What Does Excess Mean in Pet Insurance? | Terms Explained

Pet insurance lingo can be rather tricky to navigate. Suddenly, you’re exposed to daunting terminology and uncommon policy phrases. But all that confusion ends today because we’ve basically gone and written a personal pet insurance dictionary – just for you!

You’ve got to get with the lingo

We would hate to think that there are paw-parents out there that genuinely seek out adequate care for their pets but get deterred by all the terminology associated with it, especially given the fact that browsing the internet in search of the perfect pet insurer can be incredibly tedious.

On top of that, it’s a whole other job reading through the policy document. Although pet insurers do generally try their best to keep the heavy jargon to a minimum, it is still a legal document. This means you’re going to come across some new terms. But before you let that deter you from taking out pet health insurance, remember this: you owe it to your pet to understand the lingo.

Pet insurance is truly the gateway to exceptional veterinarian care for your fur baby. So, the least you can do for your pet is read this blog.

Let’s break down the jargon

Now, as much as we would like to go through every single term that you will encounter as you go through your policy wording document, that would be impossible.

Remember that the aim here is to break down all the major terms! So, grab your glasses, your notepad, and maybe your pet (so you’re reminded why you’re doing this) and let’s demystify some common pet insurance terms.

Here are some common pet insurance terms:

So, what does excess mean in pet insurance?

This is the agreed-upon maximum amount that you will have to pay towards the cost of each and every claim when your insurance pays out.

Accidental injury

An unexpected or sudden injury that happens to your pet. This can range from your pet hurting their paw to being hit by a car.


Co-payments are typically the percentage of a claim that you (the policyholder) will have to pay in addition to the excess amount. (Also, don’t worry, we’ll explain excess in a second)


When you claim, you are essentially requesting to be compensated by your insurance team for a financial loss that you made. To put it simply: you’re telling your pet insurer to foot the bill


This is a restriction on your pet’s insurance coverage where your insurer will not pay for the claim. In this case, you will have to cover these costs out of pocket.

Pre-existing condition

A pre-existing condition refers to an illness or injury that has visible signs that were known before the insurance policy was activated.

Policy document

Dare we say, this is one of the most important documents you will have when you take out pet insurance. This is a legally binding contract that documents everything that you need to know about your pet’s coverage. Study it. Learn it. Live by it.


Now, contrary to popular belief, your pet baby isn’t actually the policyholder. It’s you! You are essentially entering into the contract on behalf of your pet, meaning you are the one holding the insurance policy.


The amount of money that you will pay either annually or as a monthly instalment to cover your pet insurance policy.


Treatments refer to medical or wellness intervention that are required to help your fur baby. This can include things like medication, surgery, x-rays, and examinations.

How Oneplan is doing things differently

We’re seriously impressed by Oneplan’s (our pet insurance partner) pet policy wording document. They have written and rewritten that document many times to ensure that it is not only easy to read but understandable for pet parents, too.

Gone are the long-winded sentences and the snooze-fest that you’d usually associate with terms and conditions documents. It’s (relatively) short and to the point. As insurance should be.

So, if you decide to get Oneplan’s Pet Insurance cover, don’t feel intimidated by the thought of having to read through this document because it will be one of the easiest things you do!

And if you do happen to stumble upon something that you don’t understand or aren’t sure of, make sure to get in contact with their pet insurance experts. They’re super friendly! Plus, you already have something in common – your mutual love of animals!

You can either call them or get their team to call you, and they’ll make the process as easy and simple for you (and your fur baby) as possible. Find out more at www.oneplan.co.za

Until next time, for more not so average pet insurance advice,

The petinsurance.co.za team