Pet Insurance Advice

More than half of UK households have a pet in residence. Cats seem to be the most popular pets at 8 million with dogs not far behind in number at 6 million. There are about 3500 veterinary practices that specialise in treating every type of animal from horses and cows to ferrets and hamsters.

Veterinary practices are improving their services all the time and as human medicine progresses some of the diagnostic techniques and treatments find their way into veterinary practice. Most practices now have wide ranging facilities such as hospitalisation with general anaesthetic facilities and ultrasound scanning. Treatment costs do not come cheap and repairing broken bones, for example, can be costly. It is not surprising therefore that more and more pet owners are taking out insurance policies. A range of policies are available for dogs, cats and exotics, and vary in level of cover offered and cost. Please remember to read the small print.

When To Take Out A Policy
Ideally take out a life-cover policy as soon as possible, as any pre-existing conditions will not be covered. Read the small print carefully and take particular notice of the terms and conditions that will explain what is and what is not covered together with any excess payments that may be required.

What Do You Get For Your Money?
In general, diagnosis and treatment for any accident, injury, or illness, will be covered by the policy, as long as there are no exclusions and pre-existing conditions on the policy. Pre-existing conditions will almost certainly be excluded.

As in human medicine a very large number of sophisticated diagnostic tests are available. Some will require the services of a laboratory, for example blood and urine samples to aid diagnosis by the Veterinary Surgeon. X-rays and ultrasound scanning are other commonly used diagnostic procedures. Rapid diagnosis is vitally important in the treatment of any illness and diagnostic tests may have to be carried out at intervals to monitor the response to treatment.

Major surgery maybe expensive. An insurance policy in these circumstances will bring peace of mind.

Conditions requiring more specialist attention may have to be referred to specialist referral centre, where more advanced treatment is carried out. This will also be expensive.

Third Party Liability
This is an important benefit to protect pet owners against being sued if their pet causes damage or injury. This can be either a dog biting a person or a cat causing a road accident.

Premium Levels
As with most types of insurance premiums will vary according to risk. A valuable pedigree will command a much higher premium than cross breeds. Post Codes will also be taken into account and proximity to built up areas of towns and cities.

Exclusions
Routine and preventive care will be excluded, including neutering and parasite prevention. All pre-existing conditions are usually excluded .

Summary
Pet insurance has become much more popular in recent years and there are a variety of plans to choose from. The National British Small Animal Veterinary Association endorses the concept of Pet Health Insurance and almost all veterinary practices display Pet Insurance leaflets and actively recommend it. The ongoing progress of veterinary medicine means that costs will continue to rise. An insurance policy is a sensible way in which to begin planning for unforeseen bills that could be very significant.