Veterinary treatment has improved so much in recent years that our much-loved pets are now living longer and happier lives. But with all those new treatments comes a hefty price at a cost. An unexpected trip to the vets could cost you hundreds of pounds – especially if it’s for emergency treatment.
So thank goodness for pet insurance. Without this cover, financial constraints could mean you have to make the heart-breaking decision between doing what’s best for your pet and what’s best for your bank account. Making sure you have the right pet cover can therefore be critical.
Lifetime animal insurance
There are different levels of pet insurance cover, but the most comprehensive is lifetime cover. This is sometimes known as lifelong cover, cover for life or renewable benefit. It does what it suggests and is there to cover you for vet’s fees for the life of your dog – providing you renew your policy every year, and of course, depending on the specifics of the policy.
The biggest gain from this kind of cover comes if your dog has a long term or recurring illness like an allergy, or epilepsy, which require ongoing treatment or medication.
How does it work?
In most cases, every year your insurance provider will allow a set amount to cover vets fees. If your fees are more than this amount then you'll be liable for the remaining cost. Say you have an annual limit of £10,000 and you exceed that, you will not be able to claim any more for the rest of the year. Some policies may stipulate an amount per condition, or per year, and some will just allow a total limit for all conditions. At the end of the annual policy, providing you renew your policy, your annual limit will start again.
What isn't covered by a lifetime policy?
Routine treatments such as vaccinations, flea and worm treatment, general dental work and pregnancy aren’t usually covered. Also, a lifetime policy won't cover pre-existing conditions. The provider is usually happy to insure your pet, but will add an exclusion on your policy for any pre-existing conditions.
You may also find with some policies that as your pet gets older, the premium increases - and so does your excess. You may then want to consider changing to an 'older pet' insurance - but be aware that they will probably not take on pre-existing conditions and if they do, your premiums are likely to be more expensive.
If you're considering taking out lifetime insurance and want a pet insurance quote - or to see if you can save money by switching, then let us help. We’ll search pet insurers for you – there’s no need to spend hours on the phone ringing different insurers. The cheapest quotes will be at the top of your results but you can easily filter and just look at Lifetime policies if you decide that’s the type of cover you require.
Just go to our website, find our pet insurance section and start a quote. We'll ask you some questions about yourself, your pet and what kind of cover you need and get back to you with the best pet insurance that suits your animal’s needs.