When I was working in the UK I found that around one quarter of pets were covered by health insurance policies, however here in Australia I have found the number of small friends covered to be much lower. A pet insurance policy means that you can have peace of mind in choosing to have your sick or injured small friend treated by a veterinarian as and when required, without basing your decisions on financial considerations.
How does Pet Insurance work?
It is similar to insurance for your car or house. Monthly premiums are paid to an insurance company and should your small friend need veterinary attention, depending on your individual policy, you will be reimbursed for some or all of your veterinary fees.
What company should I use?
As a Veterinarian, I am unable to give advice on specific insurance products, but as with most things, it pays to investigate all options available. I encourage anyone considering taking out a pet insurance policy to research available options and contact the individual companies involved.
Some home and contents insurance policies will also provide cover for pets in addition to the existing policy – ask your insurance company for details.
How do I choose a policy?
Again, I can’t give specific financial advice but there are many criteria insurance companies use to decide on how and when claims are paid. When choosing a policy the things you may consider might include age limits on small friends (both maximum and minimum), time limits on claims, exclusions to different breeds or specific conditions, excess on claims, sub-limits on individual treatments, etc. Remember to do some research before deciding on a policy.
Where can I go for more information?
All pet insurance companies have help-lines and/or websites to give specific details about their policies.
Dr Matt Almond
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