New pet – need pet insurance?

July 7, 2015

Many of us get very attached to our pets and try our best to protect and care for them. However, like us, pets can have accidents and get sick too. To help prevent paying costly veterinary bills it might be worth taking out pet insurance but before you do, we have some things for you to think about:

What cover do I need?

There are a number of types of cover you can get for your pet. These include “Accident only” which covers accidental injuries, for example if your dog is hit by a car. “Lifetime cover” will cover illnesses or injuries which require treatment for several years over the lifetime of your pet. However before choosing cover check what the policy covers and what it doesn’t. For instance, vet fees for illness or injury and rewards for lost or stolen pets are normally included in pet insurance policies while anything related to birth or pregnancy is not.

How can I get the best deal on my pet insurance?

Ask your vet if they can give you advice on what cover you should get for your pet. They will know more about the animal and what medical conditions they may be prone to. This will help you focus on getting the cover you need rather than paying for cover you don’t need. You can shop around either online or over the phone to see what cover matches up with your needs. Find out more ways to get the best deal on your pet insurance.

If I need to make a claim what should I look out for?

If you have to make a claim, you will have to pay an excess fee. The excess is the first part of the claim that you need to pay yourself. For example, if the excess is €90, you will have to pay that amount towards treating each illness or injury. Some policies may charge you more if your pet reaches a certain age, for instance if you have a dog over eight years old. Premiums can vary on renewal anyway but sometimes it may be as a result of a claim you made.

Can I cancel my insurance policy?

If you have changed your mind and decide that you want to cancel your pet insurance, you have 14 days to do so from when the contract starts. During this time your insurer must give you a full refund, less any pro-rata deduction for any period of time you were actually insured. In addition, you may be charged an administrative fee. Any administration charges should be set out in the terms of business which are given to you when a product or service is sold to you.

If you want to cancel during the period of cover, you may have to pay the rest of the annual premium anyway or you may not get much or anything back if you paid up front. It is worth taking time when researching policies to see what the terms and conditions are if you do want to cancel your cover at a later date.

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