The main reason why people need pet insurance is to cover the cost of vets’ fees.
Vet bills can be hefty and if a pet needs medical care, it can seriously drain owners’ savings or leave them in debt.
That’s where pet insurance can be helpful. Insuring your pets can seem like a luxury product but it may mean your much-loved animal is able to have the medical treatment he or she needs.
In fact, for many owners, it’s not a luxury but a necessity: studies show as many as one in three policyholders make a claim.
Buying the insurance is relatively simple. It’s usually done over the phone, online or through a broker and it’s no longer a specialist area, most of the major insurers offer the cover.
There are lots of different policies and it’s important to choose the one that covers your pets’ needs.
There’s no point buying a basic policy if you want it to pay for alternative treatments, such as homeopathy for your dog, for example.
Likewise, there’s no need to pay for a fully comprehensive pricey policy if you just want to cover the big stuff, such as major medical expenses at home and abroad and liability insurance.
Changing your policy
During the term of the policy and your pet’s lifetime, your circumstances may change and your pet may develop different needs.
When this happens, it may be time to look again at your policy details and decide if it’s still the right cover for you.
Tell your insurer the changes you wish to make to the cover and in some cases, your insurer may be able to extend the policy to cover what you ask for, at little or no extra cost.
Cancelling your policy
If you change your mind and no longer want the insurance, many policies give you an automatic right to cancel within 14 days of purchase.
This is often called the “cooling-off period”. If you cancel during the cooling-off period, you will receive a full refund for the premiums you have paid, providing you haven’t made a claim.
The insurer may charge you a small administration fee to cover the paperwork involved with the cancellation.
After the 14 days has elapsed, you can usually still cancel your policy at anytime but you won’t receive a refund for any premiums you have paid up until the date of cancelling.
You need to contact your insurer as soon as you wish to cancel the policy: don’t just stop paying premiums.