Monday, August 25, 2008

Pet Insurance woes

Pet insurance is a life-saver, but owners can be lulled into a false sense of security if they don't make sure their policy is the right one for their financial circumstances. Many policies have an excess - a fixed amount of money which the animal's owner is expected to cover themselves - and will only pay out if the cost of treatment is more than the excess amount. It can be as much as eighty pounds - a sum which an owner on a really low income may not be able to lay their hands on in an emergency. Some policies only pay out once the owner has settled the vet's bill in full - again potentially something that an owner who doesn't have a credit card will find completely impossible.
Aggravatingly, this is just what's happened to a caller who's adopted a dog from a local rescue centre (not RSPCA) recently. The centre rehomes all its dogs with 30 day health insurance cover, and she'd delayed registering her dog at our clinic until after the bank holiday as a result.
Getting stung by jellyfish on an August bank holiday, will set you back £100+ at a private vet if you are a labrador. Unfortunately her policy has an excess of £80 which she doesn't have - and she doesn't have access to her savings because they are in a Post Office account.
Moral - always read the small print and never put off until tomorrow what you need to do today.

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