The 3 key questions to ask when comparing pet insurance policies.
When Nicky first insured her Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross, Buster, in May 2011, she paid a premium of just £16 per month. The low-cost insurance seemed good value to begin with.
Like other large, active, well-muscled breeds, Staffys can be vulnerable to injuring their cruciate ligaments and since 2014 Buster has had two cruciate ligament operations, as well as treatment for a skin condition. As a result, Nicky’s insurance company have now raised her premiums to £306 per month.
Thanks to this huge hike in her premiums Nicky doesn’t think she will be able to continue with the insurance when the policy comes up for renewal in May. She will then be faced with covering the cost of any veterinary care Buster needs out of her own pocket: “I don’t want to leave Buster uninsured,” says Nicky, “but I can’t afford the premiums any more and I haven’t been able to find another insurer that will take Buster on with the conditions he now has.”
Nicky is not alone. As many pet owners discover too late, plenty of pet insurers offer a cheap deal and then penalise you for making a claim. Worse still, you will then find it much harder to get alternative cover elsewhere as the condition you’ve claimed for will now be classed as pre-existing.
Pet insurance isn’t like car or home insurance. It isn’t easy to switch insurers, so you need to do your homework to get the right policy from the start
Professor Noel Fitzpatrick
“Pet insurance isn’t like car or home insurance,” says leading veterinary specialist Professor Noel Fitzpatrick (best known as the Supervet). “It isn’t easy to switch insurers, so you need to do your homework to get the right policy from the start.”
With Petplan, we won’t penalise you for claiming. In fact, we want you to claim if your pet needs treatment. This is why we do not offer a no-claims discount. With over 40 years’ experience in pet health, we are able to price our policies based on our knowledge of the long-term needs of each pet. Your policy premium will increase as your pet gets older and while there is no limit to what this might be, what we won’t do is suddenly hike your premium simply because you’ve claimed. We believe pet ownership is a long-term commitment, and we’re here with long-term support to help you give your pet the best care possible.