What is maximum benefit pet insurance?
Maximum benefit is a type of pet insurance which covers conditions up to a set financial limit. Maximum benefit policies no term limit so do not expire, and you can claim for the same condition multiple times. But once the policy has paid out its set maximum, you will have to cover any extra costs yourself.
Most providers of maximum benefit pet insurance usually set a payout limit of roughly £1,500 per illness or injury from which your pet could suffer. However, if you’re looking for a higher level coverage, it is possible to get policies that up to over £8,000, but these will have much higher premiums.
You’ll need to bear in mind that the financial limit of a maximum benefit policy isn’t reset each year, so if you claim for a certain condition then there will be less money available for that condition in the future.
What does this sort of pet insurance cover?
Maximum benefit pet insurance is primarily designed to cover accidents and illnesses, up to the limits stated. These policies will commonly pay the cost of vet treatment and medication, however you may also find providers which offer additional benefits for an extra fee. Each of these benefits will have their own individual payout limits. Here’s a list of some of the extra coverage you can get in a maximum benefit pet insurance policy:
- Third-party liability. Some providers offer coverage should your pet (e.g. dog) cause damage or injury to another person or property.
- Boarding fees. If you’re hospitalised for a number of days (e.g. 4 or more) and no one can care for your pet, then some providers will help cover the costs of a cattery or kennel.
- Theft & loss. Some policies will pay out a percentage of the cost of the pet if they get stolen or stray and aren’t found within a certain amount of time (e.g. 45 days).
- Advertising and reward. Should your pet go missing, you may get a payout to help cover the costs of advertising and offering a reward.
- Death of your pet. If your pet dies while insured, some providers will pay out a percentage of what they cost. However, this figure will depend on their age and the market value of the breed.
- Vet fees abroad. If your pet requires medical treatment abroad, some policies will cover this.
- Holiday cancellation. If you have to cancel a holiday due to your pet’s health, some providers will help cover the cancellation fees under certain circumstances.
- Dog walker. Some providers will cover the cost of a professional dog walker should you be taken into hospital and unable to care for your dog.
It’s also worth noting that you can find maximum benefit pet insurance which covers older pets up to a certain age bracket, for instance dogs over 8 years old and cats over 10 years old. You will tend to find that the premiums on these policies are lower than on maximum benefit pet insurance with no age limit.
Maximum benefit pet insurance can be a great policy for older pets if you’re struggling to insure them under a lifetime pet insurance policy.
Are there any exclusions?
Yes. While maximum benefit pet insurance is a fairly comprehensive type of pet cover, you need to be aware of the main restriction: once you reach the maximum limit on any condition, you can’t claim on that condition any more - even if it develops elsewhere in your pet’s body.
- If the treatment covered by your policy doesn’t cure your pet, you’ll have to pay for any further treatment yourself.
- With the increasing cost of vet bills, large surgeries can quickly use up your allotted funds for a specific condition.
- The payout limit isn’t reset each year, so the more you claim early on, the less you’ll have as your pet gets older.
- Pre-existing conditions won’t be covered by your maximum benefit pet insurance policy.
While many maximum benefit pet insurance providers offer additional benefits, this often excludes the following services:
- Grooming costs
- Treatment for parasites
- Spaying and castration
- Dental treatment
And it’s common that it’s hard to find maximum benefit pet insurance policies that will cover:
- Working pets
- Dangerous pets
- Pets with missing vaccinations
- Certain breeds
- Older pets
- Pets with pre-existing medical conditions
- Pregnant animals
Which animals are eligible for maximum benefit insurance?
This pet insurance is primarily designed for cats or dogs, and it’s quite rare to find these policies to cover other animals. Other types of pets, including rabbits, horses, and exotic pets, are usually covered under annual or lifetime insurance policies.
How much does maximum benefit insurance cost?
Maximum benefit pet insurance is a mid-priced option. This style of policy isn’t as cheap as accident only cover, but it provides substantially more coverage and isn’t as costly as a lifetime policy.
You may find maximum benefit life insurance advertised from as little as around £5 for a cat and £11 for a dog monthly, however this can rise to over £20 per month depending on the policy.
What affects my monthly premiums?
The cost of insuring your pet will vary from provider to provider, however you should also keep in mind the following factors which can have a huge bearing on your monthly premiums:
- What animal you’re insuring. Dogs are more expensive to insure than cats.
- The breed of your animal. The higher the market value of your pet, the more maximum benefit pet insurance will cost.
- Your pet’s age. Even if there’s no age cap on time-limited insurance, the older your pet is, the more you’ll have to pay to insure them.
- Where you live. In the UK, vet’s fees vary depending on where you live, so naturally the price of pet insurance fluctuates. It’s typically cheaper to have your dog treated outside of London, with the cheapest vet fees offered in Scotland.
- Whether they’ve been neutered. Your monthly premiums may be cheaper if your pet has been neutered.
- Whether they’ve been chipped. If your time-limited pet insurance covers loss and theft, then your monthly premiums may be cheaper if your pet has been chipped.
- Your pet’s health. The cost of insuring your pet will be considerably higher if your pet has had poor health in the past.
How do I make a claim?
That’s simple. On any insurance website, they’ll have a claims page or number you can call to get things started. If your provider has a claims page, then fill out a form for the treatment or situation in question, and they’ll get back to you promptly.
Alternatively, if you’d like extra advice or support, the best startegy is to call your insurance provider’s customer service line where they’ll talk to you in more detail and mail you the relevant paperwork to fill out.
What other pet insurance options are available?
When looking for the right pet insurance policy, it’s important to consider all of your options. If maximum benefit pet insurance isn’t right for your pet, you may want to consider one of the following:
- Accident only. Designed only to cover your pet for injury, rather than illness. It’s the cheapest policy option, but your pet’s coverage will reflect this. Many accident-only policies have both time and payout limits.
- Time-limited. Designed to offer a fixed payout per condition (e.g. £1,500), for a set period of time (usually 12 months). When the term ends, you can’t claim any more money for the same condition, even if you renew the policy.
- Lifetime. Designed to cover your pet for all conditions, up to a set payout limit. This payout limit is renewed annually, and provides coverage for your pet’s whole life.
Is maximum benefit insurance right for my pet?
If you’re looking to cover a pet that’s susceptible to conditions that require long-term treatment, such as treatment with steroids, then maximum benefit pet insurance may be the right policy for you. It allows you to claim multiple times for the same condition, up to a certain limit.
However, if these recurring treatments are costly, then you’ll want to consider whether the maximum benefit listed is going to provide enough coverage.
Ultimately, the easiest and most effective way to figure out if maximum benefit insurance is right for your pet and wallet is to get a quote.
How can I find the best multiple pet insurance policy?
The best place to look is in our multi pet insurance reviews. We take an in-depth look at every provider so you can understand the ins and outs of every policy before putting pen to paper. Reading through our reviews will help you compare your options and make sure you’re getting teh right policy for your pet.
Where can I get a quote now?
Right here. If you’re ready to get started then just click below, fill out the form, and one of our brokers will help you find a great quote in minutes!