What Types Of Dog Insurance Policies Can You Choose From?

PetGuide logo

Navigating your way through the maze that is dog insurance can seem like a real drag. There are a number of different types of policies you can go for, not to mention the sea of different insurance companies that you can take out your cover with. All you wanted was to get your pooch covered in case of an emergency! However, once you know about the different policies available and the kind of coverage they offer, it makes things much simpler for you. You’ll have Fido fully insured before you know it.

Lifetime Coverage

Lifetime coverage is the most expensive type of policy, but it’s also the one that offers the most comprehensive cover, meaning your veterinary bills should be paid for, no matter what kind of mischief your pup gets himself into. This kind of policy gives you a yearly allowance (sometimes in excess of $20,000) per condition. This is extremely beneficial should your pet happen to get a recurring injury or a chronic illness, because other types of policy would stop paying out after a while. Of course, that’s a worst case scenario anyhow; it’s unlikely that your pooch will suffer that serious an ailment, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. Well, it might hurt you bank balance a little bit!

Individual Condition Coverage

Individual condition coverage is when your dog insurance policy allows you a limit per condition. The exact amount varies depending on your policy, but let’s say it’s $15,000. So, if your dog gets a chronic ailment, the insurance company will pay a total of $15,000 toward the veterinary bills. If the total cost exceeds that amount, you’re on your own. The good thing is that there’s no limit to the amount of individual conditions you can claim for, nor is there a time limit for each condition. That means $15,000 could be paid out gradually over the next 10 years of your pup’s life, as and when a veterinary bill should arise for this chronic condition.

Annual Coverage

While annual coverage might not be the best, under certain circumstances, it is great for short-term conditions, and it is significantly cheaper than either lifetime or individual condition policies. If you take out an annual cover policy, you’ll be given a certain limit up to which you can claim in that year, and that’s that. You don’t get separate amounts per condition. The main issue with this kind of cover is that any medical problem that occurs with your dog during the year, is then counted as a pre-existing condition once you come to renew the policy. Therefore, it won’t be covered by the policy going forward, so if your four-legged friend gets a chronic condition, you could be stung for lots of veterinary bills once the annual cover is up.

Third Party Liability Coverage

There are a number of reasons why someone might feel like none of the above policy types are suitable for their dog. For instance, if you have an older dog or a dog of a so-called dangerous breed, either the premiums may be too expensive or the insurance company could refuse to insure the dog at all. Also, some people prefer to keep a vet bill fund themselves, which they can dip into should an emergency arise. Whatever the reason for not insuring your dog for veterinary cover, you should be aware that you’re liable for your dog’s actions. So, if your dog causes an accident, bites someone or damages someone’s personal property, you’d be stuck with the bill. Third party liability insurance is fairly inexpensive and simply covers costs related to any damage your dog manages to do.

loznnolaLauren Corona is a freelance writer from merry old England. She specializes in writing about dogs and other critters. Lauren lives near Oxford, with her gorgeous Doberman, Nola. When she’s not tapping away at the keyboard, you’ll find her walking in the woods with Nola-dog, raising money for the Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary, cooking vegan food, making zines and writing about herself in the third person.