A Guide To Pet Insurance
Let’s admit it. Our pets are like our family. And some huge questions you need to take into consideration when we decide to get a pet such as what will we name them, what breed should we get and how much will it cost to care for them? Choosing the right pet insurance may be confusing. There are tons of insurances to choose from. Knowing the advantages of pet insurance can ensure a better future for your pet.
What Is Pet Health Insurance?
Pet insurance falls under the Property and Casualty insurance classification since pets are legally the property of their owners. The insurance you get also functions as indemnity insurance.
Advantage Of Pet Insurance
It is best to understand and dig into the policy details to find the best option for your beloved pets. Average pet insurance costs $10-100. However, acquiring an insurance plan without understanding the terms could cost you your precious time and money. Here are some of the advantages of pet insurance:
- Protects you and your finances against possible veterinary costs
- Allows veterinarians to provide your pet with the best care, doing the most advanced veterinary medical treatments
- It helps pet parents avoid economic euthanasia. Euthanasia is a kind of choice when pet owners choose to put down an untreatable illness since they can’t afford the pet’s medical care.
- It also helps owners to avoid setting financial limits on the cost of a pet’s life
- Provides pet owners with confidence like not having to hesitate before taking a pet for veterinary treatment or waiting it out to see if their medical condition worsens before consulting a vet
- Provides pet parents with peace of mind and knowing that no matter what happens like loss of a job or other financial crises. The financial resources are in place should a beloved pet become sick or be injured
- It also helps pet owners to avoid being in deep debt by choosing other financial ways to pay for the medical expenses like high-interest credit or loans
- Also helps pets to live healthier and longer lives
Want to know if you can transfer pet insurance coverage to someone else? We have just the right post for you. Read here: Is Pet Insurance Transferable To A New Owner?
What Does Pet Health Insurance Cover?
Pet health insurance is a distinct and specialized coverage that is made to reimburse pet owners for possible or unforeseen veterinary fees and related expenses. The three main types of health insurance for pets are:
- Accident and illness – This is an all-encompassing coverage for vet treatment for sudden injuries, sickness, disease, and any other changes to the normal state of your pets.
- Accident only – This is insurance coverage for medical care exclusively for accident-related incidents.
- Wellness – Wellness is a coverage plan that includes vaccinations, tests, and dental work. This is sometimes called “routine” or “preventive” care. Some accident and illness plans may include some of the wellness coverage such as dental benefits.
There are additional benefits and advantages of pet insurance depending on the needs of the pet. These of course differ from plan to plan and from one insurance provider to another. Some pet insurance plans may include other special coverage like:
- The expenses of emergency veterinary treatment for the insured pet when traveling out of the country of origin
- Third-party liability coverage if your pet injures someone or damages someone else’s property
- The expense of having an award for the return of a lost or stolen pet and the expense of the reward perse if the pet is found
- The expense of looking after a pet after you are brought to a hospital or requiring emergency treatment
- The cost of a holiday if it is canceled because the policy-holder’s pet needs emergency surgery
- Membership for the pet-owner in an online community
Do You Need Pet Insurance?
Pet insurance can also pay for the expenses of diagnosing, treating, and monitoring your pet’s sickness or injury. However, pet insurance is not for everyone and there’s no way to tell if it’s right for you and your pet. We suggest talking to your veterinarian and doing some research if you’re considering purchasing pet insurance.
These are some of the things that you should take before choosing a pet insurance plan:
The Best Pet Insurance Plan
There are insurances that are known to be best in handling cats and dogs alone, while some are good in handling different kinds of pets. You can also do some research about the different insurance companies that already have a good reputation in handling the kind of pet that you have.
Better yet, call us toll-free at Advantage Insurance Solutions
and get the right coverage your pet needs today at (877) 658-2472.
Your Pet’s Species
According to research, dogs and cats are the most commonly covered companion animals around the globe. About 85% of all of the policies cover dogs while 15% cover cats in North America. In other countries, exotic pets like birds, reptiles, rabbits, and ferrets are also covered.
Your Pet’s Breed
Some breeds are naturally susceptible to developing certain medical conditions. It is essential to know and consider the risks connected with your pet’s breed before you choose the kind of coverage you require. For instance, some kinds of dogs are more prone to diabetes or cruciate ligament injuries.
Cost of Treatment
We suggest asking your veterinarian about the expenses tied with treating some of the most common conditions for your pet’s breed. This knowledge will help you know the level of coverage limits or benefits of pet insurance that you will need or require. You may be surprised however at the costs connected with certain conditions which strongly suggest acquiring pet health insurance.
Pet Insurance Inclusions and Exclusions
There are roughly 250 policies for pet insurance. Though they are all different, most cover accidents and illnesses. Preventive and regular check-ups, vaccines, annual blood work, dental cleaning, heartworm medications, neuter, and spaying are considered as part of a wellness plan and are not covered. Though you can pay an additional fee if you want to cover that.
Purebred Dogs may not be covered in most pet insurance policies. There are certain breeds that are genetically linked to some diseases and health conditions such as hip dysplasia and cancer. Therefore, it’s best to check first if hereditary conditions are excluded from the insurance that you are eyeing to buy.
