Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Is Pet Insurance A Legal Requirement

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Could I Save Money By Switching Insurance Providers

Legal standard coming for pet insurance

The major difference between pet insurance and other kinds of policy is that it isnt usually cheaper to shop around for better cover from another company. Firstly, another insurer wouldnt allow you to have cover for a recurring health problem since it would be classed as a pre-existing condition. The other problem is that premiums go up as your pet gets older and so you might find it difficult to get any cover at all when they reach a certain age.

The Benefits Of Pet Insurance

There are various levels of pet insurance cover to choose from across different pet insurance companies. It’s important to look at the different options available to you, every pet is different and therefore you might seek different levels of cover. Here at some of the benefits:

  • Protection against vet bills if your pet suffers illness or accident
  • Dental treatment, farewell cover, lost and found and pets abroad cover
  • Multi Pet Discount – many insurers will offer you a discount for insuring more than one pet
  • Third Party Liability – covers damage to someone or someone else’s property

Does Not Reduce The Risk

Insurance is just a risk transfer mechanism wherein the financial burden which may arise due to some fortuitous event is transferred to a bigger entity called an Insurance Company by way of paying premiums. This only reduces the financial burden and not the actual chances of happening of an event. Insurance is a risk for both the insurance company and the insured. The insurance company understands the risk involved and will perform a risk assessment when writing the policy.

As a result, the premiums may go up if they determine that the policyholder will file a claim. However, premiums might reduce if the policyholder commits to a risk management program as recommended by the insurer. It’s therefore important that insurers view risk management as a joint initiative between policyholder and insurer since a robust risk management plan minimizes the possibility of a large claim for the insurer while stabilizing or reducing premiums for the policyholder.

If a person is financially stable and plans for life’s unexpected events, they may be able to go without insurance. However, they must have enough to cover a total and complete loss of employment and of their possessions. Some states will accept a surety bond, a government bond, or even making a cash deposit with the state.

What Are The Alternatives To Pet Insurance

The most common alternative is just to take a risk and pay vet bills as and when they arise. Some people choose to self-insure by putting a fixed amount of money into a savings account each month that they can then use if their pet needs treatment. The main downsides of this approach are:

  • If you need to pay for expensive treatment early in your pets life, you may not have built up enough funds in your savings account to cover the costs
  • You wont be covered for public liability if you have a dog.

Membership of the Dogs Trust provides a number of benefits including public liability insurance for your dog. Membership costs £25 a year, so it can be a cost-effective way of getting cover for public liability if you need it.

Can I Visit Any Vet

Pet Travel

Does pet insurance require me to visit an in-network vet? The majority of pet insurance companies let you choose the vet you want. However, there are some insurers that charge more for out-of-network vets or have added benefits for in-network vet visits. Further, some wellness providers are not actually pet insurance companies and may also have in-network requirements for preventative care .

Im A Landlord Do I Need To Take Out Home Insurance

If youre a landlord with a buy-to-let mortgage, youll find that your mortgage provider will probably insist you take out buildings insurance. Consider a landlord insqurance policyas a normal home insurance policy is unlikely to offer you the right cover.

If you own the building, youre not legally obliged to have buildings insurance, but not doing so will mean youre liable for the full cost of any building repairs.

And if youre renting a furnished property, it may be a good idea to get contents cover for expensive items such as beds, sofas and fridges.

Many insurance providers offer landlord insurance, which can include buildings and contents insurance. Use our landlord insurance comparison service to find the right deal for you.

What Pet Care Costs

With average annual routine veterinary care costing between $200 and $400 for a dogand $90 to $200 for a catroutine care is not the main reason you might want to consider pet insurance. This is particularly true because the average annual Wellness policy can cost $300 per year.

Its the accident and illness part that drives up costs and is the primary reason pet owners buy insurance. For example:

  • The cost to diagnose diabetes in a cat runs about $300. Treatment generally continues for the rest of the animals life and costs $240 to $360 per year.
  • If your pet develops heartworm, treatment could run between $400 and $1,000.
  • Emergency room care in the case of an accident could run $1,000 or more.
  • A torn ACL might cost up to $3,300 to treat and repair.
  • The big C could cost $5,000 or more, depending on treatment.

Another factor that helps determine cost of care is breed. This is especially true for dogs, due to the fact that certain breeds are predisposed to develop certain medical conditions. Hip dysplasiaa condition in which the bones that make up the hip ball and socket of large dog breeds such as retrievers are not aligned and cause painis one such example. This can eventually lead to hip replacement surgery, which can cost as much as $3,500 to $7,000 per hip.

What Type Of Pet Insurance Should You Get

If you decide that self-insuring doesn’t give you the peace of mind you need, purchasing a pet insurance policy is a popular alternative. But with so many options available, how do you know which one to choose?

