What is Pet Insurance and How do I get it?
Pet insurance is essentially a policy that covers some of the healthcare costs for your pets. Animals, just like humans, get sick, and become more susceptible to illness and injury as they get older. They can also become the victims of accidents and require sudden and expensive emergency procedures to save their life
There are many different options to find pet insurance– you can either do the work yourself and research all the different providers or go through an agent to determine which policy is a good fit for your pet and also, your budget. Many companies provide comparable quotes on their websites or have customer service representatives to help guide you through the process.
On ROSHI we’ve done most of the work for you – all we need is your zip code and the type of pet, and we will deliver you a great list of companies to choose from. You can see each company’s ratings and reviews, and when you’ve decided, you can click on the link of your preferred company to get a detailed quote.
Do I really need Pet Insurance?
Many are hesitant to get pet insurance, especially if the pet is healthy to begin with. Ongoing insurance costs can get expensive, but arguably they are much more manageable than sudden out-of-pocket costs that emerge from unexpected accidents and illnesses. Many pet parents who decide not to get pet insurance, find themselves in the agonising position of choosing between paying high surgical fees or euthanising their pets. Treatment of long-term illnesses are not to be underestimated either as those costs can also stack up very quickly over time, e.g. cancer will require a cornucopia of prescribed medication, medical testing and medical procedures.
Best Pet (Dogs & Cats) Insurance in Singapore (2022)
|Insurance Plan ||Best For ||
|Liberty Insurance PetCare Standard Plan||Most extensive Coverage||
|CIMB My Paw Pal||Cheapest Plan||
|AON Happy Tails||Lifetime Coverage||
|AIA Paw Safe||No Microchip Required||
Different types of Pet Insurance
There are a few things to consider when buying healthcare for your pet:
- Whether or not you want to specifically cover illness OR accidents (you can buy these coverages separately but it’s often best to buy both).
- Whether or not you want to cover dental work.
- Whether or not you want to include spaying (some companies offer it for special breeds, e.g. Rottweilers).
- Whether you need a custom health plan for an exotic pet.
Also, there are two mechanisms of payment:
- The first – where your vet submits a claim to the insurance company to receive payment (so the insurance company pays your vet directly).
- The second – where you pay the full amount to your veterinarian, then submit the claim to the insurance company for reimbursement.
Things to Compare
What is your annual benefit limit?
Within each policy there are stated maximum claimable limits for certain scenarios or procedures (which are often topped-up or refreshed annually). It’s important to be aware of how much you can claim (and how much you have left to claim) when the situation arises.
What % vet bill costs are covered?
Not all companies and polices are equal, and some can cover up to 90%.
What are the deductible costs?
Thiis is essentially how much you will be paying out-of-pocket in the event of a claim (generally if you are paying less out-of-pocket you will have a higher premium). So if you have a deductible cost of $500 and want to make a claim for $2000, you will have to pay $500 of that cost yourself outright.
Is there an age limit?
Many companies have age limits when commencing new policies; sourcing insurance for your pet after they turn 13 is challenging.
Does my pet have a pre-existing condition?
Pre-exiting conditions mean some insurers impose limits on the level of coverage provided.
Does the policy have guaranteed renewability?
Making sure that policies are renewable is essential for older pets, otherwise they may be uninsured going into their most vulnerable years.
Are there any waiting periods?
If there is a waiting period between signing the policy and the commencement date, it could mean that your pet remains uninsured and unable to claim during a certain period of time.
Like other insurance policies, pet insurance often lets policy holders select extras to accompany the main content. These extras may incur an extra cost so should be considered carefully and selected based on what will be the most beneficial. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Overseas pet travel insurance
- Essential euthanasia
- Emergency boarding
- Routine care
- Dental illness.
