An insurance policy is a sensible way in which to begin planning for unforeseen bills that could be very significant.
Here at the Oaks we encourage all pet owners to take out insurance. Don’t just take our word for it though, ‘click here’ to read why having pet insurance was so important for some of our real life clients.
Our staff will gladly advise you on insurance. Please ‘click here’ to find out about Petplan Insurance – a particularly recommended policy provider.
Below we’ve answered some of the common questions we get asked about insurance but if you need any further advice don’t hesitate to contact us.
Veterinary practices are improving their services all the time and as human medicine progresses some of the diagnostic techniques and treatments find their way into veterinary practice. Most practices now have wide ranging facilities and treatment costs do not come cheap. For example, repairing a broken bone following an accident can soon exceed £1000 or more. This may come as quite a shock and cause a problem with payment. It is not surprising, therefore, that more and more pet owners are taking out insurance policies.
The same rules apply to buying insurance for your pet as it does for yourself – start it when young and healthy whilst there are no existing conditions to report. Read the small print carefully and pay particular attention to the terms and conditions. They will explain what is and isn’t covered together with any excess payments that may be required.
In general, diagnosis and treatment of any accident, injury or illness will be covered by the policy. As in human medicine a large number of sophisticated diagnostic tests are available. This may include laboratory work, x-rays, ultrasound scanning or endoscopy. Rare and unusual cases may need to be referred to another establishment such as Glasgow University Veterinary School for further diagnostics and treatment. An insurance policy in these circumstances will bring peace of mind.
This is an important benefit to protect owners against being sued if their dog causes damage or injury, for example, causing a road traffic accident.
As with most types of insurance, premiums will vary according to risk. A pedigree will command a much higher premium than a crossbreed.
There are also different levels of cover. The most comprehensive type of cover is a ‘life-long’ policy that pays out year after year. Policies that are cheaper on a monthly basis may be limited to a certain amount of money per condition or a certain amount of time per condition. This is where it is important to check the terms and conditions and if comparing policies make sure you are doing so on a like-for-like basis.
Routine and preventative care will be excluded together with anything classed as cosmetic and anything pre-existing.
This is Dougie, our beloved smooth-haired miniature dachshund. As the picture shows, he has a long back, and short legs! It's one of the most endearing features of a dashie, but also one of the characteristics that causes health problems, as they get issues with their backs.
When Dougie was nearly 5, we noticed that he had slowed down when he was moving, and that he seemed to be in pain when we lifted him. We took him to The Oaks and got him checked over. After x-rays, it was discovered that he had several discs in his back that could be the cause of his pain, and the vet recommended a visit to the Small Animal Hospital in Glasgow.
At this point, I should say that we had taken out pet insurance for Dougie when he was a pup. As with humans, you never know when your beloved pet will need help.
It's just as well that we had insurance, as Dougie needed x-rays, MRI scans and 2 back operations! Our insurer was great.
The animal hospital claimed directly from them and we didn't have to pay out a large sum of money up front. Not all insurers are as good as this, so it's always worth checking the terms and conditions before you sign up.
This story has a happy ending. Dougie is now "hale and hearty", and skipping about and enjoying life. He, and we, are very fortunate to have had a good local vet, an animal hospital nearby and an insurance company that was so easy to deal with.
My pet Miniature Schnauzer, 4 year old Paddy, was at the beach one sunny day almost 6 months ago. He was a perfectly healthy young dog when he collapsed and couldn't walk. We rushed him to the Oaks Vets who weren't sure what was wrong.
He was referred to Glasgow University, Small Animal Hospital, as he was paralysed in three legs. We didn't think he would make it. He was diagnosed with embolism of the spinal cord, equivalent to a stroke. If it wasn't for our pet insurance we would never had been able to afford the specialised treatment required for him. We were also out a large sum of money over and above our policy as we discovered we weren't covered enough for the costly treatment.
Owners please be aware that the cost of pet treatment when things go wrong are huge as I found out. Please please, if you love your pet so much, I have to advise you to get your pet insured.
Get the best policy and also be aware of the details - make sure you see what you're actually getting for the policy. Paddy had to attend hospital for chemotherapy treatment every month alongside physio and hydrotherapy. He is now home with us, a happy, full of character wee dog and getting back to normal. We wouldn't have him if it wasn't for our insurance and our savings.
Mrs Myra Newall