Our guide to pet insurance sheds some light on the typical types of pet insurance cover and provides a few pointers on what to consider when choosing a policy.

To make your life easier, weve also summarised the different types of pet policies below. Remember that all pet insurances will offer different levels of cover and benefits as well as restrictions, so it is important to look into this and find the right policy for you and your pet.

Pet Insurance Statistics & Facts

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Below are some pet insurance trends that fascinate us, and we think they may surprise you too.

  • 81% of U.S. pet parents consider their pets to be equal members of the family.
  • 75% of pet parents dont have pet insurance and 39% of them have regretted it.
  • Americans spent $29.3 billion on pet health care in 2019 vs $18.3 billion in 2018, $17.1 billion in 2017, and $16 billion in 2016.
  • The average annual cost for a U.S. dog insurance policy was $594.15 in 2020. This works out to an average monthly premium of $49.51.
  • The average annual cost for a U.S. cat insurance policy was $341.81 in 2020. This works out to an average monthly premium of $28.48.
  • Dog insurance is about 76% more expensive, on average, than accident and illness policies for cats.
  • Pet parents spend a yearly average on the following vet visits:
  • Routine vet visits: $257 for dogs, $182 for cats, $102 for birds, and $549 for horses
  • Surgical vet visits: $474 for dogs, $245 for cats, and $45 for birds
  • Emergency vet visits: $349 for dogs, $154 for cats, $107 for birds, and $471 for horses
  • Sick vet visits: $204 for dogs, $244 for cats, and $138 for birds
  • 3.1 million pets were insured in 2020 in the U.S. with an average annual growth rate of 23.2% for the previous 5 years .
  • The majority of insured pets in the U.S. reside in California , New York , and Florida .
  • The #1 issue reported by dog owners is stomach issues , followed by skin conditions and pain.
  • If a $1,000 pet-related emergency were to come up tomorrow:
  • Dog Insurance That Every Owner Needs

    Our Third Party Dog Insurance will also cover you if your dog accidentally damages property, or if someone is killed, injured or falls ill as a result of an incident involving your dog.

    If you think your household insurance covers you for Third Party Liability in the event of an incident with your dog, check the small print carefully and keep in mind that all Petplan dog insurance policies automatically include this type of cover.

    Controlling Your Dog In Your Own Home Or On Someone Elses Property

    Allowing your dog to be dangerously out of control is against the law on private property, as well as in public. An exemption is in place if a dog bites someone who has no legal right to be in your home, for example a burglar. 

    You will need to make sure your dog is not a threat to delivery drivers, postal workers, health workers and other professionals who may visit your property.

    A dog doesnt have to bite or physically injure someone for an offence to take place. If a person feels your dog may hurt them, they may still be considered dangerously out of control. This applies to dogs of all sizes, breeds and types.

    We strongly recommend reading about canine body language so you can tell when your dog is uncomfortable in a situation at home. 

    What can happen if I break this law?

    Owners can be prosecuted if their dog attacks someone in their home, including in their front and back gardens, or in private property, such as a pub. 

    Law: Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, sections 106 and 107 amends the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991

    Why Do You Need Third Party Dog Insurance

    If your dog accidentally causes damage to property or injury to another person its possible that you might find yourself facing expensive legal fees, as more and more people are seeking compensation when problems like this arise. Petplan Third Party Dog Insurance will cover you against costs in such a case, and help to protect you against financial risk.

    Complexity Of Insurance Policy Contracts

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    Insurance policies can be complex and some policyholders may not understand all the fees and coverages included in a policy. As a result, people may buy policies on unfavorable terms. In response to these issues, many countries have enacted detailed statutory and regulatory regimes governing every aspect of the insurance business, including minimum standards for policies and the ways in which they may be advertised and sold.

    For example, most insurance policies in the English language today have been carefully drafted in plain English; the industry learned the hard way that many courts will not enforce policies against insureds when the judges themselves cannot understand what the policies are saying. Typically, courts construe ambiguities in insurance policies against the insurance company and in favor of coverage under the policy.

    Insurance may also be purchased through an agent. A tied agent, working exclusively with one insurer, represents the insurance company from whom the policyholder buys . Just as there is a potential conflict of interest with a broker, an agent has a different type of conflict. Because agents work directly for the insurance company, if there is a claim the agent may advise the client to the benefit of the insurance company. Agents generally cannot offer as broad a range of selection compared to an insurance broker.

    How Much Does Public Liability Insurance For Pet Dogs Cost

    • To take your dog into schools youll pay around £316 a year
    • Youll pay around £92 a year to take your dog into commercial office premises
    • And £288 a year if taking your dog into a care home. This can vary if youre a commercial business.
    • Prices are for £1m of liability cover and will increase if you need a higher cover level.

