We all want to ensure our pets are as healthy as possible. Unfortunately, when illness strikes many owners are in for a nasty surprise. Vet bills can be extortionate, and many new pet owners are completely unprepared for how expensive they can be. Pet insurance is vital to ensure you don’t find your pet needing costly surgery that you cannot afford. Even then, you could find yourself paying too much or even not getting the cover you need.
Decide on how much cover you need
As with other types of insurance, pet insurance premiums vary in price depending on how much cover you take out. You could, for example, agree to pay a higher excess in return for a lower premium. You may also want to just cover certain conditions. If you take this option you need to know as much about your pet as possible and the kind of issues it could face.
There are some simple things you can do to reduce the amount you have to pay. For example, getting your pet microchipped can reduce premiums, as can ensuring it has all the relevant shots to counter disease. Insurers may also offer lower premiums if your pet has been neutered or spayed. Make sure you insure your pet when it is young and healthy. You will be asked to declare any pre-existing conditions; the younger your pet is, the less likely it is to have any.
Watch out for vets
Insurance premiums have increased over the past few years. Part of the reason is that vet bills have also increased. They justify these increases by pointing to new drugs which have come onto the market which can significantly extend a pet’s life. However, they are known to charge high fees for even the most basic of procedures.
Not all vets take the same approach, though. It might be worth shopping around your local veterinary practices to see which one offers the lowest fees.
Check the age
Premiums can rise as a pet ages, so you could find your existing insurer whacking up the price as time goes on. Even when you’ve found the right type of cover you should always look at how it compares with others. One policy might work well when your dog is two years old, for example, but prices could rise and by the time he’s ten there might be a much better deal elsewhere.
Never take the first policy you find. It seems simple, but most people only look for a couple of options before making a buying decision. It can seem like hard work, which is why we developed a comparison tool to help you out. It can compare policies by the level of coverage, premiums and vet fees among others.