Dog Veterinary Insurance

Dog Veterinary Insurance - Cover, Exclusions, Eligibility and Costs

Many owners are so excited about the presence of their new dog in their home that they forget about providing for the cost of veterinary treatments which may be required in the future. Dog veterinary insurance is designed to help you with paying for any treatments that may be necessary. With the average vet bill in the UK being £130 and with vet fees increasing by nearly 12 per cent per annum, the purchase of such a policy makes great sense financially. More importantly, it will allow you to guarantee your pet's wellbeing no matter what happens. Find out everything about this type of policy in this guide.

The Cover

Dog vet insurance is specifically designed to cover the veterinary treatments which your pet may require in case it gets ill or injured. Basically, the insurer will pay your vet bills for you. The typical policy is quite comprehensive. It covers all sorts of treatments from the basic medication ones to the ones involving surgery and a long recovery period. Dental treatment is included in the plans available from most companies. Hospitalisation is usually covered as well. In many cases, insurance companies offer to pay for complementary therapies, if they are prescribed by your veterinarian.

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Exclusions

The treatment of all kinds of illnesses and injuries is covered by the standard dog vet insurance. However, there are some pet-specific and general exclusions to the typical policy. Pre-existing conditions are not covered. In some cases, it may be possible to include a cured pre-existing condition a year or more after the inception of the policy. Many hereditary conditions are excluded from the typical plans as well. However, these are not the same with every insurer. Check exactly what your pet will not be covered for in advance. Any illness or injury that your pet suffers 14 or 30 days after the inception of the dog vet insurance policy will not be covered. The exact period may vary from company to company and from product to product. Still, most policies have a 14-day period. Preventive and cosmetic treatments are typically excluded from dog vet insurance. These include vaccinations, flea control treatments and often teeth tartar removal. Spaying and castration are usually not covered either. The same applies to any veterinary assistance necessary during whelping.

Eligibility

The standard dog vet insurance plans are designed for young and adult pets. Small pups and old canines will typically not be covered. Most companies offer policies for dogs aged 8 weeks to 8 years of age. The lower limit may be 6 weeks while the upper one can be extended to 10 years. It is possible for some companies to set no upper age limit, but this is rare. There are specific policies for pups available via breeders and special plans for senior dogs. Dogs from some breeds cannot be covered. Each company has a list of exclusions. Usually, the breeds defined in the Dangerous Dogs Act are not eligible for veterinary insurance. Working dogs including sheepdogs, gundogs and assistance dogs cannot usually be covered with dog vet insurance policies designed for pets. There are policies designed especially for them.

Levels of Dog Vet Insurance

Lifetime policies offer the highest level of insurance. You can keep the policy for as long as necessary provided that you renew it every year. You will be able to use a set amount of annual cover. You can make multiple claims on the treatments of as many illnesses and injuries as necessary up to this set limit. Per-condition dog vet insurance comes with a set cover limit per condition. The cover limit is the same for all illnesses and injuries. Most often, you will not be able to make multiple claims per condition. Consider carefully the restrictions of this type of policy if you decide to go for it. To avoid paying out of your pocket for treatments that exceed the limit per condition, you should consider buying more coverage. Usually, you can add from £1,000 to £3,000 to the maximum available with a standard plan of this kind. Time-limited dog vet insurance has per-condition caps plus time caps. You will not be able to use the cover to pay your vet bills once the maximum for the respective condition is reached or once the validity of the policy expires. It depends on which event occurs first. In general, this is the least flexible of all levels of pet insurance so it is worth considering its limitations and not only its fairly low price.

Cost

The premium of any dog vet insurance will depend on the level of cover, the amount of cover purchased and on the general comprehensiveness of the policy. The company will also take into account your location and the breed, age and health status of your pet. These factors may affect the size of the excess fees which you will have to pay.

Buying Dog Vet Insurance

Collect and compare dog vet insurance quotes from various policy providers. Consider any discounts and any extra benefits available. Go for a policy that matches your individual needs and budget. Read the terms and conditions of the policy carefully before making the purchase.