I believe that for many people pet Insurance is one of the best things you can
do for your pet. Pet Insurance does buy peace of mind that when your pet
gets sick or injured (and lets face it, it is only a matter of time), you can afford
the best treatment. Unfortunately vets are often having to euthanise pets or
compromise on treatment due to financial constraints.
This is not good for the pet, the pet owner or the vet.
Veterinary Science has come a long way in the 25years i have been a vet.
Many veterinary practises, including ours, have all sorts of wonderful
instruments like ultrasound machines, digital radiology, endoscopes,
electrocardiograms and so on.
In addition, new treatments like chemotherapy and radioactive therapy for
cancer, immunotherapy for allergic animals and gene therapy to restore
damaged joints are now available. The problem is that all these wonderful
treatments cost money and some are extremely expensive.
A few things to keep in mind, most insurance companies won’t start a new
policy on pets over 8 years of age. This is because on average they loose
money on old pets. They will also not provide cover for pre-existing
conditions. For example, if your pet gets dermatitis once, and you then try to
get pet insurance, you will probably have an exclusion placed on your policy
for skin conditions. This is why i think the best time to get pet insurance is as
soon as possible.
I have never heard a client say that they regretted getting their pet insured. I
have heard several say that they wish they had. This article is not intended to
promote any particular insurance company, just the concept.
However, when looking for pet insurance, there are a couple of things i would
make sure of;
1. There is no dollar limit per disease over the term of the pets life. All
insurance companies have a yearly limit, but some have ceilings per
disease. This is important because many diseases like diabetes or
eczema may not be curable. If your insurance policy has a limit of say
$4000 per disease, this may be used up in a year or two. You will be left
high and dry for that condition.
2. Some companies can provide various levels of cover to suit your needs.
you could alter the level of cover according to the life stage of your pet.
3. If you are insuring a dog, make sure that both cruciate ligaments are
covered ie. if you make a claim on a ruptured cruciate ligament and your
dog later ruptures the other cruciate ligament (as often happens) you
need to make sure that the second one will be covered under your policy
4. Diagnostics are covered ever when no definitive diagnosis is made.
If you would like a recommendation for a good pet insurance company,
please feel free to phone us on 9799 1479.
By Dr Philip McConachy BVSc