We all love our pets and want the best for them. And getting the best pet insurance is part of that devotion. But finding the best isn’t always easy. What might be right for one person’s budget, and their pet’s needs may not be right for someone else’s.
To help, we’ve run through what you should be considering when choosing a pet insurance provider and policy.
Look at what’s available
If you’ve a dog or cat, then you likely have your pick of any pet insurer in the country. On the other hand, if you’re looking to insure your horse, rabbit, bird, or some other companion animal, your choices will be much more limited.
Decide which type of policy is best for your pet
While policies differ between providers, there are three basic forms of pet insurance:
- Accident and illness
Which policy is right for you will be determined by your pet and your budget. If you have a young and healthy pet, you may feel accident-only is enough. If you have a more problem-prone pooch, such as a French Bull Dog, you may want something more comprehensive. This will come in handy should your pet suffer any of the costly medical problems associated with its breed.
Comprehensive pet insurance also often covers many routine check-ups and procedures, such as dental work and vaccines. If you intend to take your pet to the vet regularly, it could be right for you.
Your pet’s age can limit your options
It’s worth noting that certain insurers will only provide accident-only cover to older pets. This is due to the added risk that comes from older pets, who are more likely to suffer from costly health conditions.
→Related article: What Are the Different Types of Pet Insurance?
Can you bundle insurance?
Does your current home and contents insurer, or car insurer, offer pet insurance too? If so, can you bundle them and receive generous discounts? If so, it could be a great way to save on your premiums.
→Related article: AA Pet Insurance: the Best Choice for Your Furry Friend
Is lifetime cover an option?
Some pet insurance providers will cover your pet for its lifetime, so long as you insure it before a certain age and stick with the same provider and don’t let the policy lapse.
This can be especially helpful as some insurers don’t provide full cover for older pets, nor do they cover any pre-existing health conditions. So if you are waiting until your pet ages before taking out pet insurance, you could find comprehensive cover hard to come by.
Note that even with lifetime cover, the policy needs to be renewed yearly, at which point terms and conditions can change, and premiums can increase. It may also exclude certain instances and conditions regardless, so be sure to speak with your insurer and read the fine print.
Are the benefit limits enough/can you customise them?
Each policy has caps on how much you can claim. This will likely be a total sum, as well as additional caps for certain claims. For example, you may be covered for $20,000 of cover a year, but just $1000 of that can be for dental. It’s important to look over these limits and decide whether they’ll be adequate.
For example, if your pet is predisposed to a certain breathing ailment, how much does it typically cost for surgery to remedy it? Will your insurance cap cover it?
Furthermore, can you lower certain limits in exchange for cheaper premiums, or raise certain limits for extra peace of mind?
Consider the finer details
There are plenty of smaller details to note when deciding on pet insurance, such as:
- Any exclusions
- How much of the bill the insurance covers
- Ability to raise or lower your contribution levels to change your premiums
- Option to pick your excess
- Insurer’s customer service
- Any sign-on benefits or promotions
About the author of this page
This report was written by Canstar Content Producer, Andrew Broadley. Andrew is an experienced writer with a wide range of industry experience. Starting out, he cut his teeth working as a writer for print and online magazines, and he has worked in both journalism and editorial roles. His content has covered lifestyle and culture, marketing and, more recently, finance for Canstar.