Every pet owner can benefit from the protection pet insurance affords. Every owner, without exception. Why? There is no dog alive that is incapable of becoming seriously ill or injured to the point where the financial burden placed upon us as owners is both stressful and, in many cases, just plain unaffordable.
As we all recognise, veterinary bills are rarely cheap even for routine events. But think, for a moment, about the really serious stuff. Things like cancer. Things like hereditary illnesses that can be both debilitating but, ultimately, entirely curable and manageable. How would we feel to be told by a vet that the best possible treatment for an illness or injury is readily available only to then realise we just can't afford the expenses?
This happens and it happens all too often. Pet insurance should no longer be a consideration for caring, conscientious pet owners. It's an absolute necessity in this day and age. With that said, there are some common pet insurance myths that need to be busted and we've uncovered seven of the most common.
7. "I'll want until my dog is older and more likely to need insurance."
There are couple of problems with this. The first is that some insurers won't actually cover dogs over a certain age and, the ones who do, can often make the premium you pay more expensive as the dog gets older.
The second problem is that dogs can and do get ill or injured at any age. Whilst it's undoubtedly true and older dog is statistically more likely to suffer from age related conditions, it is also true that young dogs can develop lifelong illnesses at an early age, and are just as likely to injure themselves. Each has exactly the same chance of picking up the same types of conditions that can cost a lot of money in veterinary bills. Don't take the chance. It's not worth it.
6. "My dog's sensible. I doubt he'll need to be insured."
Ignoring the fact that even sensible dogs can get all types of illnesses, don't be quite so sure of what your dog is capable of doing to himself.
Just examine the story of Rusty, a Bull Terrier from Kent who astonished vets after managing to consume a pair of bicycle handle bars. Yes, you read that correctly. Left to his own devices in the back-yard, Rusty started to eat an entire pair of handlebars. But even if your dog's no Rusty, how about gentle giant Mal, the St Bernard, who needed surgery after destroying his gums by trying to clean the remaining bits of potato from a potato peeler at his home in St Helen’s. Our dogs can sometimes be very creative in the way they go about injuring themselves. Be prepared.
5. "I'm confused by the pricing and levels of cover."
Prit Powar, head of pet insurance at Direct Line, said: “In our experience one of the most common misconceptions surrounding pet insurance is what will be covered by a policy. Many owners believe that once they have purchased a policy, any treatment carried out by their vet is covered. We have received enquiries about claims for flea and worming treatments, vaccinations and neutering, which are not covered by an insurance policy. The purpose of insurance is to protect against the unexpected which is typically to cover the costs associated with treating illness or injuries. However the treatments highlighted are very much usual, expected costs associated with owning a pet. Owners should also be careful about what additional treatments are covered by their insurance, as this is hugely dependent on the individual policy. Not all pet owners may want or need the same level of cover and its advisable to check that the cover they have provides the level of vet fee cover they want and includes cover for all their needs."
Prit continued, “We advocate keeping pets healthy through regular exercise and a sensible diet. Direct Line’s Walkies app helps dog owners keep track of their pets progress by monitoring distance walked and calories burnt, it also gives owners ideas for some new walks. We have been following the journey of an overweight dog, Fred, as he loses weight with the help of the Walkies app. To get involved and share tips and photos of your own dog’s activities, check out Fred on fitfred.directline.com.”
4. "Does lifetime pet insurance really mean what it sounds like it means?"
Now, here's a subject in its own right. So we've got you covered. Read all about lifetime pet insurance cover here: http://www.k9magazine.com/pet-insurance-lifetime-cover/
3. "All the pet insurance policies look much the same to me. I should just pick the most affordable, right?".
Wrong! Not all pet insurance is made equal. Those companies who are insurance specialists - you know the ones, they really do have long-standing expertise in insuring things, cars, homes etc - they have worked hard to maintain a good reputation. That's worth its weight to you as a consumer if you're with them.
2. "Making a claim is probably a nightmare. What if I fill the form in wrong?"
Never fear. 9 out of 10 veterinarians will not only provide guidance on this, many will actually do it for you (some at a small fee).
Remember, if you've just been given some horrible news that your dog has been diagnosed with a serious illness, needs an operation as soon as possible and will need to be on medication for months, years or even the rest of their life, the last thing you'll want to do is worry about whether you can afford it. You need to be clear headed and you need to know your dog is covered and the financial burden will be eased. You do not want to be one of those unfortunate people who has to take out expensive loans just to provide your dog with the quality of life they deserve. Pet insurance companies do pay out on legitimate claims and your vet can help you all along the journey.
1. "I'll just put some money aside each month in the bank. If my dog needs anything, I'll use those savings."
Fine, in theory. Unless you happen to be saving potentially thousands of pounds each year. You see the biggest problem with this misconception is that saving small amounts will just about cover routine treatments. But when you really need it, when you really, really need access to the absolute best veterinary care to provide treatment for long term, serious illness or injury, you could find your savings gone in one shot.
Having a pet insurer in your corner when your dog is most in need will not only give you peace of mind for now, but it could be the peace of mind you need for the rest of your dog's natural life.
Absolutely no dog owner ever wants to think, what if. What if I could have gotten the very best treatment on offer to keep my dog alive, healthy and happy. This, you see, is precisely what pet insurance is for, and if you don't have to claim that's the best position of all to be in. Not claiming on your insurance is not money lost. It just means you've had the immense good fortune to have a fit, healthy dog. That's a reason to celebrate.