Pet Advice: Get the right health insurance policy for your pet

Dave Ellson
Dave Ellson

From James Herriot to super vet, it’s easy to see that veterinary medicine has come a long way.

With modern advances in medicine, diagnostic tests and surgical procedures, we can now treat a huge range of problems in our furry friends.

It is worth thinking about the costs of veterinary care when you get a pet and considering how you would cover the costs if the worst happens.

The costs of surgery for a broken leg can reach into the thousands and if your pet is unlucky enough to develop diabetes – the costs of which are lifelong.

Pet insurance is undoubtedly the best way of ensuring that you can afford treatment for your pet.

However there are some pit falls that it’s worth being aware of.

By far the best policy is one that provides ‘lifetime’ cover which will cover your pet for chronic conditions such as arthritis.

Each year, the amount of money available to spend on vet care is renewed.

Owners can usually choose the level of cover usually ranging from £4,000-£12,000.

Twelve-month policies are available too.

This means that the insurance company will pay for the costs of veterinary treatment for each condition for one year only.

Usually there is also a financial limit too above which treatment will not be covered.

The policy will stop paying for the condition when either the financial limit is reached or the pet has been treated for that condition for one year.

The condition will then be excluded from the policy.

This type of policy is adequate if your pet has a broken leg which can be fixed but can cause frustration if your pet develops a lifelong condition such as kidney disease.

Other types of policy available include policies with accident only policies which owners should be very wary of purchasing.

These policies will not cover any illnesses and are therefore best avoided where possible.

Like anything else – you get what you pay for!

Pre-existing conditions are another common reason for frustration.

It is well worth being aware that if your pet has been seen at the vets for a problem before you took out a policy, this condition will not be covered on under your insurance.

Similarly, for ’12-month’ policies, if your pet was seen over a year ago for a condition, it may not be covered.

Check with the insurance provider before treatment is given.