Things to Avoid
- Don’t underestimate limits and deductables –combining policy limits with deductible costs can considerably reduce your reimbursement percentage. For example, if you claim $2000 with a compensation of 80% you would think you would be able to claim $1600, however if you had a deductible of $500, you will only be able to claim $1100.
- Don’t paying premiums following a pet’s death. Premium payments should end in the event of the pet’s death however some policies continue (sometimes for a full year) unless they are directly cancelled.
- Ask if you’re confused by policy information. Clarify what is and isn’t included in the policy as well as when claims can be expected to be paid.
Understand senior and chronic care coverage. During your pet’s senior years double check if chronic and recurring care is covered, otherwise they may be out of cover during a critical period.
Different types of Pet Insurance
At first glance it would be easy to think that pet insurance comes as a standard deal. However, complexities arise when dealing with different pet species, as well as the level of care they require. As a rule of thumb, most pet insurance deals will include the following:
- Accidental injuries
- Chronic health conditions
- Congenital conditions (e.g. cataracts or diabetes)
- Wellness care
- Imaging (e.g. X-rays and ultrasounds)
- Lab tests
- Prescription medications
- Alternative therapies (e.g. acupuncture or hydrotherapy)
What does Pet Insurance not cover?
It pays to read the small print. The last thing you want to worry about after an emergency procedure for a beloved pet, is the realisation that the costs were not covered by your insurance company. To avoid these nasty financial surprises, it is essential to know exactly what isn’t covered and what isn’t.
Basic pet insurance cover often excludes the following scenarios:
If your pet has medical conditions which were present prior to taking out a policy or emerge during the waiting period afterward taking out a policy, your cover may be rejected. Pre-existing conditions include any officially diagnosed medical conditions (including those previously treated or in remission), as well as undiagnosed conditions that are presenting as symptoms. This is primarily to dissuade pet owners from making fraudulent “healthy pet” applications for chronically sick animals. It is important to clarify what the insurance company considers “pre-existing” as some are stricter than others.
Many old “aesthetic” treatments are now considered inhumane by modern standards and as such will not be covered by insurance. For example, claw removal, tail-docking or ear-cropping
Fees Exceeding Usual and Customary Costs
Insurance companies use statistical analyses of the veterinarian industry to determine average costs for procedures within a particular geographical location. If fees from your vet are higher than the market average for that area, insurance companies may deny your claim. It is important to ask your vet for a list of fees in advance so that your insurance company can confirm whether a) the stated costs are comparable to the market, and b) those costs can be covered by their policies.
Can I use my usual vet?
Sure, if your vet is legally licenced to practice there usually isn’t an issue, but double check if your particular vet is listed as an approved provider by your potential insurance company. Some insurance companies are also able to directly pay vendors, so discuss the option with your vet in advance so that they can complete the required documentation.
Can my pet get covered for pre-existing conditions?
Yes, but it will generally be more expensive and come with some additional caveats. A way to avoid this is to get pet insurance as early as you can, so that in the worst-case scenarios where a medical condition does develop, you can claim the costs more easily.
A popular option are lifetime pet insurance policies, or ones that come with guaranteed insurability.
Do I have to provide a copy of my pet’s medical history?
You shouldn’t need to provide a full medical history, but you do have to disclose your pet’s past illnesses or injuries. Estimates of a pets age are usually permitted however some companies may request an assessment by a vet in order to obtain a clearer picture.
In the case of adoption, you can ask the shelter for a copy of your pet’s medical history to help you draw out any important information that is needed for the policy.
Can I get coverage for multiple pets at once?
Yes, and some companies event offer discounts for multiple policies.
How do I renew my coverage?
90% of companies provide insurance for at least a year and most policies are renewed automatically each year (as long as there is no gap in coverage). However, the majority of companies require pets to be under 14 years old prior to commencing a new policy.
Will my pet insurance premiums increase?
Yes, they are likely to increase but this is in order to keep up with advances in technologies and medical procedures, as well as the increased chances of claims and costs of claims as your pets age.