    Loss And Recovery Cover

    Should your pet be lost or stolen, your policy may cover the purchase price of your pet.

    Its important that you check whether there are any limits on your policy as some providers will have inner limits for loss and recovery, so for example if your pet cost you £1,000 and your insurers loss and recovery limit is £500 then that will be the payout you receive.

    In some cases youll also be able to receive cover towards advertising and rewards to help find your lost pet. Claims under these sections tend to require you to report your pet as missing and then pays out if your pet is not found in 30 days.

    All Of Petplans Dog Policies Automatically Include Third Party Dog Insurance

    At Petplan we understand that accidental damage or injury caused by a dog can happen to any owner, at any time.

    We commonly receive Third Party Dog Insurance claims from owners whose dogs have bitten someone or have run across the road and caused an accident, resulting in thousands of pounds being paid out in compensation. If you dont have Third Party Dog Insurance, you would need to cover these costs yourself.

    So, no matter what kind of policy you have with us whether its our Covered For Life® lifetime pet insurance or our Time-limited pet insurance our Third Party Liability cover will ensure youre protected from any costs or compensation arising from a third party claim against you. This means youll be covered for compensation and costs awarded against you by a court, as well as the legal cost and expenses involved in defending a claim.

    What Kind Of Dental Cover Is Included In The Policy

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    Take a close look at the type of dental cover that is included in your policy. Dogs and cats can accrue expensive dental bills, and sadly this isnt always covered by your policy. Some policies will only include any dental work that is required as the result of an accident, while others will offer more comprehensive cover. Check the small print to be sure exactly what is and isnt included. 

    Why Dont We Eat Horse In The Uk

    Horsemeat in the UK is not illegal, and any risk to health identified by authorities stems from the horse painkiller bute making its way into the food chain. Butchers shops selling horse meat were quite a common sight in early 1950s London, because meat rationing was still in place after the war.

    Dogs In Pubs Restaurants And Cafes

    There is no law or any health and safety regulations that ban dogs from being in premises where food and drink is served or sold. However, they must not enter areas where food is prepared, handled or stored, for example the kitchen.

    Its up to the owner of the establishment that serves food and drink whether theyd like to welcome dogs.

    Law: Food Hygiene Regulations 2013, under EU Regulation 852/2004, Annex II

    Do I Need Public Liability Insurance For My Dog

    Public Liability insurance is designed to protect you if your dog ever injures a stranger or damages property. For dog owners, there may be a number of scenarios that could lead to unexpected consequences, such as when walking your dog off it’s lead, it runs up to the passer-by and accidentally knocks them over, resulting in an injury. If this happens, you could end up facing legal action if that person was injured.

    Your dog may not have intended to cause harm, but unfortunately, as their owner you can be found to be at fault for their actions. To help avoid your dog dragging you into a legal dispute, our cover can provide up to £2million in Public Liability insurance that can include legal fees and damages. Conditions apply and Public Liability cover only applies to any incident or legal liability in the UK.

    Pet Insurance Advice: Five Things To Look Out For When Shopping For The Best Policy

    Offers from Local Vets

    Looking for pet insurance advice? Check these key points to make sure you get the best insurance for your dollar

    It’s important to keep your pet’s health safe, and looking for pet insurance advice is a natural step in the process. 

    Pet care can cost hundreds of dollars, especially if there are any unfortunate situations that may require emergency vet visits. But pet insurance isn’t a legal requirement – you don’t need to get it to own a pet, however, you may want to. For many, it’s a smart choice to keep costs down and to ensure your pet stays healthy, or that you have enough funds to support any major health care costs in case of extenuating circumstances. 

    The most common pets insured are dogs and cats, as treating them can be very expensive, and they’re the most popular domesticated animals. But it’s not a bad idea to consider pet insurance for other pets, as well. 

    There are quite literally hundreds of different pet insurance providers, so, finding the right policy can be an overwhelming process. It’s even more confusing when pet insurance companies use use terms that arent obvious to new animal owners. That’s what this article is for, to give you pet insurance advice and help you understand what exactly it is you’re paying for. 

    How Do I Choose The Right Dog Insurance

    Before you purchase your dogs insurance plan, be sure to familiarize yourself with what each plan offers. Compare the coverage provided under each plan with individual health concerns for your dog and his breed.

    Even if you have a healthy puppy today, knowing what illnesses are prevalent in your dogs breed will help you select the right plan. Talk with your vet about what you should plan for as your pet ages. For example, some breeds are more susceptible to hip and joint problems and cancer. Although no one wants to anticipate the worst, its the best plan of action when shopping for your dogs insurance policy. Choose the best plan based on the right cost AND coverage benefits, not price alone.

