A simples guide

Are vet fees covered through my pet insurance?

You might think of pet insurance as something that will cover you if your pet needs to see a vet. However, it may not be as simple as that, as there are certain treatments which will almost certainly be excluded from cover; while whether you can claim for certain treatments will depend on the type of policy you have.


Fees associated with going to the vets

The things that could land you with vet bills are many and varied, and include:

  • Surgery
  • Dental treatment
  • Accommodation for overnight stays at a treatment facility
  • Medicines
  • Spay treatment for infections
  • Vaccinations
  • X-rays
  • Blood tests and other routine examinations
  • Castrations and neutering
  • Microchipping
  • Pedicures
  • And if the very worst happens, the costs of having your pet put down

Examples of more specialised treatment for which you might have to pay vet fees include:

  • Skin care treatments
  • Physiotherapy
  • Eye treatments
  • Orthopaedics


Will pet insurance cover the vet bills?

Pre-existing medical conditions are routinely excluded from cover under pet insurance plans. It is also very unlikely that a pet insurance policy will cover the costs of vaccinations, routine check-ups, neutering or spaying.
Depending on the policy you purchase, the costs of vet fees associated with the following may or may not be covered, so make sure to check your policy to see what’s covered:

  • Dental treatment
  • Alternative therapies
  • Breeding complications and hereditary illnesses
  • Pregnancy complications

As you may know, there are a few different types of pet insurance. These have the following restrictions:

  • Accident only – as the name suggests, if you have this type of cover, you will only be able to claim for the costs (subject to your agreed excess) of treatment following an accident, and not following an illness
  • Max benefit – the amount that can be claimed for a particular condition is restricted to a set amount, so if your vet bills are higher than this limit, you will need to pay for anything over that limit
  • Time limited – the length of time for which you can claim for a particular condition is restricted, usually for up to 12 months there will also be per condition limits in place.

What pet insurance options are available?

Deciding which pet insurance policy to buy is essentially a balancing act. The more comprehensive your cover, typically the more it will cost. However, the less your policy covers, the more you might have to pay in vet bills if something happens to your pet.

Likewise, the level of excess you choose is also a balancing act. Excess is the amount of any claim you need to settle out of your own pocket, so for example if your claim is for £500 and your excess is £100, then you would need to pay £100 and your insurance provider would pay the remaining £400. Typically the higher your excess, the lower your premium, but make sure you can afford to pay any excess you agree to.

In summary, you need to check carefully before you purchase that the policy you are considering covers what you need it to. Use our pet insurance comparison service to compare your options and get the right cover for your pet.

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