You’ve heard of car insurance, health insurance, home insurance and even life insurance – but what about  Pet Insurance?
If you’re confused about what pet insurance is and whether you really need it, we’ve put together a guide that will answer all your questions.

What is pet insurance?

Put simply, pet insurance is a regular payment that can be used to help cover the costs of medical treatments for your pet. It is usually carried out in the same method as property insurance – that is, the owner submits a claim to be reimbursed after a pet has received the medical care it needs.

The amount of coverage depends on the insurance policy you choose. Some policies may cover 100% of costs, while others may pay a smaller percentage. Some policies will also pay out in the sad occurrence that your pet dies, or is lost or stolen.

Why do I need pet insurance?

The majority of pet owners will unfortunately experience injuries or illness at least once in their pet’s lifetime. This can often be an emergency situation, in which your pet needs immediate treatment; your dog might have ingested a foreign body, for example, or your cat might have been in an unfortunate accident with a car. On these occasions, a quick trip to the vet is necessary for emergency care.

No matter what the malady, there’s one thing in common with every vet visit these days: it’s very expensive. With advances in technology and treatment have come significant price increases, and it’s becoming harder for the everyday person to afford the hefty vet bills their pets may incur.

Most people love their pets immensely and consider them part of the family, and would be willing to pay any amount to ensure they’re healthy and happy. But from regular medication and overnight vet stays to expensive scans and even emergency surgery, there’s a whole range of expenses that can leave pet owners out of pocket.

That’s where pet insurance comes in. With regular payments, you’ll be making things easier for yourself when it inevitably comes time for a large lump-sum vet bill. As a pet owner, pet insurance will give you some much-needed peace of mind. You know that if anything ever happens to your pet, you’ll be able to get the treatment that’s needed without having to stress about the fees involved.

Most pet insurance policies generally have a cap (often around $10,000 to $15,000), but even if you’re unlucky enough to be faced with a bill that’s larger than that, the portion that will be reimbursed through your insurance will make things a lot easier.

Is pet insurance just for emergency care?

Where pet insurance was once for emergency cover only, some companies are now offering comprehensive care policies. These cover preventative or elective procedures such as vaccinations, worming, desexing and so on. However, you must be sure to read policies carefully so you know exactly what they do and don’t cover.

Something else to be mindful of is whether your policy covers a pre-existing condition. This refers to any health condition that exists before you take out pet insurance, including illnesses, symptoms or signs that occur during any waiting periods involved. Some policies do not cover pre-existing conditions, as they are primarily designed to cover unexpected accidents or illnesses.

For this reason, it’s advisable to take out pet insurance as soon as possible after you get your pet. Most companies will allow you to take out a policy for a pet that’s only a couple of months old, so take advantage of this and ensure your pet is fully protected.