  • Narrow down your choices with a review of our top three provider recommendations and category winners for specific needs.
  • Contact at least three companies and obtain quotes based on the information you provide about your pets breed, age, health, and needs. If you have more than one pet, ask about a multi-pet discount.
  • Have your vet send in each of your pets records to the company that youre considering. A company thats genuinely interested in your business will review your pets records and clearly outline any excluded conditions from your pets insurance plan . Its important to understand the coverage details before you buy any insurance plan.
  • Weigh the cost of monthly premiums against the types of coverage offered: accident, illness, and wellness, as well as any add-ons.
  • Will It Cover My Pet For Pre

    Unfortuantely, the vast majority of pet insurance policies will not cover your pet for any pre-existing condition or illness. You might find some that will cover pre-existing conditions for which treatment ended more than two years ago, so look out for these when shopping around. 

    If youve got an older pet or one that has suffered from pre-existing conditions in the past, think long and hard before switching providers. Its always worth phoning up an insurer to ask about pre-existing conditions, as some may be able to offer a bespoke policy that takes such a condition into account . 

    For those who feel that they must get new pet insurance or switch providers, its worth ensuring that you have a savings account on standby for any costs you might occur due to such exclusions.

    How Much Is Insurance For A Boarding Kennel Or Cattery

    The cost of boarding kennel or cattery insurance will depend on the size of your business.

    Liability insurance usually costs over £100 a year, according to our guide to the average cost of cover. So, its likely a pet boarding company with a full range of business insurance policies will pay a few hundred pounds.

    What Are My Options

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    If you are still unsure whether to take out pet insurance, there are some options of compromise to consider. 

    You could, for example, take out accident-only pet insurance. As it says on the tin, this type of policy excludes illness and ongoing medical conditions, only paying out for medical treatment directly relating to an accident . 

    As accident-only is the most basic kind of cover, its also the cheapest option.

    You could also consider self-insurance, which simply involves putting money into a savings account, rather than paying for monthly premiums. With any luck, you will never need to draw on it.

    On the other hand however, if your cat or dog needs surgery, the balance you have saved might not be sufficient to cover the cost which could run into thousands of pounds.

    If your household is in receipt of benefits, you may be able to seek free medical care from animal charities such as the PDSA, Blue Cross and RSPCA. You will still be means-tested though, so do some research before opting against taking pet insurance on this basis.

    What Types Of Pet Insurance Are Available To Me

    Reinstatement or Lifetime Cover:

    • Reinstatement policies also known as Lifetime policies this type of cover offers ongoing cover for illnesses and injuries.
    • Your pet is covered up to a set amount each policy year for illnesses and injuries as long as the insurance policy remains in force. If the overall limit is reached during the policy year, your pet will not be covered for any further treatment required during that policy year. Each time you renew your policy the full level of cover is reinstated.

    Maximum Benefit Policies:

    • Maximum benefit policies provide a fixed amount of money for each illness or injury to help pay for your pet’s treatment.
    • Your pet is covered for each illness and injury until the maximum amount has been spent, as long as the insurance policy remains in force therefore you must renew your policy each year for cover to remain in place.
    • There is no time limit on reaching the amount however, once the full amount of money has been spent, the treatment of illness or injury will not be covered again.

    Time Limited:

    Accident Only:

    What Is Pet Insurance

    Pet insurance helps you cover the cost of veterinary treatment if your pet falls ill or gets injured. Pet insurance providers will also usually pay out if your pet dies, is lost or stolen, harms someone or damages property.

    Which? has analysed dozens of cat insurance and dog insurance policies, and thousands of pet insurance policyholders have rated the customer service of the biggest insurers.

    This guide explains how pet insurance works, what to watch out for and what’s excluded from pet insurance policies. 

    What Affects The Price

    There are a few main factors that determine the price of your pet insurance policy:

    • Age of your pet: As weve discussed above older pets are more likely to suffer from injuries and illnesses than younger pets. Thats why insurance for older pets is more expensive.
    • Type of pet: The type of pet and the breed youre looking to cover will determine the price. Generally, cats will be cheaper than dogs to insure, while certain breeds which are more prone to illnesses will also be more expensive to insure.
    • Pre-existing conditions you want to cover: If your pet has any medical conditions that you are looking to get cover for then this is possible, but because they are known conditions that may recur it will be more expensive to protect.
    • Claims made: If youre coming up for renewal of your plan than the insurer will take into account any claims youve made in the previous policy year.
    • Vet fee inflation: In terms of renewals vet fee inflation is a factor. This is the increase in costs of veterinary treatment. Treatment costs for the same procedures have been increasing, and therefore the cost to insure against those procedures increases as well.

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