Types of Pet Insurance
Accident only pet insurance
Accident only pet insurance covers your pet’s vet bills if they’re hurt in an accident, but not if they become ill.
Most accident-only policies last for 12 months and if ongoing treatments are needed after that, they may not be covered. Always remember to check the upper limit on how much you can claim – there’s usually a cap.
Time-limited pet insurance
Time-limited pet insurance covers illnesses as well as accidents, for up to 12 months from when the condition was diagnosed or up to the limit of the policy, whichever happens first. Once either limit is reached, the condition is no longer covered even if you renew. Pre-existing conditions aren’t covered either.
Lifetime pet insurance
Lifetime pet insurance is the most comprehensive pet insurance available. Provided you maintain the policy, your pet could be covered for accidents, injuries and illnesses throughout its life and beyond – as well as the cost of putting your pet down, cremation and burial costs may also be included. Policies have limits on claims per year or per condition – or sometimes both.
Maximum benefit pet insurance
Maximum benefit pet insurance covers accidents and illnesses up to a maximum amount per condition. Once you’ve reached the limit, you’re no longer covered for that particular condition.
This may be a disadvantage if your pet develops a serious long-term condition that requires costly treatments.
Why do I need pet insurance in New Zealand?
As a pet owner, you’ll know that your furry friend can be, let’s say, one of the more adventurous members of the family. Because of this, it’s not unusual for our pets to need a trip or two to the vets from time to time. The stress of your pet being ill or injured is bad enough, but adding a hefty vet bill on top just makes a worrying situation worse.
Having the right pet insurance in place means you can rest easy, knowing you can cover the vet bills for your dog or cat, and give them the care they need if they fall ill.
What does pet insurance cover?
It’s important to check any policy carefully before you buy to make sure it includes the cover you need. Some policies won’t include things like overseas cover and holiday cancellation as standard, for example, but you may be able to add them to your policy at an extra cost.
The cost of pet insurance varies depending on:
- The type of policy you choose
- The amount of cover you want
- The insurance provider you go with
- The age and health of your pet
- Whether your pet has been spayed or neutered
- The number of animals covered by the policy
- The size of the excess you’re willing to pay – that is, the value of the costs you’re willing to cover yourself before your insurance provider steps in.
- Vet fees and treatment if your pet is ill or injured.
- Emergency dental treatment in the event of an accident.
- Holiday cancellation if you need to cancel or cut your holiday short due to your pet suffering an unexpected illness, getting injured or going missing.
- Compensation if your pet dies or goes missing.
- Advertising fees and reward money if your pet goes missing.
- Kennel and cattery fees if you’re temporarily unable to care for your pet.
- Third-party liability cover if your dog injures someone, causes an accident or damages someone’s property.
- Overseas cover in case your pet gets injured or falls ill while you’re abroad.
- Alternative treatments like physio, acupuncture or homeopathy, if they’re recommended by your vet.
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