Searching for pet insurance can be a daunting task. There are numerous different companies out there that offer a wide variety of policies and discounts when you sign up. If you’re not sure what it is exactly that you’re looking for, trying to choose the right policy can become a time-consuming experience, and in some cases a costly exercise should you choose a cover that could leave you still having to pay out for expensive vet fees.
To simplify matters it is helpful to understand what types of pet insurance covers are available, and what the difference is between them. The two most common pet insurance policies are:
- Maximum Benefit Cover: will only cover claims to a set amount per condition, then the condition is excluded
- Covered 4 Life: where chronic, re-occurring or lifelong conditions and illnesses are covered for the life of the pet, provided the policy is renewed each year without a gap in cover
These two major pet insurance policies may seem similar, but they have very different effects depending on your situation and your pet’s conditions.
Maximum Benefit policies can also be known as money limited or per condition policies. They offer a maximum amount available to cover the cost of each illness and injury treatment your pet may go through. Once you have claimed up to the maximum amount you can no longer claim for that condition, however, there’s no time limit on reaching this amount.
Once the full amount of money has been spent, the treatment of illness or injury won’t ever be covered again.
This policy also applies to treatment for a particular illness which can appear on another body part at a later date. For example, an illness that has been treated on one leg and reached the maximum coverage will not be covered if the same illness on another leg a year later as it will be treated as the same condition. Therefore, the maximum amount of coverage will only be available for an injury or illness once, and not for each occurrence no matter where it happens on the body.
Covered 4 Life policies provides up to a set amount for veterinary fees each year which will be renewed at the start of each policy year. As long as you continue to renew the policy without a break in cover, there is no limit on how long you can claim for each illness or injury. However, any illness or injury that existed before the policy was taken out will not be covered.
If the set amount for the policy year is reached, no further claims can be paid and any additional treatment for that policy year will not be covered by insurance. To continue Covered 4 Life policies, the policy needs to be renewed at the start of each policy year to be covered for treatments in the coming year.
This means that an ongoing illness that needs yearly treatment will be covered each year up to the set amount. There is no limit on how many times you can claim on an illness or injury as long as the insurance policy remains in force and you haven’t gone above the yearly set amount.
Depending on your circumstances, either policy could be the right option for you. The Covered 4 Life policies are usually a more thorough coverage to go with as you can claim on an injury/illness each year, whereas a Maximum Benefit policy will exclude the injury/illness after the full limit of the policy amount has been paid. Look in to the policies and find one that suits your situation and the needs of your pet.