Tips for finding affordable health care plans for pets

Most vets will suggest that you look for a health care plan to cover your pet. With the rising costs of pet care it is advisable to find a good insurance policy to cover accidents and ailments that can affect your pet. It is best to shop around, but the cheapest plan is not always the best plan. When looking into health care plans, you need to take into consideration many factors:

1. Type of pet – some policies only covers dogs and cats, whilst others have a wider range of acceptance. The most commonly insured pets are:

*DOGS

*CATS

*HORSES

*RABBITS

*EXOTICS

2. Age – generally as a rule, cats must be under 8 years old and dogs must be under 10 to be insured, but occasionally insurance companies make acceptions.

3. Type of insurance policy – some plans only insure for a certain amount of time, and can refuse to re-new the policy if claims have been made, whilst others insure for the entire life time of your pet. Short-term policies do tend to be cheaper.

When you’ve decided what type of health care plan you need, your next step is to ‘shop around’ for the most affordable one for you. There are three main ways that can help you:

*Ask your vet – your vet surgery will have a list of reliable insurance companies that are used by clients that they can suggest.

*Search engine – google and yahoo will show up many insurance companies.

*Word of mouth – if your friends have pet insurance, ask them which company they use and whether they consider them to be reliable and helpful.

Most insurance companies and banks provide pet health care plans, as well as some animal charities. In the UK the PDSA (www.pdsa.org.uk) have for years, provided a programme that pays for certain pet care, and now they have started their own insurance policy too. There are also some insurance companies that specialise in animal insurance, www.healthy-pets.co.uk and www.petshealthplan.com are companies just like this.

Comparing insurance policies is the next step to make. You can ring round and write down quote after quote, or you can use comparison websites such as www.compare-pet-insurance.com and www.moneysupermarket.com.

Once you have made your decision you can feel at ease that should anything happen to your pet, from road traffic accidents to the diagnosis of life threatening ailments, you should be able to trust that the insurance company will pay for any treatment that is required.

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