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Pet insurance jargon buster

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Our essential guide for pet owners explains what the different policy types really mean.

Britain is a nation of animal lovers, with a staggering 50% of households owning a furry friend.

Unfortunately, pets can be expensive and the high cost of veterinary care means that pet insurance is an essential part of owning a pet.

An accident or an illness can run up a bill well into the thousands, so fully understanding the insurance policy when you’re about to buy it could save you a lot of headache later on.

The following are popular terms used for the average pet insurance policy from pet insurance expert, Ben Wilson from

Policy Types

Accident Only – As it states, will only cover pets for accidents and not illnesses, hence why these policies tend to be the cheapest.

Time Limited – This allows for claims, up to a specified amount, for a certain time period usually – 12 months from the onset of the condition. After the time period, the insurer will stop paying for the vet fees for that condition.

Maximum Benefit – This allows for claims to be made for a condition that the pet may have, up to a monetary limit with no time restraints. However, once the condition limit has been reached the insurer will stop to pay for that condition

Lifetime – Generally these are more expensive policies but offer the most expensive cover. Lifetime policies allow for cover for the lifetime of the pet as long as the policy is renewed.

Sometimes there are restrictions within a lifetime policy; a per condition limit and per year limit. Under a per condition policy once the limit has been reached for that year no more cover will be available until you renew.

Similarly with a per year policy a set amount will be allocated per year to cover all conditions. Again when this has been reached no more cover is available until you renew.

Remember: It is important you read the terms and conditions, and that you understand just what is and isn’t covered.

If you don’t understand a clause in the policy or the wording is confusing – call the insurer and double check.

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