Pet insurance is a health plan into which the owner pays a monthly or annual fee in exchange for reimbursement of approved veterinary charges. When a pet gets treated by a veterinarian for a covered illness, the owner pays the veterinarian in full and then submits a claim to their insurance carrier for reimbursement, as specified by the policy terms. The majority of pet insurance policies cover dogs and cats, but a few insurers also cover other animals.
What Does Pet Insurance Cover?
What your pet insurance policy covers depends on the plan you select:
Accident-only coverage: Covers veterinary charges for mishaps such as eating items, being bitten by another animal, fractured bones, and lacerations.
Comprehensive plan: Accidents and illnesses are covered under this plan, which may include allergies, cancer, hereditary conditions, surgery, hospitalization, breed-specific conditions, and arthritis.
Routine care: It is commonly known as a pet wellness plan. It covers preventative charges such as dental cleaning, immunizations, annual checkup exam fees, blood tests, and spaying or neutering.
Pre-existing conditions are often excluded from coverage regardless of which pet insurance plan you choose. Some firms, however, impose a waiting period for some pre-existing conditions and will only issue coverage if your pet is symptom-free for a certain period of time, such as six or twelve months. Other businesses will not give coverage.
How do I go about getting pet health insurance?
Given the numerous options available, determining which pet insurance provider and policy is right for you can be difficult. This step-by-step guide will walk you through the entire process.
Determine your pet’s needs
The ideal pet insurance for you will be determined by your pet’s requirements. While accident and illness policies are the most frequent, older pets may be ineligible for these plans at some firms, or the coverage may be prohibitively expensive. Accident-only policies can be beneficial for aging pets whose owners cannot afford an accident and illness policy.
Some businesses also have breed restrictions, which may help you narrow down your choices. In addition, if your pet has a chronic health condition, you should investigate how each organization treats pre-existing conditions.
Analyze the policy mechanics and features
The policy’s design determines how much you’ll pay out of pocket for covered ailments, while included features and add-ons influence the type of veterinarian care you’ll be reimbursed for. The following are important issues to consider:
Limits on coverage: Most policies have an annual limit, which is the maximum amount of reimbursement you can receive each year. Some providers may also offer an unlimited coverage option. Policies with greater or no yearly coverage limits are typically more expensive than policies with low coverage limits.
Payments: How your benefits are delivered varies amongst pet insurance carriers. The majority of insurance providers will repay you once you file a claim, but some may pay your veterinarian directly. Furthermore, some businesses handle online claims and payments more quickly than others.
Deductibles: A deductible is the amount of covered expenditures you must pay before your insurance company begins to reimburse you. The bigger the deductible you select, the lower your premium. Although most pet insurance policies have annual deductibles, some may force you to pay a deductible with each claim. Some businesses provide more deductible possibilities than others.
Add-ons: Take note of both the covered conditions and the covered services that come with each coverage. Exam expenses, alternative therapies, or behavioral difficulties may be included in your usual premium by some companies, while others may require you to buy these coverages at an additional cost. When comparing premiums, keep these considerations in mind.
Choices for reimbursement: Most pet insurance companies provide a few reimbursement choices, which function similarly to coinsurance on your health insurance plan. Once your deductible has been met, the reimbursement amount is the percentage of each covered claim for which you will be reimbursed. The reimbursement options may range from 50% to 100%. The greater the reimbursement, the less you must pay out of pocket for covered claims. However, your premium will be greater.
Even for similar coverage, prices can differ from one pet insurer to the next. Compare policies with the same deductible and reimbursement % when gathering quotations. If some coverages are included at one company but not at another, create a comparable plan at each before comparing premiums.
Pay attention to annual restrictions as well—if your pet’s insured expenses exceed that amount before the end of the insurance year, your coverage will lapse. Check that the limit is set high enough.
If you require additional coverage details, please contact the pet insurance carrier directly. Over the phone, we found insurers to be attentive and helpful, with no long (or even any) wait times.
Enroll with your preferred provider
The final step is to enroll in insurance. Most insurers, fortunately, allow customers to complete the entire enrollment process online. If you’ve already sought a quote, your application is likely still on the company’s website. If this is the case, all you need to do is choose a payment frequency and provide payment details.
As with other types of insurance, you should be able to select whether to pay your pet’s premium monthly or in advance for a little lower rate.