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Pet Health Insurance: Cats

Some frequently asked questions:

What is Pet Insurance?

We all want the best for our pets, especially if they are unwell and in some cases pet insurance helps us provide this for our pets, if we would otherwise not have been able to afford treatments. Pet insurance is a form of insurance which allows people to get access to the best medical and surgical treatment for their pets, without having to worry about the cost, should the need arise, a little like personal private health insurance.

Could I not pay for the treatment myself?

Yes, but some veterinary procedures can be very expensive. For example spinal surgery for a spinal problem caused by an accident or due to age is about £3,000 - £4,500, effective cancer treatment may cost £2,000 - £4,000 per year, correct diagnosis and treatment for skin problems could be £1,000, mending a broken leg could be £1,000.

Don’t worry most veterinary procedures and treatments are not so costly but if your pet is unlucky then it can sometimes be very expensive to treat their problems properly.

If you have enough money to cover the unexpected you may not need pet insurance. Personal circumstances can change, so if this becomes no longer the case it may be worth reassessing if pet insurance is for you.

As vets and veterinary nurses, we find it very distressing and sad trying to treat badly injured or very ill pets when the very best tests and procedures that are needed cannot be carried out due to the constraints of cost. We always endevour do our best to help in these situations with different cheaper options but insurance can relieve the worries and strains that this causes both for owners and staff alike.

What insurance should I buy?

Like any insurance it pays to shop around. Make sure the policy is a "lifetime" policy. This means that any condition they develp continues to be covered for by the insurance for the rest of their lives. For example: Your pet develops an ear infection that resolves with treatment but 2yrs later they develop another ear infection - you want a policy that will again pay for this second treatment course. So many policies are for 12 months only and in this case the second treatment would not be paid for by the insurance company.

Make sure it is a good, legitimate, well known pet insurance company. If in doubt please feel free to ask us. We can give you guidelines and advice but we can not advise you of which specific company to use. Check online - put the name of your potential company provider into a search engine and ask if anyone has experienced problems with this policy when claiming. Word of mouth is also a very valuable tool to decide which company to use - ask fellow pet owners if they use an insurance company and if they would recommend them.

We are no longer allowed to discuss different insurances for a particular pet with a client. If we do we are classified as an insurance broker and can be fined! We can only discuss policies and providers if we have recieved individual training my the company, so we have chosen and recieved training from Petplan and can discuss these policies with you. However, we do not work on commision and they are a totally seperate company from ourselves.

Petplan offers insurance for dogs, cats, rabbits and horses. For other species, such as your Guinea pig, other small mammals and birds, your parrot, snake, lizard, tortoise or bird of prey check out  Exotic Direct Pet Insurance  who may be able to offer you cover.

Are All Insurance Policies The Same - Like Car Insurance?

Sadly no, pet insurance policies vary greatly in their cost and what they cover, how long they give this cover for and the amount they will pay out. Some policies change as the pet ages – for example will start to only pay a percentage of the total treatment cost as your pet gets older and some clients don’t realise this and can be left to settle a large outstanding bill which can be upsetting for everyone involved. Do take time to look around at different policy types in insurers - se an example of a guide from Petplan.

When Should I Take Out Insurance?

Straight away! Ideally as soon as you get your pet, whilst they are fit and well. If your pet has had any illness they will be excluded from future claims. For example if your puppy or kitten has or gets an ear infection before it is insured then no insurance company will cover your pet for any ear problems in the future.

David30 years ago..... (David Higginson MRCVS remembers)

No one had pet insurance. To some extent no one needed it as treatments were limited. Veterinary medicine for pets was still in it's infancy. Effective drugs without side effects were rare. Anaesthetics were risky. There were few useful blood tests available. In fact the situation in pet practice was little different from James Herriot's days in the thirties. Pet insurance is vital nowadays as, without it, few owners would be able to afford proper treatment for their pets.

Written by William John Davies BVM&S MRCVS and Samantha Purcell BVSc MRCVS, Daisy Street Vets, Blackburn, December 2014.

Daisy Street Vets, Covering Blackburn, Burnley and Preston.

Page updated 17th Jul 2017, 10:30
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