Your fur kids aren’t just pets, they’re family. Your cherished canines and fabulous felines are a precious part of your life. They share your ups and downs, they express emotions just like you do, and they are there for you in your best and worst times. Always. Unconditionally. No doubt you’ll want to do the same.
“If things do go wrong and your pet gets sick or injured, you’ll want the peace of mind of knowing that you can afford any unexpected veterinary bills. Pet Insurance is emerging as an invaluable financial tool for pet owners to guard against unexpected veterinary costs, and to ensure that you will never have to decide between your finances and your pet’s health and wellbeing,” explains Candice Hobday, Product Specialist at GENRIC Insurance Company Limited (GENRIC). GENRIC is an authorised Financial Services Provider (FSP 436368) and licensed non-life Insurer.
Top reasons to get pet insurance
- Just like in your life, a health crisis or injury and subsequent treatment costs can come at very unexpected times and price tags. Having pet insurance is a lot like health insurance for people. It protects your finances from the unknowns, ensures access to quality care and treatment, and from ever having to make an unthinkable choice due to financial constraints.
- Pet insurance means your pet will have access to the best treatments and latest veterinary technology, which usually means better health outcomes. The better the veterinary care your pet enjoys, the longer, healthier and happier their life will be, especially as they get older.
- Depending on which option you take, there are options that cover unexpected veterinary bills for treatment for disease or injury, while some benefit options even offer cover for routine check-ups and veterinary visits.
What to look out for when evaluating pet insurance options
These are some of the important factors to consider when evaluating your pet insurance options:
- Check for payment caps and limits – Check if the policy places a cap on what they will pay for specific treatments, or if the policy places a cap how much they’ll pay in a year, for a specific pet or condition. Check the policy language carefully.
- Check if the policy allows you to choose to take your pet to any registered veterinarian – that way you can take your pet to your usual trusted vet, or if necessary, any specialist or emergency after hours practice if needed.
- Check if you get discounted premium rates for multiple pets which really helps with those many vet visits, vaccinations and any unexpected treatment costs.
- Check for age limits on the policies – With GENRIC Pet Insurance there’s no age limit to the cover provided as long as cover is incepted before the maximum entry age of 9 years. Your pet gets to enjoy the best treatment and care, even in their golden years.
- Check if the policy contains a specific exclusion for pre-existing conditions. A pre-existing condition means that it was a condition apparent in your pet before you took out the policy.
- Check if the policy excludes hereditary conditions.
- Check if the policy excludes breed, size or condition restrictions – for example a policy may exclude cover for a back condition typical of Great Danes – which really defeats the point of having the cover.
- An accident-only plan will cover treatment of injuries after a mishap, such as a car accident or poisoning, but won’t provide any cover if your best pal takes ill.
“Ideally you want a comprehensive and affordable pet insurance product that is simple to understand with a minimum of fine print and exclusions. If you feel like you need a degree to decipher what you and Fido are covered for – and more importantly what is not covered – it is probably best to look elsewhere. Be especially wary of options that might seem to save you R100 in premiums in the short term but sacrifice 70% of the benefits and cover. Your pet is likely to be part of the family, so if they are ill or injured, you need a solution that takes the pain out of unexpected veterinary bills, and never leaves you in a position where you have to choose between the unthinkable,” concludes Candice.