Having co-insurance for your pet means you pay a percentage of the remaining vet fees after the excess has been deducted if you claim. It’s worth considering if you want an affordable policy for older animals.
A co-payment – also known as cost sharing – is a an additional payment you make towards the cost of any vet's fees there are as part of your claim, minus the excess.
The percentage is usually 10% or 20%, and your insurer will cover the rest. It can make your pet insurance premiums cheaper, though your contribution towards the cost of a claim increases.
For example, if the vet's fees are £200, you might pay a £50 excess, plus an extra 20% as a co-payment towards the costs.
20% of £150 (the vet’s fee minus the excess) is £30. So you’d pay £80 (the original excess plus the extra £30).
Some insurers increase the excess for older pets. But co-payments allows you to keep your previous fixed excess and pay an additional percentage towards the vet's fees instead.
If you've stayed with the same insurer for years, you might find that they start to charge a co-payment as your cat or dog reaches older age. Though it'll vary between insurers.
Always read the terms and conditions carefully before committing to a policy so you know what you're expected to contribute towards the cost of a claim.
Co-payments are usually applied after your pet reaches a certain age, typically eight for a dog and 10 for a cat.
If you do have to make a co-payment towards vets fees, it'll be detailed in your policy documents.
You have to pay the co-payment as well as the excess and it'll be deducted from your policy limit.
For example, if your co-payment is 20% and your excess is £100, if you make a claim for £300 of vet costs, you'll have to pay the £100 excess plus £60 co-payment. The full £300 will be deducted from your policy limit.
As your pet ages the chance of it needing medical treatment increases, meaning you’re more likely to claim on your policy. This means your premiums may increase.
The cost of an insurance premium spread across 12 months might be an affordable way for you to get help paying for your pet’s treatment. But you might find the additional co-payment hard to find when you need it.
You'll have to weigh up policies with and without it. Think about whether you'd find it easier to pay a higher premium - and know you'd only have to pay the excess - or a more affordable monthly payment and a co-payment built in.