Do you have pet insurance? If so, are you making the most of your pet insurance policy? Pet insurance expert Richard Laycock gives Pet Problems Solved tips for getting the most out of your policy…


A pet insurance expert’s tips for getting the most out of your policy: Q&As

What should you look for when you’re buying a pet insurance policy?

It can be tricky to tell pet insurance policies apart, but that’s why it’s so important to do your research or compare policies online. The most important thing to look for is probably cover for illness and accidental injury. This should protect you if your pet is injured or becomes sick unexpectedly.


What are some of the things that can affect the price of a premium?

Lots of factors can influence price, but the breed is the biggest one. Purebreds may be more susceptible to genetic or pre-existing conditions, which means there’s a higher chance of their owners needing to make a claim. Because of this, it typically costs more to insure purebreds than mixed-breeds. Take a look at this pet insurance calculator to see how much it costs on average.

Other things that can affect a policy’s price include the pet’s age and gender. Also, if you already have other insurance policies through the same insurer, you may be eligible for a discount. So this can impact the price as well.

How can pet owners make sure they’re getting the most out of their policy?

Look at what kind of policy you’re paying for. If you have a comprehensive policy that covers routine care, then you could be making claims for things like grooming. If your dog needs prescription dog food or expensive medication, you should be claiming these costs as well. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t make claims for medical expenses if you have cover for them. It’s just important to ensure you know whether you actually do have cover since you won’t be able to claim for things that your policy doesn’t include.


We see a lot of jargon in pet insurance fine print. What are three of the most confusing things mentioned?

  1. Bilateral condition

This one is a little confusing but essentially means a condition that can affect both sides of the body. The logic is that if your dog experiences an issue in its front right paw, the same issue could occur on the front left paw. Typically by this logic, your policy will rule out cover for both sides.

Cat behaviour problem


  1. Elective treatment

Pet insurance will only cover the cost of procedures that are deemed medically necessary. For example, desexing your dog for contraceptive purposes is considered an elective procedure. However, if your vet requires your dog to be spayed in order to prevent cancer or for another medical reason, you should be able to claim for this.

  1. Related conditions

If your dog has any pre-existing conditions, a related condition is classified as a health issue that takes place that could be directly linked to the pre-existing condition. Even if the “related” symptoms only start to occur within the duration of the policy and not beforehand, if it’s considered to be linked to the pre-existing condition, you won’t be eligible for cover. For example, if your dog has arthritis and begins to experience hip problems, the insurer could argue that this is linked to arthritis and you may not be able to make a claim for any of the costs.


Are there any traps pet owners can fall into when purchasing insurance? How can these be avoided?

A big trap that pet owners can fall into is waiting until their dog starts to experience medical issues to take out insurance. This can be extremely costly and usually, if there are health issues before the policy is taken out, they end up being excluded anyway.

It’s also not wise to wait too long for other reasons. Usually, policies won’t provide cover for pets over the age of eight or nine, so you might miss the boat if you don’t take out cover earlier.

How can pet owners get the best deal in their policy?

The pet insurance industry is almost entirely underwritten by two major providers, so many policies are quite similar. It’s important to bear this in mind when doing your research. But one of the best ways to ensure the best deal is to compare pet insurance online. It’s hard to get a bird’s eye view of the market sometimes, so using a comparison site can be helpful. Alternatively, you can do your own research – take out multiple quotes through various providers and compare them yourself.


More reading:
Does it pay to get pet insurance?
What you need to know about insurance for older pets
Why being a pet owner is so difficult
Tips to Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy in Daycare
Cats really do love us!

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