Pet Insurance


Pet insurance- why would I get it? For me personally as a veterinarian, it makes absolute sense for my clients to insure their pets. Your pet is an inquisitive, living animal that may like to poke its nose in places, ingest things other than food, fight or go exploring. They may get wounds, break bones, get infections, get sick, need to go to hospital, get their teeth cleaned…I can go on and on, but you get the picture.

The statistics from the insurance companies suggest that a person with a pet insurance policy is 20 times more likely to claim on that policy compared to other insurances. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Your car is not going to drive itself and cause damage and your phone is not going to take a dip in the pool by itself. However, your dog or cat has a mind of its own which may lead to injury. Also, just like us they have the potential to get sick and suffer from pain.

In almost all instances they can be treated and made better as the advances in veterinary medicine now allow us vets to provide the very best care to our patients. However, there is no Medicare for animals and you as owners are expected to foot the bill for treatment that can help your pet. It’s at this point that we find a lot of clients will regret not having taken out insurance or must make difficult decisions about the treatment of their pets. We know these decisions are hard for them as we are with them at that point helping them make those very difficult decisions.

As veterinarians we have a vested interest in our patients being insured because then we can treat them by the book and not have to feel guilty about compromising a diagnosis or treatment because we were not allowed to investigate or treat as required. As veterinarians we work on many occasions with one hand tied behind our backs or one eye closed as we usually never have as much information as a human doctor would in treating a given condition. As veterinarians we are forever trying to balance the costs for our client vs what is ideal for our patient. Sometimes these two are aligned but more often they are not, and we suggest the best possible compromise…and let me tell you its difficult and mentally exhausting. So many times, I come home feeling dissatisfied and guilty at not having done the best for my patient because of cost constraints. So yes, as veterinarians we would be in heaven if all our patients were insured so we could do what is best for them and not have to compromise their health but more importantly you have the peace of mind you can do what is required for your pet when they need it of you.

So now let’s talk a bit about the policies that are out there. I won’t get into the many insurers because there are more than twenty and increasing all the time. Having said this the policies that are out there, apart from the fine print, are very similar.

In general, you can get three levels of cover for your pet (dog or cat). The lowest level covers accidents only, mid-level covers accident and illness (most popular) and the top-level covers accident, illness and regular veterinary visits. You will have to look at the details of the policy from your insurer to see what’s covered in each. I would generally recommend the middle tier policy that covers accident and illness at minimum.

Next you can select the level of cover that you want i.e. the dollar value that you can claim in a year, this can range from 8k to 20k approximately. Obviously the more you are covered for the greater your annual premiums.

As with any insurance policy when you make a claim you must pay a certain contribution towards the claim and in general the greater your contribution the lower the premium for your policy. Some companies will pay up to 80% of the value of the claim and you pay 20%. Some others will allow you to have an excess so all you pay is your chosen excess and then the company pays the rest. Some companies will offer a mix of the above. In general, the greater your excess amount the lower your premium will be.

Please note that things start to change as your pet ages and the policies will often expect you to make a greater contribution towards treatment. This is because the chances of you claiming increases as your pet ages. So, it is always best to ask your insurer how the policy changes as your pet ages.

Another thing to consider is that the policies can be either insured for life or provide a maximum benefit for a specific condition. An insured for life policy will cover your pet for the rest of their life for a condition such as diabetes, heart failure or epilepsy which requires life-long treatment, provided the policy is renewed every year without a gap. A maximum benefits policy on the other hand will not cover chronic life-long illnesses. Instead once the cost of treatment for the chronic condition reaches the maximum benefit amount in the policy at the time the condition first occurred, the company will stop paying for the condition.

So, if I now decide to insure my pet how do I get started? If your pet is older (e.g. over 8 years of age) do not despair. It’s not too late to insure them. Older pets can still be insured. However, please be aware most companies will either offer accident only insurance or some like Pet Plan will offer accident and illness but if they were to develop a chronic condition during a certain policy year then in the next policy year it will be treated as a pre-existing condition and will not be covered. However, this is still more beneficial than no insurance.

