Compare Pet Insurance – For Value Not Price

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When you compare pet insurance, what are the main things you look for? Are you just looking for the lowest pet insurance premiums?

Obviously, there is no point in paying more money than you need to – especially these days when we all need to economise and cut down. But the problem is that with some pet policies, paying a lower premium for your cover could result in your having to pay out a lot more when you actually need to make an insurance claim.

So you want to compare pet insurance. When comparing, what are the main factors you should be looking out for?

• Excesses. One way that pet insurance companies keep premiums down is by imposing higher excesses. An excess is the part of a claim you have to pay yourself. Some excesses are quoted as flat amounts, e.g. £100 per claim, others are quoted in percentage terms. A percentage excess can be a problem in the case of a very expensive treatment – for instance, if a treatment cost £4,000 and there was a 15% excess, you would have to find £600 before the insurance would pay out.

• Limitations of insurance cover. Policies with the lowest premiums often provide the most limited range of cover. For instance they may limit payouts to, say, £4,000 per condition for one year only. This would mean that if your pet developed a condition that continued for several years, you would be on your own after the first year.

• Exclusions. The cheaper the policy the more exclusions it is likely to have. So it is essential to make sure you know what these exclusions are before making a decision and taking out the policy. For instance some policies exclude “age-related conditions” – which could cover almost anything! If your pet belongs to a particular breed, you need to check whether the policy excludes conditions to which that breed is particularly susceptible.

• Age limits. With a cheaper policy you may find if you are not careful that your pet is not covered after it reaches a certain age. This could turn out to be extremely expensive as obviously the pet is more liable to suffer from illnesses as it gets older. Some also impose age bands – that is, the premiums automatically increase every few years.

The point of this is that when you compare pet insurance, you should be looking for the best value policy, rather than the cheapest policy. Some lower-cost policies do in fact offer very good value for money, but there isn’t much point in trying to save money on pet insurance premiums if you end up paying out much more in the end when you need to claim. The answer is – look very carefully at the small print of each policy, weigh up all the different factors, and decide what your priorities are in choosing pet insurance. This will help you find the policy that best meets your needs – and, of course, the needs of your pet.

Sean Horton is a Director of www.petquote.co.uk who provide comprehensive and affordable pet insurance. Compare Pet Insurance

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