There are many different pet insurance companies out there. And it can be very challenging to know who to trust and who not to trust. Many insurance companies are part of much larger companies e.g. Tesco, a brand we have all heard of and, therefore, probably trust. With pet insurance, though, it is not necessarily true that the bigger the company, the better the insurance. The trustworthiness of the company is not what will let you down, it’s selecting the incorrect policy for you.

Make sure you read the fine print on insurance deals

This is very important because it will affect when and if the insurance company will pay out. You need to thoroughly understand every detail in the fine print. The insurance company will be able to answer any questions you have about their policies. And this should be discussed prior to you making your first payment.

Key things to check on your insurance package:

  • How much the payment increases by each year as your pet gets older
  • How much your excess is. This is the amount of money you will have to pay towards each claim before your insurance company will pay out
  • How many different diseases per year your insurance company will cover. E.g. if your pet suffers from 2 accidents in a year, will your insurance company be happy to pay out for 2 different conditions or is 1 condition per year the limit?
  • How much money your insurance company will spend per case
  • If your insurance policy changes at all, how will they notify you? i.e. will they be contacting you via text, email or letter?
  • How long you need to have the insurance policy for before making a claim. Many insurance companies state that you must have been with them for at least 2 weeks prior to making a claim
  • Will your insurance company pay for a long-term illness which you have already claimed for from an old insurance company?

Knowing the details of each of the items mentioned above as well as any other exclusions is very important when choosing which insurance company to purchase from. 

The price range for insurance companies will vary

You may be able to group your pet insurance policy with other insurance policies to bring the price down. Grouping your pet insurance with house insurance or holiday insurance may provide an overall discount. Additionally, if you have multiple policies with one brand, you may become more familiar with how best to communicate with them and already be aware of any fine print they add to their policies. 

Researching your policy is very important. Before you make any claims, you should be sure to check out exactly what clauses your insurance policy has. Each policy they have may be different; so speaking to other people who have insurance with that company may not be that reliable. Finding out how well the company communicates and resolves problems could be something useful to hear about from others, so reading reviews could help.

Keep in regular contact with your insurance company

This means you will stay up to date regarding any changes in the amount you are paying per month for insurance. You will also be notified about the best deals and any discounts you might be able to obtain. If you have regular contact, you are more likely to update your contact details as and when you need to. So try not to let your insurance payments slip to the back of your mind. 

Getting estimates from vets and submitting these to your insurance company before going ahead with the treatment plan (when possible) can help you to get a better idea as to whether your insurance company will pay out. Remember, you will often have to pay the money out of your own bank account first and then claim the money back from the insurance company. So if your insurance company refuses to pay, you will suffer the financial consequence. Your vet is able to provide estimates for each treatment and management plan they offer; meaning you should know roughly how much you should expect to pay at the time. If you are worried about the initial payout being too much, find out how long it takes on average for your insurance company to pay out if they need to. 

If you are really worried about using an insurance company, you could put money aside each month for your pet

This means that you have an accumulating amount of money in your bank account. This way, if your pet does get ill, you will be prepared to cover the cost of treatment that insurance would normally pay for. If this method is used, we would recommend taking out insurance for the start of your pet’s life, because you may not have set aside enough money in the first few months to cover the costs for their care if your pet did fall ill. Pets can be expensive and this is something that should be thought about thoroughly prior to purchasing a pet. Nobody is able to predict the amount of money a pet will cost as each pet has very different needs and experiences, so it is important to be aware that if you opt for the saving method, you may not be able to cover all fees. 

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Ultimately, we believe that regulated pet insurance companies will be trustworthy, it is just about finding the insurance policy that suits the needs of you and your pet most appropriately.

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