Pet Insurance at Abbotswood Veterinary Centre

Pet insurance can be a minefield and it can be difficult to know which policy will be best for your pet. When researching which insurance company and policy to go with, be sure to ask the following questions:

  • 1. If my pet contracts an on-going illness, such as diabetes or a chronic skin condition, will the insurance cover this condition for the rest of my pet’s life?
  • 2. Will the advertised amount of money to cover veterinary fees be refreshed every year when the policy renews?
  • 3. Are there any restrictions on how the insurance benefit may be used?
  • - For example, if I have a policy which has £7,000 of cover each year, can the full £7,000 be used for any condition? You want to make sure that there is no restriction on how much money can be used for any given condition
  • - If I make a claim on my pet’s policy, will making that claim cause my premium to increase next year?
  • - Will illness cover continue right into my pet’s old age?
  • - Will the policy cover any congenital or hereditary conditions which my pet may suffer from in the future?
  • 4. Are there limits on certain fees, for example referral or lab fees?
  • 5. If the vet decides that your pet needs to be referred, does the insurance company have preferred providers?

Like most things in life, you get what you pay for and the higher end policies tend to be the best for your pet. We advise that whichever insurance company you go with, you choose a LIFETIME policy for your pet, not a yearly policy. We are always around to help if you need guidance on insurance.

More than half of UK households have a pet in residence. Cats seem to be the most popular pets at 8 million with dogs not far behind in number at 6 million. There are about 3500 veterinary practices that specialise in treating every type of animal from horses and cows to ferrets rabbits and hamsters Veterinary practices are improving their services all the time and as human medicine progresses some of the diagnostic techniques and treatments find their way into veterinary practice.

Treatment costs do not come cheap and repairing broken bones following an accident to a favourite Daschund can soon exceed £1,000 or more. This may come as quite a shock and cause a payment problem. It is not surprising therefore that more and more pet owners are taking out insurance policies. Dogs, cats and rabbits can be insured with most policies costing no more than a few pounds a month.

When To Take Out A Policy

The same rules apply to buying a pet policy as your own health insurance policy - buy it when young and healthy and there are no existing conditions to report. Read the small print carefully and take particular notice of the terms and conditions that will explain what is and what is not covered together with any excess payments that may be required.

What Do You Get For Your Money?

In general, diagnosis and treatment for any accident, injury, or illness, will be covered by the policy. However pre-existing and chronic conditions will almost certainly be excluded or subject to an excess. Understandably any insurance policy with a high claim likelihood has to maintain a careful balance between premium level, excess charges and exclusions for the insurer to remain in business. As in human medicine a very large number of sophisticated diagnostic tests are available.

Some will require the services of a laboratory, for example blood and urine samples to test for the presence of infection, diabetes or metabolic disturbances. X-rays are other commonly used diagnostic procedures. Rapid diagnosis is vitally important in the treatment of any illness and diagnostic tests may have to be carried out at intervals to monitor the success of the treatment or antibiotics being prescribed for an infection.

Cats and dogs stray on to roadways and frequently have to undergo hospitalisation following an accident. X-rays, transfusions and major surgery involving the placement of metal implants, screws and plates to restore the function of shattered bones all require expensive resources. An insurance policy in these circumstances will bring peace of mind.

Rare and unusual conditions such as leukaemia or cancer may have to be referred to a University establishment or specialists for treatment.

Third Party Liability

This is an important benefit to protect pet owners against being sued if their pet causes damage or injury. Examples of these include your dog or cat running into the road causing an accident outside of your preperty.

Exclusions

Routine and preventive care will be excluded together with anything classed as "cosmetic" for example surgery to correct a bite abnormality in a dog. All pre-existing conditions are excluded froma new policy.

Summary

Veterinary insurance has become much more popular in recent years and there are a variety of plans to choose from. The national British Small Animal Veterinary Association endorses the concept of Pet Health Insurance and almost all veterinary practices display Pet Insurance leaflets and actively recommend it.

The ongoing progress of veterinary medicine means that costs will continue to rise. An insurance policy is a sensible way in which to begin planning for unforeseen bills that could be very significant.