Pet insurance for guinea pigs is something that certainly many piggie owners give thought to.
With the unknown cost of vets fees, it can be unsettling to have your beloved pets suddenly go down with illness and not being able to pay for it.
So this is where pet insurance for guinea pigs comes in.
So what are the pros and cons of such insurance?
We wont attempt to make any kind of decision or give an opinion of whether we think it is worth it. Its up to you to decide that, but hopefully the points below will give you some food for thought.
You pay for peace of mind. The thing with insurance is that you are paying for the peace of mind that you are covered if you have any medical emergencies with your guinea pigs.
You don’t have to pay for expensive vet bills. It can be quite nervy taking your piggies to the vets and not knowing how much it is going to cost you for the treatment and consultation that they will get. This is where pet insurance is great because by paying your premiums up front you can ensure that there aren’t any scary bills when the time comes to take them to the vets.
They cover the cost of expensive medical procedures. Medical treatment has come a long way and most illnesses are treatable, however they are not cheap. Pet insurance means that your piggies can get the treatment they need without you being hit financially for it.
You can control the outlay. Pet insurance has an annual premium which can either be paid upfront or split into monthly payments. This means that you can include it in your monthly budget. This is very attractive for a lot of people who don’t like big financial surprises.
You can shop around for the best cover. Depending on which country you live in, there are usually different companies who offer guinea pig insurance. In the UK we are limited to a few insurers but in other countries there are more options. This means that you can shop around and choose the best policy for you.
You can get multiple plans that cover many guinea pigs. Depending on what type of policy you go with, you can have a policy that pays out if you have more than one guinea pig that requires vet attention in any one 12 month period.
There are different types of policy that you can get depending on their suitability.
For example, 12 month cover gives you a maximum amount of claims per condition. However there is also a limit of how often the fees can be paid for each condition. Once it reaches its limit the condition is excluded from future claims.
Accident only cover treats injuries caused by accidents only.
Lifetime cover means that any vet fees up to a particular amount are covered for the lifetime of the pet. It gives you the same amount of cover, and it doesn’t matter how many claims that you make.
Maximum benefit cover gives you a maximum amount of fees that are covered depending on the condition. However, once you reach the financial limit, the condition becomes a pre-existing condition.
The cost can be expensive. If you don’t have the budget for it, pet insurance can be out of the price range of owners. If you are on a tight budget then it can cause quite a lot of worry as to what budgetary payments are sacrificed in order to pay for such an outlay.
You pay for an excess up front. With most policies, in order to pay out on the claim, the insurer will require you to pay an excess up front as is the case with other types of insurance policies. So for example, you may need to pay the first £50 of you vet’s bill in order for the claim to be paid out.
Most policies wont cover pre-existing conditions. Watch out for whether the policy covers conditions that your guinea pig already suffers from. Most don’t and so you will have to pay the bill if your guinea pig needs treatment related to that condition. If its a new condition which has occurred after you have taken out the policy, you will be fine.
There could be other hidden costs that you have to pay out for. Often with these policies, there may be fees that you have to pay. For instance, it may not cover the cost of your vet writing out the insurance claim form for example. Most vet’s charge for this.
The cheapest isn’t always the best. If you are shopping around, be aware that as with a lot of insurance policies, the cheapest policy doesn’t guarantee the same quality of policy as a more expensive one. If its cheap there is often a reason. So always ready the small print.
Once you pay out your premiums you don’t get that money back. As with most insurance policies, once you pay out the premium, you don’t see that money again.
We hope that this has been helpful. There are some great policies out there that you can check out, however if you feel that they aren’t for you, then there is always the choice of taking a risk with the vet’s bill and paying it as it comes up.