet owners don't know is that some essential, basic services aren't automatically included in every pet insurance plan. For example, accident-only plans are usually the cheapest, but most of these plans don't include routine care cover or vet care visits cover. This leaves pet owners to carry the costs of day-to-day healthcare expenses. Some insurers also exclude cover for pre-existing conditions that your pet developed before you took out the plan.
But, with an insurance company like Oneplan, there's no need to worry about whether your pet will be covered or not. One plan handles all the costs of vet visits and other various medical bills so that you don't have to. And, with their Routine Care Plus add-on, your pet’s day-to-day health expenses will always be taken care of - no matter which plan you choose. Not only that, but Oneplan also provides life-long insurance for pets with pre-existing conditions after the first 12 months of your policy.
Pro tip: ask your insurer for a list of exclusions based on your pet's past medical history and breed. Also be sure to find out the details of the waiting periods attached to your chosen plan before committing to a provider.
4. Don't wait until your pet gets sick
As I mentioned, most animal pet insurance plans will not cover pre-existing conditions. When you buy pet insurance, you will have to submit your claims records and a comprehensive description of your pet’s medical history, as well as their past vet visits. The insurance company will usually use that record to determine if any pre-existing conditions exist.
Many insurers may refuse to cover pre-existing conditions, or the premiums for pets with existing conditions might be higher. That’s why most pet parents should consider getting pet insurance very early in their pet’s life, when there are no records of existing medical conditions.
5. Know your excess requirements
An excess is the amount that you as the pet owner will have to pay to your insurer for every accident or illness claim. Basically, you will have to pay for the first portion of the accident or illness bill and the insurer will pay the remaining amount. An excess amount usually starts at about 25% of the claim amount but may decrease to 10% of your claim after a few months. .
It's important to know how much you can expect to pay for each claim and adjust your budget to accommodate these additional costs, so that there are no surprises when the time comes to pay the bills.
6. Find out if your premiums will increase
The price of your monthly premium could spike for a number of reasons. Things such as normal annual premium increases, the age of your pet, and your pet’s previous medical history could all result in an increase in the premiums you can expect to pay.
A real issue that most pet owners will face at some point in the future is that, for older pets, premiums can be more expensive since dogs and cats over 7 are riskier to insure. As a pet parent, you need to consider the fact that the price of your premium may change as your pet ages, and that these additional costs aren't exactly budget-friendly.
That's why it's important to look for an insurer who provides cover for animals of all ages at an affordable price. For example, Oneplan aims to cater to the needs of older pets too, and provides different plan options for cats over the age of 9 years old than those which are offered to animals who fall under the age limit. This ensures that they are able to meet the specific needs of each age group while still proving premium care for your lovable pet.
Why is Oneplan the number one recommendation ?
- If you utilise the online sign up option, they will discount your premium by 100% in the first month and waive the card fee of R160.
- Lodge claims easily using the Oneplan app to make your life just a little easier.
- Oneplan’s Excess Buster waives all your excess fees, and it will cost you as little as R20pm.
- You get paid BEFORE you see the vet. Simply swipe your Onecard at the vet to pay (just like a debit card).
- You have the freedom to go to ANY vet of your choice. That means you can keep your vet and don’t have to choose a new one when you sign up with us.
- Oneplan is one of few insurers who offer pre-existing & hereditary conditions after 12 months
- Manage your policy and change your plan anytime using the Oneplan App
Oneplan is a reliable insurance provider and a great option for customers who want the security of knowing exactly what kind of premiums they can expect each month.
I usually recommend Oneplan to my fellow pet owners because their number one goal is to guide pet parents through this process as smoothly as possible while giving them the necessary support. If I were you, I'd get on board with one of Oneplan’s quality, affordable pet insurance plans today.
Get a quote here to join a pet insurer that will put customer service and the needs of your pet first, always.
Until next time,
The Pet Insurance Team