Saving money on your pet insurance is something most pet owners will be interested in. This handy guide shows you how to save money on pet insurance.
Pet Insurance is not cheap but trying to save money by choosing not to insure your pet is a bad idea. Vets bills always have been, and always will be, very expensive and it has been recently estimated that vets bills are rising by as much as 12% a year! By choosing not to insure your pet you could one day face a vet’s bill running into thousands of pounds. Imagine having to face the choice of taking out a loan or, if there is no way you can afford the bill, having your beloved pet put to sleep.
So choosing to insure your pet can save you money in the long-term but with so many policies available how do you know you are getting the very best value for money? Follow our comprehensive guide to saving money on your pet insurance to find out.
Choosing the Right Insurance Policy
Shopping around to find the cheapest pet insurance policy might seem simple enough but you need to bear in mind that not all insurance policies are the same. Some only cover a condition or illness for one year, whereas others insure your pet for its lifetime. Always read the terms and conditions carefully so that you don’t get any nasty surprises if you need to use your policy in the future.
For this reason, choosing insurance can feel like a minefield. A cheaper policy is not necessarily better value for money. If you do not buy the right policy you could find that your pet is not covered in the way you thought it was. Consider the three levels of policy available to cover your pet:
Basic Annual Cover – This is the cheapest type of policy you can purchase. A basic annual policy should cover your pet for one year from the start of the condition up to a set amount of money. After the years is up, the condition is no longer insured so if your pet needs on-going care you will need to fund this yourself. The pet’s pre-existing condition will then be excluded from cover in the future. This type of policy is good for covering third party liability, accidents and short term medical conditions.
Individual Condition Cover – This cover is a step up from basic annual cover in that there is no time-limit set for each individual condition that the insurance policy will pay out for. The policy will continue to pay out for each individual condition until the maximum amount is reached. Once that occurs, the condition will cease being covered by the insurance policy. This type of policy is excellent for covering medium term illnesses that are not likely to last the lifetime of the pet, but the cover may run out for long-term illnesses. Remember that many insurers will expect you to pay the excess every year.
Lifetime Cover – This is the most expensive level of pet insurance that there is and as the name suggests this policy will cover your pet for its lifetime, covering your pet up to a certain amount of money each year continuously. There are no exclusions on conditions that develop after the policy is taken out and pets will continue to be covered as long as you continue to renew your policy. You may still be expected to pay your excess every year. This policy is the most comprehensive, and whilst it costs the most money it offers peace of mind if your pet develops an on-going long-term condition.
Our Top 10 Tips For Saving Money on Your Pet Insurance:
- Shop around to find the best value for money.
- Remember that cheaper doesn’t always mean better.
- Make sure you can afford your policies excess.
- Keep your pet fully vaccinated as neglecting these could mean that your policy no longer covers your pet.
- Take advantage of multi pet policies.
- Shop around when your renewal is due because switching insurance providers doesn’t always mean you lose out due to previous conditions.
- Contact the insurance providers directly so that you can to cut out the middle-man costs.
- Always tell the truth – otherwise you could invalidate your policy.
- Consider optional extras carefully as you may never need to use them.
- Read the small-print and make sure the policy you buy gives you the cover your pets need.
Is Self-Insurance the Best Option for me?
Clearly, insuring your pet is in your best interests yet shockingly The Guardian reports that:
the majority of Brits either haven’t got round to taking out cover or have decided not to bother – it’s estimated almost half of the nation’s dogs, and well over two-thirds of Britain’s cats, are uninsured.
This could be because many feel that self-insurance is a better option. So what is self-insurance?
Basically put ‘self-insurance’ is putting aside the money every month that you would have paid into an insurance policy. There are pros and cons to doing this. The advantages to doing this are that if you put your money into a saving account then your money is earning interest for all the time that you don’t need to use it. If you have a happy, healthy pet that doesn’t have any medical problems throughout its lifetime then the money will still be there for you to spend, and will not be in the hands the insurers to keep.
On the other hand, this method does have plenty of disadvantages. You have to be very strict with yourself to ensure that you put the money away every month and that you are not tempted to use it for next years holiday! Also, consider what might happen if your pet has an accident or gets ill before you have saved up enough money to cover the bill. At least with an insurance policy you are covered for illness on average 2 weeks after the start date of the policy, and for accidents straight away.
Taking out pet insurance can save you money in the long-term and may prevent you from having to make the heart breaking decision to have your pet put to sleep if you cannot afford the vets bill. By doing your research and really understanding the policy you are taking out you could save yourself money. Remember that shopping around and getting multiple quotes from different companies will help you find the best value for money policy for you and your pet.