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Pet insurance covers your dog or cat for a range of accidental injuries and illnesses. Depending on the policy you select, your pet may be covered for accidental injury/illness or they may also be covered for preventative care such as routine vaccination, dentistry and parasite prevention.
Things you need to know:
* Most companies will cover 80% of the total claim.
* Many will have an excess, this can vary from $0 up to $500.
* Excesses may be per claim for a condition or per calendar year.
* Most vets will require you to pay up front for your pets’ treatment, then claim on the insurance, so you will still need to be able to initially cover the costs.
* Many policies will have breed exclusions such as for hip problems in breeds prone to hip dysplasia or heart disease in certain breeds. Check the fine print.
* If your pet has previously been diagnosed with a condition, it may be considered a pre-existing condition.
* Many pets over 8 years of age may be more difficult to insure.
* There are usually discounts if you have other insurance policies with the insurer.
* Additional pets are usually discounted.
* Some polices help with legal costs should your pet injure a 3rd party (such as a human or animal via road trauma or bite injury).
* If your pet is lost or stolen some insurance policies can offer a reward to the finder.
Things to consider
* Look for a pet insurance company that is easy to use, easy to understand and easy to contact
* Look for policies that are easy to understand and spell everything out simply. Make sure that you read your policies and fully understand everything that you are covered for and also everything that you aren’t covered for. All companies have customer service lines, make the call and check that all of your needs are covered. Write a checklist before you call to ensure you get all your questions answered.
* Research your possible pet insurance company and their underwriters. Do they have a good reputation? Chat to your vet or people you know who have pet insurance.
* Sign up while your pet is young. Many people sign up once something has gone wrong. Be prepared and do your research before you need it!