You are here: Home - Insurance - News -

Top 10 tips when buying pet insurance

Written by: Craig Lambert
When it comes to insuring Fido or Felix, there are plenty of ways to keep costs down. Here are ten top tips for getting the best cover for the best price.
  1. Choose the right type of cover

There are four main types of cover that you can choose from when you are looking at pet insurance:

Accident only. This cover is usually time limited and provides cover for injuries up to a maximum of 12 months (365 days); however, some insurers may also offer Accident Only cover, not anything like using clove oil to euthanize a pet fish, but on Maximum Benefit terms (see below).

Time limited. This cover level is considered as a basic level of pet insurance which provides cover for any illness or injury up to a maximum of 12 months (365 days).

Maximum benefit. This level provides extensive cover for any injury or illness up to a maximum amount, as detailed in your policy and with no time limit applied.

Lifetime. This is the cover level that most vets recommend. It’s the most extensive and provides cover for ongoing conditions for the lifetime of your pet, provided there is no break in your policy cover.

  1. Know your budget

Getting your pet insured is important so you need to find a policy that meets your needs and requirements, but also one that you can afford. There is really no point in having cover in place if the policy doesn’t offer longevity and you can’t afford to keep up with the policy premiums. The general rule is that the more extensive the pet insurance, the more expensive the policy premiums will be.

  1. Research, Research, Research…

There are multiple pet insurance providers, each offering different cover types, benefits and drawbacks. Pet insurance is often a lifelong commitment, so it’s always best to fully research all the options available to you before reaching a final decision.

  1. What are others saying?

Review sites are always a good indicator of what other people have experienced with a particular insurer and how they rate their service.

  1. Look into the benefits

There are various sections of cover for pet insurance that different insurers may or may not provide for, such as holiday cancellation or boarding fees. It’s always advisable to make sure the sections of cover are being provided by your chosen policy.

  1. Check for policy excesses

When your pets reach a certain age, it’s common for percentage excesses to apply to claims. These excesses can vary from a small contributory amount, to a large excess, meaning you have to pay a large sum up front in order to pay for your veterinary treatment.

The same also applies to standard fixed excesses. Across insurers you can pay high excesses for cheaper policy premiums or pay higher excesses for certain breeds that you are looking to insure, so it’s vital you select an excess that you are able to afford should your pet require treatment. 

  1. Do they offer discounts?

Many insurers offer discounts for pet insurance policies. This can be a new customer discount, multi-pet discount or a loyalty discount. Therefore, take into consideration the additional costs that may be applied to your policy at the renewal of cover, as some of these discounts may not continue after your first year. 

  1. Disclose all information

Most insurers won’t provide cover for veterinary fees that relate to a condition which start prior to the policy starting. When setting up pet insurance cover, make the insurer aware of anything that may affect the policy. This means that you are then fully aware of what is and what is not covered by the policy prior to purchasing the insurance. 

  1. Read the terms and conditions

It is widely known that the majority of people do not read the policy terms and conditions fully before purchasing a policy. In fact, with pet insurance, most people only refer to these before making a claim. Therefore, to avoid any nasty surprises, read the terms and conditions, question any areas that you are unsure of and make sure you’re comfortable with the insurance before proceeding with purchasing cover.

  1. How easy is it to make a claim?

This is one area that is crucially important, should your pet become injured or fall ill. Checking how the claims process works, prior to purchasing cover, makes this process far less stressful in the event that you need to make a claim. This may involve discussing what information would be needed in the event of a claim, what is the considered as the normal claim turnaround time etc. Most insurers allow you to download claim forms from their websites to make it as easy to start the process.

Craig Lambert is pet team leader at NCI Pet Insurance

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Flight cancelled or delayed? Your rights explained

With no sign of the problems in UK aviation easing over the peak summer period, many will worry whether holida...

Rail strikes: Your travel and refund rights

Thousands of railway workers will strike across three days this week, grinding much of the transport system to...

How your monthly bills could rise as the base rate reaches 1.25%

The Bank of England has raised the base rate to 1.25% as predicted – the fifth consecutive rise in just six ...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Five tips for surviving a bear market mauling

The S&P 500 has slipped into bear market territory and for UK investors, the FTSE 250 is also on the edge. Her...

Money Tips of the Week