Something I get asked about from time to time.
From what I have seen and heard it's needed, as the treatment for your beloved pet is often more expensive than your own medical treatments.
I'm not going to recommend a particular provider, as these policies change from time to time and I'm not on a notification list for changes to keep this up to date. All pet insurance policies are sold directly to you or though vets, it's not something we can provide or sell presently.
If you want to know which one has the least hassle for claims, I suggest you have a chat with your vet, as they will be the one assisting you at claim time. If they find a particular provider that pays them and gives them the least grief and hassle, they're likely to be the one you go with for similar reasons.
Ok so what's the go, do you buy a basic policy and muddle along, or do you buy the top of the line one and avoid the hassles. To be fair, based on breed and your budget, it's likely going to end up something in between.
The issue is not so much the amount of cover per year, the fish hook in pet insurance is the lifetime cost claimable per condition.
Reading the various policies there was one clear theme across the board. While the policy had $x per year of cover for your pet, that level of cover was limited to that $x amount for a particular condition treated for the lifetime of the animal.
What this means is a cover may have $10,000 per year of coverage, if your pup develops something, say cancer, then you're going to have $10,000 maximum for cancer treatment for the life of your pup, be that $10,000 this year or $1,000 per year over ten years, once you hit that limit per condition there's no more cover.
And like your own medical insurance, moving or changing to a new plan at that point, is likely to have exclusions or increased costs.
If your dog has multiple unrelated issues in one year, then the annual limit may get hit in that year, but you will have cover of the annual limit per condition for the life time of your pet, which may still be manageable and certainly useful.
Another fish hook that needs to be weighed up is the annual renewable nature of the policy. More like the approach to car insurance than you own personal medical insurance. Based on the situation at renewal the insurance company can modify the terms and conditions and also premiums. They can also choose not to renew cover. Which is an obvious concern. However, insurance companies typically don't enact these provisions as they create reputational risk for them, which is bad for business.
My point, to draw your attention to the fact that the coverage can have some surprising limitations.
So what do you do?
I suggest you take the policy that gives you the highest annual cover for your budget. Plain and simple.
If you have a breed that does have a tendency to develop conditions, then bite the bullet and get the top policy, it'll likely save you money in the long term.
If you have a breed that's pretty healthy and doesn't develop 'breed' conditions then going for the top policy may not be needed, but you now understand the risks better to make an informed decision.
Do the research, check the different policies and prices out, talk to your vets about their experience and don't go with the first one because it's the easiest, though it may be the right one after checking around.
If you're confused and need some help, give us a call, we're happy to chat about what you're looking at and assist where we can.
Since writing this article, one of the provider options you can get access to is Pet-N-Sur. This link https://petnsur.co.nz/newparkgroup to their site will give you access to the same premium rates available if you purchase this direct from a vet who resells their products, from the convenience of your armchair. We've not done a recent comparison of cover so we are not recommending this cover, nor do we receive any
We've not done a recent comparison of pet insurance cover since writing this article and we are not recommending Pet-N-Sur's insurance cover, nor do we receive any remuneration by providing this link. However, we feel where there are discounts available that would otherwise not impact your cover decision you should grab them.
So on review, if you feel Pet-N-Sur is the product for you, make sure you utilise the link above to pick up any additional discounts available to you!
The information is only intended to be of a general nature and should not be relied upon in any part without obtaining full details of the products and services. All product and service details, terms, conditions and other information are subject to change at any time without notice. Terms, conditions and fees apply to the various products and services. A disclosure document will be provided to you on request free of charge. Pet insurance is not a product we sell or source and this assessment is solely an opinion relevant to the information available at time of posting.