Pet medical insurance is vital

Whether it’s an illness, injury or unforeseen incident, have you considered the costs of veterinary care? With advancements in animal medicine, pets can be treated for several illnesses, and even saved after a serious accident, but the costs can be significant. Don’t let saving your dog’s life come down to what you can or can’t afford. Consider pet medical insurance for peace of mind and the wellbeing of your new puppy.

The fine print

  • In most cases, puppies are covered from six to eight weeks of age. Senior pets may be covered, but there could be some exclusions.
  • Companies may offer discounts for second and third pets on the same policy, or a discount if you pay the year’s premiums upfront.
  • There are different levels of cover. Some products are geared for emergencies only, while others do cover illnesses, and may contribute to day-to-day expenses, like vaccinations, deworming and dental care. Always read the fine print, so you know exactly what is covered.
  • Don’t base your final decision on price alone – consider what you’d get for the money.
  • There may be a waiting period, based on any pre-existing conditions your dog may have, or some procedures or illnesses could be excluded from cover in specific breeds.
  • Chronic medication may or may not be covered, or there may be a waiting period.
  • In most cases, your dog’s vaccinations would need to be up-to-date at the inception date of the policy.
  • Some companies also require mandatory micro-chipping prior to the inception date.
  • Once the insurer receives your claim, they collate the information and calculate the amount for reimbursement. An excess amount may be stimulated on the policy. This amount, together with any excluded amounts, will be deducted and you will be refunded the balance.
  • There may be a limit on the amounts payable for various treatments.

Real life story: INJURY

When Alberto Pepler adopted a Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy, he wasn’t sure if he wanted to take out pet medical insurance. Still in two minds, Alberto started a savings account and later used the money to take out pet medical insurance, paying up the year’s premiums in advance.

Just six months later, Tyson started limping and after some initial physiotherapy, Alberto was advised to take him to a veterinarian for x-rays. The results were serious. Tyson had a torn ligament in one knee and a severed ligament in the other. He required expensive surgery to fix the problem. Tyson underwent two knee operations and Alberto was refunded the money. Tyson is now three years old and fully recovered. “It’s a no-brainer for me now,” says Alberto. “I’m planning to get another puppy and I’ll sign up for pet insurance as soon as possible.”

Real life story: ACCIDENT & ILLNESS

Deborah Fenton signed up for pet medical insurance for her three dogs – two older Great Danes, Licorish and Titan (both eight at the time) and a two-year-old Great Dane, India. Just a few months later, Titan was involved in a fight with another male, resulting in a hefty vet bill for Deborah, which was covered. Later, Deborah noticed that Licorish was struggling with several senior issues and took her to the vet for a check-up. Various scans and x-rays revealed a bladder infection and arthritis, and Licorish received treatment. A number of the claims were settled. “The claiming process has been very smooth,” says Deborah. “The money was paid into my account within a few days.”

 

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