According to a report published by research group Mintel,Pet Insurance – is it a waste of money? Articles one in three pets needs an unforeseen visit to the vet each year. This implies you’re more likely to make a claim on your pet insurance than on your car insurance or even your home & contents policy.
The word “unforeseen” is key here. If you’re looking for pet insurance to provide cover for routine treatments such as teeth cleaning, vaccinations or nail trimming, forget it – policies which provide that are as rare as hens’ teeth! Neither will you find cover for elective treatments, such as neutering and identity chipping. This means Cheri Honnas that the most common grounds for visit the vet are uninsurable.
But it’s those unexpected visits that tend to be the high-priced ones! Developments in vet nary care mean that new and more complex conditions can be effectively treated. But the cost of emergency care can be horrendous. A cat that failed to cross the road could easily cost £700, even more, to treat. After all, a series of X-rays could cost £400 complete with anaesthetic, and you’ll have no change from £1,000 for a MRI scan. If Lassie the Labrador tore a ligament that can now be treated – but the cost? Wait for it – around £1,500! This is serious money!
Having appreciated that most reasons for an appointment at the vet are uninsurable, what do we get for our premiums?
Pet insurance policies basically fall into three categories. The first limits the value of the claim for each condition or event; the second places a maximum value on the total annual payout and the third and cheapest option, limits the payout per condition and ends cover after 12 months of treatment. And with all policies you will have to pay an excess on any claim, usually between £50 and £100. The majority of these plans payout a fixed sum if you pet dies.