Pre-existing illness is not covered. Like most insurance policies, pre-existing illnesses and conditions will not be covered by the insurance provider.
Some things are excluded from the most normal kind of pet insurance coverage or accident or illness policies. You may find the most common ones below. However, this is not a complete list and will differ from each insurance company. You should know first the terms of your policy.
- A pre-existing medical condition or something that relates to your pet’s medical history should be considered. This only applies when you change your provider.
- Any incident that is related to pregnancy or when you were born
- The purchase price of your pet if your pet dies after a certain age normally nine years is likely to be excluded
- Most Wellness coverage (routine, preventive, or planned treatments such as flea, worm and tick treatments, vaccinations, grooming, claw clipping, dental maintenance, spaying, and neutering) unless your plan has incorporated some wellness benefits of pet insurance policies
All insurance policies have medical exclusion periods from the beginning of the policy that is called the “waiting period” which can last about 10 to 30 days. The coverage is not in effect until the waiting period ends and claims against the coverage can only be made for conditions or that start to show symptoms or accidents that happen after this date.
Who doesn’t love discounts right? When it comes to finding the right plan, those who offer more discounts are already on top of your choices. So you better do good research on different insurance companies that offer the best discounts.
Is the amount the customer pays before the insurance kicks in. Deductibles can be per incident, condition, or visit. But most insurance companies offer an annual deductible. The higher the deductible, the lower your annual premium will be. Pet insurance deductibles average between $50 to $100.
The deductible is applied yearly under some pet insurance plans. The plan begins to reimburse you once you have paid for the deductible toward covered treatment. The deductible will restart when you renew the policy every year. In some other plans, the deductible is applied per incident. The plan reimburses you up to the limits of the policy once you pay the deductible toward the treatment of a certain injury or illness. The negative side of this however is when your pet develops a few different medical problems in one year. You will be charged for deductibles.
Good Customer Service
This part may be neglected in considering the best insurance company. But this has a bigger impact than you think. Since almost everything right now can be searched online, take that as an advantage. Do some research about the insurance companies that have good reviews. Are they reputable? Are they good at explaining the plans to their customers? Did they provide the reimbursements on time? These things are a big deal. They will be handling your claims so make sure that you choose an insurance company that you can trust.
Compare Pet Insurance Providers
We greatly suggest that you compare pet insurance providers before you decide to purchase a pet insurance policy. Make a side-by-side comparison that will show the difference in plans, premiums, deductibles, co-pays, sample reimbursements, and plan details, including exclusions and additional features.
Check Out The Insurer’s Track Record
We also suggest checking the pet insurance provider’s track record if they are reliable. They should be stable, have experience and recommendations. Ask yourself how long has the provider been in business? Are they a trusted financial service? How many in-force policies do they have? Do they have a staff or most especially, veterinarians who know and specialize in pets’ needs and help develop policies?
Research What Are The Things That Are Covered And What Might Affect Those
We also greatly suggest researching what’s covered in certain pet insurance and what might affect it in the said coverage. Some pet health insurance plans may have exclusions for conditions that are already there, hereditary, congenital, or related to breeding and this may apply restrictions on your coverage when you file a claim.
Before you purchase an insurance plan for your pets, ensure that you are aware and understand what factors may affect the coverage such as your pet’s breed and any pre-existing conditions. Find out how often and why your premium will increase. Ask if the number of claims you submit will affect your insurance premium. If you are not sure about how the policy was made, call your insurance provider and ask customer care to further explain it in a simple way for you to easily understand.
We greatly suggest that you understand what are the different factors that may affect your insurance plans such as the breed of your pet and any pre-existing conditions. Be also aware of how frequent and why your premium will increase. Be also sure how many claims will affect your premium. If you are not sure about this, call your insurance company and kindly ask them to explain this to you in a much easier way.
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Choose Coverage that Works for You
There When You Need It
Pet insurance is a type of coverage that’s designed to be eventually used. For home and auto insurance, it may take years before claiming it. However, for pet insurance, it is very likely that you use it over the course of its life since your pet will become ill or injured and will need medical care.
You Get What You Pay For
You really get what you pay for. This is the same with all kinds of insurance. The more comprehensive the coverage, the higher the benefits of the pet insurance, and the higher your associated premium will be.
Where You Live Affects Your Options
We also suggest taking note of the laws and regulations that govern pet insurance since these may vary from one state to another. Where you live actually defines the kind of coverage you can purchase and the terms and conditions that apply to it.
Changing Your Coverage
We also suggest checking the kind of product and the level of veterinary fees covered to make sure that it will continue to meet your financial needs when you choose a policy. Also, always keep in mind that many companies will allow you to downgrade your coverage. However, upgrading is not usually allowed. Always remember that your pet’s medical history may be requested and your vet will be asked to disclose your pet’s full medical records.
