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Insurance for your peace of mind

Insurance for your peace of mind
0 16 May 2016

We all hope that it will never happen to us, and that our pet will survive a long happy life without illness, accident or injury. However, sadly this isn’t always the case, and though we say to ourselves that if our pet is seriously ill we will avoid big fees by making the decision to let them go, this is often easier said than done. Not to  mention the insidious chronic diseases like a skin condition or heart complaint, that can take alot of time and expense to reach a diagnosis, and then requires life long medication. Making the decision not to treat these problems is fraught with difficulty, as none of us like to see our pet suffering in the slightest, be it from an ongoing itch, or a bleeding lump, or an ongoing runny nose.

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Ted after surgery at the referral centre

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A full recovery and back to his naughty self

Having been there, as a pet owner with no insurance and a cat who was badly injured from a bite by a horse, believe me I know only too well the anxiety and stress caused by the worry about my beloved pet and whether he would pull though, and also the tough decision whether to refer him for advanced medical treatment by specialists. I opted for referral for Ted, and am very glad that I did, after all I’d reared him from 3wks old and travelled with him from the UK to Ireland, and he was very much my first ‘baby’ and a very special cat. However this came with significant cost as I didn’t have pet insurance for him. Had I insured him I would have had the peace of mind that his veterinary bills were taken care of, and the decision to refer him would have been much easier. Needless to say he is now insured….

As a vet, on the ‘other side’ of it, I always breath a sigh of relief if I see an unwell dog or cat and discover that he or she is insured. As it means that whatever the condition- from an ear infection (which may be an underlying skin complaint, or may require surgery to prevent it occurring again), to a lameness (which could be anything from a ligament sprain to a bone cancer)- a pet owner can make the best decision for their pet based on the treatment route they WANT to take and feel is RIGHT for their pet, not what their finances can manage. Sometimes, as in my case with Ted, this will mean referral to a veterinary specialist.

Now there are obviously a few things you need to look into prior to choosing your pet insurance policy, of which there are several providers currently in Ireland including Allianz, Petinsure.ie ,  An Post and Blueinsurance.ie to name a few. We would also recommend that you look at www.insurethedog.ie, or find them on social media. They have a nice consumers guide to pet insurance in Ireland, with ‘top 10 questions’ answered too.

First to consider is the premium- the amount you pay per month or per year for the policy, and this will be determined by the breed and the age of your pet. Also to consider is the policy excess, the amount of money you pay yourself for each claim. You may be prepared to accept a lower premium by having a slightly higher excess, but it is worth reading the small print on this. Also worth considering is whether to take out lifelong cover or annual cover. Annual cover is cheaper, but it will only pay out for a certain condition for 12 months. This makes it fine for accidents and emergencies, but less good for longstanding problems such as arthritis, skin and ear problems and diabetes for example

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