The dos and don'ts for successful pet insurance
When it comes to pet insurance, there are some important things that need to be considered in order for it to work for you and your pet’s needs.
I have done extensive research when it comes to pet insurance. I have been able to figure out exactly what is that you need to do and avoid when it comes to choosing a great pet insurer.
Pet insurance can save you thousands of rands if your pet ever has a health emergency or an accident. You truly never know what can happen and you don’t want to be caught off guard and have to pay a massive amount of money in vet bills.
The thing is though, it’s vital that you choose the right insurer and a great policy so that you are adequately covered when you need it most.
This blog will outline my list of dos and don’ts when it comes to choosing a pet insurer and a policy.
What you need to DO
Research a variety of pet insurance agencies
Not all pet insurers are created equal.
Take it from me, I have been in this industry for longer than I’d like to admit and I have almost seen it all. Make sure you research many different types of insurers and while some insurers are better than others or more expensive than the next, make sure you’re looking for an insurance agency that offers the best coverage for your pet(s) and your budget.
Make sure you choose a pet insurer that you’re confident in, and you’ve read through your policy and completely understand it before you join. You don’t want to have to change insurers within a month or two.
Read your policy front to back
Make sure you read absolutely everything in your policy - including any fine print.
I have had some unexpected surprises in my time purely because I didn’t completely understand my policy.
Make sure you understand what would be covered and what types of events are covered, understand how to submit a claim and how you’ll be reimbursed.
The terms and conditions of any policy can be tricky for some, so it’s always advisable that you’re a step ahead and have complete knowledge before entering into any agreements.
Get a health exam beforehand
This one isn’t really a requirement but it’s a good idea.
If you’re insuring a puppy who has already had a couple of health checks and maybe their first vaccination before getting an insurer, that’s great!
If your pet is a little older and you’re now looking for an insurer, a little health check is a fabulous idea. Why? You may ask. Well, by doing a health check before buying pet insurance, you’ll know exactly how healthy your pet is and you’ll know if any later health issues are recent or due to a pre-existing health condition.
Most insurers avoid covering pre-existing conditions so the health check will at least give you a great indication of what to expect.
Make sure you DON’T do the following
The biggest assumption I have experienced in this industry is, “My pet is healthy, I don’t need pet insurance”.
Whew, the heart palpitations have begun…
There is no guarantee that because there is nothing wrong with your pet now, it will stay that way forever. You never know when your pet may fall ill or have a terrible accident so you need to make sure you’re prepared BEFORE any of that happens.
Make sure you get pet insurance when your pet is young or when you first bring them into your home. This way you can avoid struggling to find an insurer or paying ridiculously high premiums when your pet is older or ill.
Don’t assume you are fully covered
This takes us back to “Read your policy front to back”.
You cannot assume that your insurance policy covers every single condition your pet may encounter. There are limits to your coverage and some insurers cover things that others don’t. Make sure you’ve read your potential policy and chatted to your pet insurer to fully grasp what may not be covered.
Don’t choose the cheapest option
Ah, this is a biggy. Many people look for the cheapest pet policy they can find. Now, that may sound like a good idea when considering the immediate expense you’ll experience but this will turn into a nightmare down the road.
If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Many cheaper policies do not provide adequate coverage or they have strict limitations regarding what vets you can go to or any procedures your pet can have.
I’m not saying you need to choose the most expensive pet policy out there but I am saying that you need to consider what you need before looking for the price point. There are definitely cost-effective pet insurance policies out there that will keep your pet protected.
Don’t buy a pet until you’ve thought through potential medical issues
If you have never owned a pet before, you really need to consider ALL the costs before bringing a furry friend into your home.
From food to toys to medical costs, there’s a lot you need to consider before getting a pet. Many pet owners who haven’t truly considered the costs they can incur with their pets can have horrible choices they need to make.
This often leads to pets being left at shelters, having to be put down or an owner having to fight their bank account to keep their pet healthy.
The stress of this can be avoided by simply creating a pet budget before you get your furry friend, to be able to perhaps even care for some more lovely fur babies out there.
Until next time,
The Pet Insurance Team