Pet Insurance FAQs
Pet Insurance is a short term insurance product which entered South African Market in 1992, and only having the second competitor entering the market in 2007, shows that there was a relatively slow uptake in the beginning. Oneplan Pet Insurance has been a trusted Pet Insurance provider for over a decade.
Pets and everything related to them, fashion, nutrition, fitness, lifestyle and their health care has recently boomed as a trend across the world. Pets have also become like children to most humans and with the responsibility growing as pet parents, people are realising that pet insurance is a necessity to ensure that you are equipped for those unexpected vet bills and getting your pet better quickly without having to worry if you can afford it.
Pet Insurance differs in product offerings across insurers but the main things to look out for when choosing the right plan for you and your pet would be your benefit copayments or sub limits, exclusions, and excesses as these can come as a nasty surprise when claiming.
Other important factors to consider would be how often do you visit the vet and which benefits and cover amounts will help you cover those costs.
Pet Insurance in most cases is split into two types namely, day to day cover and in hospital or vet admission.
Day to Day Benefits cover consultations with the vet, routine care, vaccinations, spaying, neutering, dental and more.
It also allows you to have peace of mind in affording those unexpected potential life-saving surgeries or treatments. Without pet insurance, this can become very pricey.
You have chosen the purrfect policy for your pets now it is important to read the policy wording and make sure you understand how each of the benefits work and what the claim limits are per claim and what your overall annual limit is on the entire policy per pet.
This will help you when you put in your first claim or ask for your first vet admission pre-authorisation.
Each insurer processes claims differently, 99% of them ask you to pay and then submit the invoice and they refund you.
With Oneplan you can use their app and Onecard and request for the funds for a vet visit or routine care claim to be paid upfront, yup they give you the money upfront to swipe, pay and use after your consultation, all you have to do is snap a photo of the invoice and attach it to the claim in the app.
Now for the serious stuff: When your pet needs to be admitted or stay over it is important to get hold of your pet insurance authorisation team to get a pre-authorisation, so that you know if everything will be covered when your pet is in hospital. It is important to do this before they are admitted as you don’t want any surprise bills, when they are discharged and back in your arms with a wagging tail.
A Vet Bill or Vet Invoice information is important. You need to make sure that all the vet’s details and practice number are on the invoice. The invoice needs to be detailed with medication, what was done and what your pet was treated for. The invoice must also show your pets’ name, your name, and if the bill has been paid or not. This way you will get your claim settled and closed much quicker by your pet insurance claims team.
Pet Parent Note: Benefits are paid according to the insurance company’s Benefit Schedule based on the South African Veterinary Council Guideline of Fees.
Don’t hold back, ask all your pet insurance questions, so that you know exactly what you are covered for and when to use it – there are no silly questions! The more questions you ask, the easier it will be to find the right pet insurer and pet plan for you and your furry best friend(s).
It’s the time to talk about your pet like you’ve never spoken about them before, the more information you provide about your pets, the more accurate your insurance policy will be. This will benefit you as you will know what is excluded from the beginning OR when you will be able to claim for something that is excluded at first. This is something to ask about when doing your comparisons.
Being 100% transparent will ensure that claims won’t be rejected and that your pet will get the health cover they need for pre-existing, congenital or hereditary conditions.
It is essential that you take your time to go through the various pet insurance options available to you. Not only are there many different companies out there, but there are also a lot of different plans available, and once you choose your pet plan it is good to stick with your company, as your pet gets older it is more difficult to move them as there are age limits and your waiting periods you have served would fall away.
An example: Oneplan has a 12 month waiting period for pre-existing, hereditary and congenital conditions but after 12 months this is covered up to the plan annual and benefit amounts. Some pet insurers exclude this for the entire lifetime of the policy after you claim once.
Doing research and chatting to friends who have pet insurance will help you get more knowledge and understand what the right plans is to choose, and which insurer will be the best protector and fit of your pets health.