Pet insurance is a pet health care policy that compensates you for certain medical expenses. It helps to save on veterinary costs that add up quickly when your pet gets sick or injured. Abscission alone can cost thousands of dollars but pet coverage can help you pay for unexpected veterinary therapies. Some policies provide cover for common care such as general check-ups, everyday preventative care, teeth cleaning, de-worming, and vaccinations. Most pet insurance products are only for dogs and cats however, some policies are designed for other animals such as horses.
A-Selecting a policy
When deciding if you require pet insurance, it is essential to take into account the type of pet you have, the breed of pet, and where you live. It’s also important to look at the pet itself by considering is it susceptible to accidents or is the breed prone to certain illnesses? You can also take your circumstances into account such as could you afford the unplanned expenses if your pet is sick or injured? The common veterinary check-ups for your pet are high and can be at least once in its life. Most pet owners know that veterinary fees can be very expensive when you combine consultations, surgeries, x-rays, treatments, and other necessities. The reality is many Australians would struggle to pay a huge bill and might have to make the distressing decision to put their beloved pet down because they cannot afford costly medications. However, pet insurance provides you the opportunity to consider all treatment options and not be restricted by cost.
B-What does the pet guarantee cover?
Though pet insurance is quite a new product in Australia, consumers have a wide choice of policies and providers, each with different product traits, terms, and conditions. These range from basic policies that will cover your pet only for injury, to more inclusive policies that also cover illnesses such as tick paralysis, or cancer, and usual care like vaccination or heartworm therapies. Below are the three main types of pet insurance policies:
- Accidents and diseases.
- Accidents, ailments, and common medications.
Some pet insurance policies also include third-party insurance for damage or accidents that your pet might cause to other people or property. Some of the things to consider when comparing policies include:
- Is there a maximum annual benefit?
- Is there a yearly limit on claims, sub-limits for medications, or per condition?
- What percentage of the veterinary bill (co-payment or co-share) will be covered?
- Is there a waiting period?
- What accidents and illnesses are covered?
- Will emergency boarding be covered if you are hospitalized?
- Will your pet be covered for life?
- Is common care covered?
- Is there any excess to pay?
- Are there restrictions for recurrent conditions?
- Will your pet be covered if taken civilly?
Pet allowance policies have various characteristics, which will vary from policy to policy. It is essential to understand the different types of pet insurance policies available. You must look for the right policy, not just the cheapest. Some policies will not cover older pets or may require you to pay a percentage of the veterinary fees. Below are some things to consider when choosing the right policy.
This information is well elaborated in the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). A policy accident will usually be covered immediately once you purchase, but your insurer may impose a waiting period on the cover of diseases or common medications. For illness, this is usually about thirty days.
2-Co-payments or Co-share
A co-share and an additional amount may be payable. Some policies will require you to pay a percentage of the veterinary fees with the rest being paid by the insurer. For a policy with a co-payment of 20%, this means your insurer would cover 80% of the cost, while you would pay 20% as a co-payment. For example, if a veterinary bill was $1000, you would pay $200 while your insurer would pay $800.
Most policies have an annual limit and sub-limit on benefits you can claim. In case you pick a competing plan with per-incident limits, make sure you understand how they work so you will know when you make a claim. For example, your insurer may pay a maximum of $15,000 within a year, but within this may be sub-limits of care such as x-rays, drugs, and discussion.
4-The age limits.
The best time to get pet insurance is when they are young before, they emerge from medical problems. This is because pre-existing conditions are not normally covered by pet insurance and some insurers will only start insuring pets below a certain age. Generally, you can cover your dog or cat as soon as they are eight weeks old. Make sure you know the age limits on your policy. Pets above eight or nine years of age may not be eligible for some types of cover, but if you take out coverage on your pet before they reach eight, they will be eligible for coverage.
The Pet Insurance policy has exclusions that are clearly detailed in the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). This helps keep the exceptional low. Common pet insurance exclusions include:
- Treatment for diseases or illnesses that could have been prevented by vaccination.
- Elective therapies.
- Medication for pre-existing conditions.
- Breeding costs such as pet gestations and births.
- Behavioral issues.
- Therapy while your pet is used for commercial or occupational purposes.
- Treatment of illnesses during specified waiting periods (usually thirty days.)
- Treatment if you did not take reasonable precautions to protect your pet from situations that may result in diseases, accidents, or from aggravating a treated condition.
- Certain breeds are prohibited and are pronounced very dangerous.
6-How premiums are calculated
Pet insurance premiums are based on risks associated with the insured pet and the possibility of a claim being made on your policy. Your insurer may take various factors into account when determining your premia, such as the species, strain, and age of your pet. Certain breeds may be genetically prone to certain illnesses. For example, French bulldogs are susceptible to glaucoma.
Some habitats may make pet ownership riskier. For instance, living in an area where paralysis ticks are present may affect your premium, the type of cover selected, the amount of excess selected, applicable government charges, and administration fees. You may be able to get certain discounts if you insure more than one pet. When comparing pet insurance, don’t just look at the premium-check but make sure it meets your needs.