When it comes to pet insurance, there are some important things that need to be considered in order for it to successfully work for you and your pet’s needs.
We have done extensive research when it comes to pet insurance and have put together this article about what you should (and shouldn’t) do when it comes to choosing a great pet insurer.
Pet insurance can save you thousands of rands if your pet ever has a health emergency or an accident. You truly never know what can happen and you don’t want to be caught off guard and have to pay a massive amount of money in vet bills.
The thing is though, it’s vital that you choose the right insurer and a great policy so that you are adequately covered when you need it most.
This blog will outline our list of dos and don’ts when it comes to choosing a pet insurer and a policy.
What you need to DO
Research a variety of pet insurance agencies
Not all pet insurers are created equal.
Take it from us – we’ve seen it all. Make sure you research many different types of insurers because, while some insurers are better than others or more expensive than the next, you need to make sure you’re looking for an insurance agency that offers the best coverage for your pet(s) and your budget.
Make sure you choose a pet insurer that you’re confident in, and that you’ve read through your policy and completely understand it before you join. You don’t want to have to change insurers within a month or two.
Read your policy front to back
Make sure you read absolutely everything in your policy – including any fine print.
Many people end up having unpleasant experiences with their pet insurance providers because they don’t completely understand their policy.
Make sure you understand what would be covered and what types of events are covered, understand how to submit a claim and how you’ll be reimbursed.
The terms and conditions of any policy can be tricky for some, so it’s always advisable that you’re a step ahead and have complete knowledge before entering into any agreements.
Get a health exam beforehand
This one isn’t really a requirement but it’s a good idea.
If you’re insuring a puppy who has already had a couple of health checks and maybe their first vaccination before getting an insurer, that’s great!
If your pet is a little older and you’re now looking for an insurer, a little health check is a fabulous idea. The reason is that, by doing a health check before buying pet insurance, you’ll know exactly how healthy your pet is and you’ll know if any later health issues are recent or due to a pre-existing health condition.
Most insurers avoid covering pre-existing conditions so the health check will at least give you a great indication of what to expect.
Make sure you DON’T do the following
The biggest assumption most people have is, “My pet is healthy, I don’t need pet insurance”.
There is no guarantee that because there is nothing wrong with your pet now, it will stay that way forever. You never know when your pet may fall ill or have a terrible accident so you need to make sure you’re prepared BEFORE any of that happens.
Make sure you get pet insurance when your pet is young or when you first bring them into your home. This way you can avoid struggling to find an insurer or paying ridiculously high premiums when your pet is older or ill.
Don’t assume you are fully covered
This takes us back to “Read your policy front to back”.
You cannot assume that your insurance policy covers every single condition your pet may encounter. There are limits to your coverage and some insurers cover things that others don’t. Make sure you’ve read your potential policy and chatted to your pet insurer to fully grasp what may not be covered.
Don’t choose the cheapest option
Ah, this is a biggie. Many people look for cheap pet insurance. Now, that may sound like a good idea when considering the immediate cost-saving you’ll experience but this will turn into a nightmare down the road.
If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Many cheaper policies do not provide adequate coverage, or they have strict limitations regarding what vets you can go to or which procedures your pet can have.
We’re not saying you need to choose the most expensive pet policy out there, but we are saying that you need to consider what you need before looking for the price point. There are definitely cost-effective pet insurance policies out there that will keep your pet protected.
Don’t buy a pet until you’ve thought through potential medical issues
If you have never owned a pet before, you really need to consider ALL the costs before bringing a furry friend into your home.
From food, to toys, to medical costs, there’s a lot you need to consider before getting a pet. Many pet owners who haven’t truly considered the costs they can incur with their pets can have horrible choices they need to make.
This often leads to pets being left at shelters, having to be put down, or an owner having to fight their bank account to keep their pet healthy.
The stress of this can be avoided by simply creating a pet budget before you get your furry friend, to be able to perhaps even care for some more lovely fur babies out there.
Until next time,
The petinsurance.co.za Team