What Pet Insurance doesn’t cover

By PeterLogan

The exclusions that pet insurance does or doesn’t cover can vary between insurers. You should read the Terms & Conditions and Insurance Product Information Documents of your policy carefully before you take out or renew a policy.

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The following are some of the most common items pet insurance doesn’t cover:

Pre-existing injury or illness – Insurers will generally not cover injury or illness that your pet has had, or may have, before the policy was started. This covers injuries and illnesses that may occur again, or in other parts of your pet’s bodies. Your insurance policy will not cover treatment costs for ear infections that your pet has had before you take out your current policy.

Exclusion period or waiting period – A time period before the policy begins when veterinary treatment is not covered. This usually lasts 14 days, but can extend to 30 days in certain cases. Insurance begins for illnesses that show symptoms or occur after this time. For injuries, some policies offer a shorter or similar time frame.

Routine and preventative treatments – Treatments like vaccinations, castrations, flea, tick and worm treatments, grooming and claw clipping, and dental or tooth maintenance. These treatments and complications may not be covered.

Pregnancy and giving Birth – Treatment of any offspring and pregnancy are not typically covered.

Administrative costs – In general, insurance will not pay for vets’ costs to fill out a claim form, provide a prescription or obtain receipts, invoices, or reports as part of a claim.

Exclusions and limitations that are specific to your insurance policy – Insurance companies may have exclusions, limitations or conditions. These may include treatment or condition limits or inner caps. PS10,000 may include a PS2000 limit per condition. This means that once this limit is reached, there is no coverage for future treatment costs. These can vary from one insurer to another, so make sure to read the T&Cs of your policy and ask your insurer if you have any questions.

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Other exclusions could include:

  • Elective procedures or treatments (i.e. Treatment that isn’t necessary for your pet’s health;
  • Behavioural issues not connected to a diagnosed illness, dogs that are banned breeds.
  • A business uses animals as part of its animal welfare program (e.g. race, protection/security or at commercial properties. Animals that are not permanent residents of the UK

Different types of pet insurance policies

There are many pet insurance policies available, each offering different benefits. There are many policies available, so make sure you understand the details of your policy.

Also known as: Lifelong, Cover for life, Reinstatement and Repopulating, or Renewable Benefits Policies

What are the coverages?

Your pet is covered for any new injuries or illnesses through a life-time policy. This means your pet will not be covered for any injury or illness that occurred before the policy was established.

For as long as your insurance policy is in force, your pet is covered up until a certain amount each year. Your pet will be denied coverage for any additional treatment if the policy year’s overall limit is exceeded. Every time you renew your policy, the entire amount of coverage under each section becomes available again.

Lifetime policies may also stipulate a fixed amount that will be paid for any illness or injury during the year. No further claims will be made for treatment if the policy year’s limit is met.

To ensure that your pet is protected against new injuries and illnesses, or for treatment of injuries and illnesses that have already been covered during the policy period (usually one year), premiums must be paid and the policy renewed. The policy will cover any long-term, recurring or severe injury or illness that was treated in the previous year. As long as the policy is valid, there is no limit on how many times an illness or injury can covered. The policy terms and conditions are unchanged.

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Maximize your benefits

Also known as Per Condition Policies or Money Limited Policies.

What are the coverages?

Maximum benefit policies pay a set amount for each injury or illness to cover your pet’s treatment.

Maximum benefit policies cover your pet for any new injuries or illnesses. This means your pet will not be covered for any injury or illness they have suffered before the policy was established.

Your pet will be covered for any illness or injury that occurs until the maximum amount has been reached. This applies as long as your insurance policy is in effect and you have paid the premiums.

The amount can be reached at any time. After the benefit amount has been exhausted, you will no longer be eligible for treatment for the particular injury or illness. You would be responsible for all future treatment costs. All new and unrelated conditions will be covered up until the maximum condition benefit limit.

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Your pet may have received treatment for one illness and it then manifests in another area of his body, such as an eye or leg. Many maximum benefit policies will consider a condition the same if it is in a different part of the body, such as an ear, leg or eye. The maximum amount of money you can get for your pet’s illness or injury once only, and not for every time it occurs. These are considered recurring conditions and will be treated by the insurance company for the entire policy.