Pet Insurance

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PET INSURANCE     

 

If you're a pet owner, you will know that veterinarian care is important for the good health of your pets... but that it can also be expensive.

 

Just as our human babies need stitches, vaccinations and emergency care, our furry babies also suffer from illness and injury from time to time. As pets are living longer they also suffer from diseases associated with old age, such as cancer.

 

Treatment is becoming more sophisticated and therefore also more expensive.

 

Pet Insurance helps to bridge that gap and is a form of medical aid for cats, dogs, horses and other pets. There are a few things to consider when applying for pet insurance and a number of questions one should ask, in order to get the best care for your pet and the best value for money.

 

  1. How Does Pet Insurance Work?
  2. How are the premiums calculated for Pet Insurance?
  3. Are there different types of Pet Insurance plans?
  4. Is there a pet medical cover for exotic pets?
  5. Are there age exclusions?
  6. What else should I consider when choosing a Pet Insurance plan?
  7. What is micro-chipping and do all insurance companies require this?
  8. What are the usual health conditions that are covered?

 

1. How Does Pet Insurance Work?


Most pet health insurance plans work by reimbursing you for the cost of veterinary care. After paying the initial cost of your pet’s vet visit, you will need to send the bill and a completed claim form to your pet’s insurance company. Claims are usually processed within a month and the amount claimable is then paid back to you. As in the case of human medical aid, there are exclusions, waiting periods and payout limits. It is a good idea to familiarise yourself with these details.

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2. How are the premiums calculated for Pet Insurance?


Just as we are individuals with different risk factors affecting our own premiums, premiums for Pet Insurance can be determined by risk factors such as where you and your pet live as well as the species, breed, age and sex of your pet.

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3. Are there different types of Pet Insurance plans?


Yes, there are different insurance options. These range from "hospital plans" (accidental cover), to plans covering routine health care e.g. vaccinations, tick and flea control, deworming and day to day health benefits such as illness and chronic disease and comprehensive plans. Each company offers different plans and it is best to thoroughly investigate which policy would benefit you and your pet the most.

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4. Is there a pet medical cover for exotic pets?


Yes there is, though you would have to ask the insurers specifically for exotic pet cover. Most policies available from insurers are designed for dogs , cats and horses. Some companies offer cover for other pets such as a rabbits, hamsters and birds.

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5. Are there age exclusions?


Most policies do not accept puppies under 8 weeks old or dogs over 8 years.

 

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6. What else should I consider when choosing a Pet Insurance plan?


It is important to keep in mind that some pre existing conditions may not be covered or a waiting period will apply. Consider that some procedures have annual limits or co-payments. Co-Payment or excess amounts may vary according to the level of cover that you have selected.

 

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7. What is micro-chipping and do all insurance companies require this?


Micro-chipping is an identification means whereby a chip the size of a grain of rice is implanted in an animal, usually between the shoulder blades. The chip has a unique number on it that can be picked up and read by a scanner. The owner's details are stored on a database, together with unique chip number. It is a realtively painless procedure but an invaluable tool in identifying lost or stolen animals. Not all insurance companies require that pets be micro-chipped or tattooed, so check with the relevant insurer.

 

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8. What are the usual health conditions that are covered?

  • It is always best to check with the relevant insurer as this will vary from company to company and also with level of cover that has been selected . Most conditions that are covered are:
  • Routine Care e.g. vaccinations, deworming, flea and tick control
  • Unforeseen Illness e.g. gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, dermatitis, autoimmune diseases, thyroid problems
  • Accidental injury e.g. foreign body, hit by a car, dog fight
  • Emergency kennelling

 

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