And what happens if you have a new puppy or kitten? If your animal is under 12 months of age, please give us a call or visit our friendly team at the clinic. We can help set you up with a temporary 4-week free insurance policy, so you have the peace of mind that your pet is still covered while you explore the best insurance options for you and your pet.

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Lynbrook Vet IconLynbrook Vet

14A/10-30 Northey Road, Lynbrook

4.9 450 reviews

  • Avatar Sarah ★★★★★ a day ago
  • Avatar Rosie Kawala ★★★★★ in the last week
    My 5 y.o. dog just had her first health scare with some tumours, and Lynbrook Vet helped us through the testing and removal process so kindly.They laid out all our options and were transparent about probable outcomes, minimising costs where … More they could.They checked-in with me throughout her surgery day with phone calls, texts and photos (non-surgical!) and patiently answered all of my questions at pick-up.I have taken my dog to Lynbrook Vet since adopting her 3 years ago, and continue to go there after moving further away because they are so wonderful.The staff in reception are always friendly and helpful and happily assist with all of our needs.It's nice to attend a clinic with a great culture, where the animals, and their humans' peace of mind, are their top priorities.
  • Avatar Alfatihah Sateria ★★★★★ in the last week
    Very kind n friendly staff , very helpful and help my little one get solve
  • Avatar Claire Mooney ★★★★★ a week ago
    I could not recommend both Lynbrook Vet and their sister vet Berwick/Clyde Vet any more. It is the best vet you will ever experience. We were desperate to find a vet to look after out little boy (he's a ragdoll cat who stopped eating … More and is also dealing with CKD) after being unhappy with our previous vet. We were recommended by our local community to take him to Jess who is working now full time at Berwick/Clyde Vet which has recently opened and her care (along with all the other nurses there), love, how switched on they are was one of the greatest experiences we've ever had. We thought that maybe something bad had gone wrong with his kidneys, but it was immediately picked up that one of his tooth was infected which explains the no eating (this wasn't picked up by the previous vet). Our little boy had to stay over night with a drip before going under and having 4 teeth removed. He's about to be 13 so this was a stressful situation with him going under. We were sent frequent updates with photos in the morning, during the day and just before we picked him up. They called me right before the procedure, during the procedure and right after to confirm everything was okay and if there were any updates. They knew exactly what to do and how to best keep him safe during this procedure. When we picked him up we were taken through all his blood work, x-rays and documents in elaborate detail so that we understood what everything meant and what was going on. They have even put us on a 6 month plan to get him to be as happy and as healthy as he can be when we return a week later for a free dental check up to see how his mouth is healing. We were given an aftercare plan. Pain medication that they had already been pre made!! I got a Toutube link texted to me that explains what exactly happened during the procedure. We were also given a tooth fairy certificate!!! (this vet is so extra I can't deal). This vet goes above and beyond, we saw a HUGE improvement the following day (he is SO MUCH HAPPIER) it felt like our little angel was at daycare and I could not recommend going to this vet enough! THANK YOU so much. We are eternally grateful for looking after Oscar so thoroughly.
  • Avatar Alex Farani ★★★★ a week ago
  • Avatar Jade Scullard ★★★★★ a week ago
    1000% recommend!!!! This is such a stunning vet, everyone is so friendly and forthcoming, we have been seeing them for the past 4 months with our little staffy boy Stitch! He loves it there as everyone loves him and gives him all the attention … More he needs, we have had nothing but incredible service from all the staff there. Stitch went in today for a procedure and we felt so happy and safe leaving our boy there, everyone cares for your pet, like they are family. It’s truly the best experience we have ever had with a vet.It’s a definite must, as when your little ones aren’t feeling the best they make you feel better because they keep you in the loop every step of the way!We also did puppy pre-school through them which is incredible as well as he now associates the vet with such a happy feeling we never have him worried about the vet visit… and besides that all the love and care he gets when he walks through the Lynbrook vet doors!Truely amazing

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