It’s a pet owner’s worst nightmare when your best friend has suddenly taken ill, or been involved in an accident and you are facing a bill you hadn’t budgeted for. Fortunately more pet owners are realising the advantages of pet insurance.

Why pet health insurance?

Our pets give us unconditional love and loyalty and we want to give them the proper care they deserve. Unexpected illnesses or accidents can involve a financial burden. Pet health insurance can help contribute to unexpected and routine veterinary expenses by paying up to 80% of costs and sometimes more.

Which insurance company offers the best policy?

There are many companies that offer pet insurance, so you do need to do some research before choosing the cover that’s best for you and your pet.

Most companies will offer a range of policies including ‘accident only’ and ‘accident and illness’. A few companies also offer some cover for routine items like vaccinations and prescription food.

Vetwest is not associated with any pet insurance provider, nor can we provide advice on the best policy for your pet. Here are some of the insurance providers that we have been recommended by our team members and clients.

Some helpful hints on pet insurance

  • Compare different providers and the inclusions of their policies
  • Ask for a policy wording booklet
  • Call each company for further advice
  • Decide on accident only or accident & illness
  • Consider routine healthcare as well – add up routine healthcare costs per year, does it make the extra monthly premium worthwhile?
  • Take into consideration your pet’s breed and age, does that mean a higher premium?
  • Insure pets as early as possible, before any medical conditions develop as insurers often won’t cover something if you sign up after the fact
  • Keep in mind senior pets do require more frequent medical treatment due to illness, so get in early.

Other questions to ask insurance companies

  • What excesses are involved?
  • Do the excesses change with certain breeds or age?
  • Is there an age limit?
  • Are both accidents and illnesses covered once my pet becomes a senior?
  • Is there a waiting period? When can I make my first claim?
  • Please clarify exclusions for my pet’s breed or age, can I have a written copy?
  • When does a medical complaint stop being covered, due to being deemed “chronic” or ongoing?
  • What would happen if I wanted to cancel my pet’s insurance?
  • Do they offer Gap Only payments?

Focus on the positives of pet insurance and what it will cover, not on the uncovered items.

How are claims made?

  • Payment for services is made directly to the veterinary clinic by the pet owner.
  • A claim form completed by both the veterinarian and the owner is then sent to the insurance company along with invoices and receipts.
  • The insurance company will reimburse the pet owner for all services covered under their policy.

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