Coverage For Chronic Conditions
The available amount and kind of insurance for chronic conditions such as diabetes or cancer differ among pet insurance plans so we greatly suggest asking your provider about any policy terms or limits that may apply. These chronic conditions are illnesses or problems like the ones mentioned above. If your pet develops a chronic illness, you’ll know beforehand what to expect.
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Co-Pay or Co-Insurance
The totals that you would be paying for your insurance claims are “Copay” and “Coinsurance”. This amount varies between plans and providers so we suggest referring to your policy terms and conditions.
The most commonly offered and selected co-pay amount is about 80%. You are reimbursed for up to 80% of the amount you claim for. In some areas in the United States, 90% and 100% copay levels are sometimes available.
Premiums – the Cost of Your Coverage
The total cost of pet insurance can differ according to a number of factors such as your address, the breed of your cat or dog, its gender, and age. The premiums depend on your veterinary charges. For instance, the cost of veterinary treatment and the costs of running a veterinary practice is normally higher in urban areas than in rural areas so expect your premiums to depend on this.
Of course, purebred or a pedigree dog or cat is typically more expensive to cover than mixed breeds since mixed breeds are less likely to inherit medical conditions. Some specific breeds are more likely to be exposed to more conditions than others. This is why we suggest that you should ask your veterinarian about some of the conditions that your pet may develop in its whole lifetime. It can help you be aware of future veterinary expenses and the kind of coverage you may need to fully protect your pet.
When something as bad as an accident happens to your pet,
you want to make sure they’re taken care of, right?
Read here to know more: Can I Get Pet Insurance After An Accident?
Impact of Age on Coverability
Most insurance policies will not cover pets that are less than eight weeks old. However, please be aware that your coverage will become more expensive and even more difficult to secure as your pet gets older. Some insurance companies will not offer new insurance to pets that are above a certain age. If you obtain a policy when your pet is younger, you can normally continue with the same insurance company for the lifetime of your pet.
Effects of Aging on Coverage
The premiums, deductibles, and policy copays will also increase as your pet ages since their risk of illness also increases. However, the effect of your pet’s age on the cost of your insurance coverage can differ a bit across differ
As your pet gets old, the premiums, deductibles, and policy copays will also add up since the risk of illnesses will also increase. However, the effect of the age of your pet on the expense of the coverage can differ a bit on different insurance companies and plans so it is essential to consider this factor before selecting a plan.
Always Remember The Following:
- We propose listing your priorities and ranking them.
- Find the right policy for your needs.
- Compare free, no-obligation quotes from several reputable providers.
- Ask all your inquiries in person or by email. Their care may be important while choosing a pet sitter.
- Read your insurance policy and paperwork for specifics on benefits and exclusions. Most firms now give insurance documentation in simple English. View them before enrolment.
- Always answer questions honestly. If you don’t answer truthfully, your insurance company won’t pay the claim.
- Your veterinarian is an ethical expert who can explain pet insurance and veterinary care costs.
- Stay informed. Your insurance provider will send you policy updates, emails, and alerts. Knowing your policy’s terms and restrictions will assist you care for sick or wounded pets. Reading about them when your pet is unwell is stressful.
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A young and healthy pet will be eligible for any plan. However, some plans won’t let you enroll in senior pets. In general, your pets should be at least 6 to 10 weeks old at a minimum depending on your insurance provider. Even though some plans have no maximum age limits, a lot of them cut off first-time enrollment at 10 to 14 years. Once you’re enrolled, most of these plans will give you coverage as long as you keep on paying for the premiums. Some plans will also require your pet to be checked by your vet in the past year or they will ask you to let your pet undergo an exam before they’ll sell you a policy.
Types Of Incidents Covered
Some of the pet insurance companies that are in that market only offer accident-only plans. Meanwhile, others offer more comprehensive plans that cover both accidents and illnesses.
An accident-only plan covers the treatment of injuries such as a car accident or poisoning. If you only have this plan, your insurance company won’t pay anything if your pets get sick.
Types Of Treatment Covered
Alternative And Behavioral Treatment
Some insurance plans cover behavioral care and a wide range of alternative treatments such as acupuncture and chiropractic care. However, other insurance companies don’t cover them at all or they limit such coverage to the most expensive plans. If you want to obtain coverage for alternative medical care, we suggest reading the details of which treatments are covered since there is no specific definition of alternative care
If your pet gets sick, some insurance companies will not extend the insurance plan coverage for the next year after your policy renews, not until you’re willing to pay more fees for continual care.
Some insurance plans will reimburse you for certain procedures and medicines but would not cover exam fees for routine check-ups or when your pet gets an illness.
Routines And Wellness Care
Most insurance plans don’t cover the basics such as yearly vaccinations, spaying, neutering, and teeth cleaning. However, others offer the choice of adding such coverage but for additional fees.
A few certain plans don’t tell how much they will pay out for covered treatments. However, most plans have maximum payouts. This is why you need to read your policy carefully. Some have a payout limit for the year, for your pet’s lifetime, or for a type of incident or condition. There may also be a combination of limits.
Usually, pet insurance plans reimburse you a percentage of the treatment costs. You have the option to choose the reimbursement level when you purchase the policy such as 70%, 80%, or 90%. