Insuring your pet against any unforeseen accidents, illnesses or other emergencies is vital to making sure that you can get your pet the veterinary treatment or help than they need, when they need it. Pet insurance, like good quality pet food and investing in your pet’s ongoing wellbeing by making sure they are vaccinated, flea treated and wormed, is one area of pet care where the cheapest options is not always the best choice, and can in fact prove more costly in the long term. Taking out the cheapest available policy which offers the lowest amount of financial coverage in the event that you need to make a claim can be counter-intuitive, and soon prove to be a serious false economy when compared to the additional cost of paying a couple of pounds per month more for a better and more inclusive policy. Nevertheless, that being said there are still several ways in which you can potentially reduce the cost of your pet’s insurance policy, and save some money in the long term without compromising on coverage when you need it most. Read on for our five top tips for keeping the cost of your pet insurance policy down.
In insurance terms, your excess or ‘co-pay’ refers to the amount of money that you yourself will have to contribute to the cost of your pet’s treatment before your insurance coverage will kick in to protect you. This means that when you take your pet to the vet, treatment that comes in under a certain cost threshold will be paid by you, the client, personally, and treatments that cost more than this threshold will be covered by the insurer- but you will still have to pay the initial amount up to the total of the threshold.Generally, when you take out your pet insurance policy, you will be offered a range of options to choose your own excess. This varies from insurer to insurer, but generally falls somewhere between the £50 and £200 mark, although some insurers also offer an option to have zero excess, meaning that they will pay the full amount of treatment with no lower cost threshold.The value of the excess that you select can directly affect the cost of your policy provision- the higher the excess you select, the lower your policy will become. Remember though that when deciding upon what excess to take, you will need to have the money to hand to cover the amount of your excess in the event of an emergency if you need to.
If you have more than one pet, even if they are of different species, insuring them with the same insurer can usually save you money. Most insurers offer a discount of 5% to 10% for insuring more than one pet with them, even if you don’t take out your policy for both pets at the same time.
Generally, one of the first questions that you are asked when filling in a pet insurance form with your animal’s details, is whether or not they are microchipped and for details of the microchip number. Policies for microchipped pets are cheaper than for pets without a chip, as microchipping can go a long way towards helping to reunite pet with owner in the event of loss or theft. Similarly, having a collar on your dog or cat clearly showing your contact details and indicating that your pet is microchipped can also help.
Having your pet spayed or neutered is a good idea for many reasons, and insurance is just one of them. Unless you have a good quality pedigree pet that you intend to breed from, having your animals spayed or neutered should be standard procedure for all pet owners. Pets that are spayed or neutered are less likely to stray, and spaying or neutering reduces the risk factors for a range of various diseases and conditions which entire pets are more likely to contract. All of this means that insurance policies for spayed and neutered pets cost less than for pets that are entire.
One of the best ways to save money on the long-term cost of your pet insurance and your pet’s veterinary treatments overall, is to take good care of their health from day one and not wait until things go wrong to act. Feeding a good quality diet, keeping your pet wormed and protected against fleas, making sure their vaccinations are up to date and taking care of their teeth and dental health may all cost money in the short term, but can potentially save a fortune down the line. All of these everyday costs and responsibilities of pet ownership are things that should be factored into the overall cost of taking care of your pet, and can reduce the likelihood of your pet needing veterinary treatment in the future. This helps to keep your policy renewal costs down, and the cost that you have to pay out of pocket towards your pet’s healthcare for uninsured problems such as dental treatment due to poor oral care to a minimum.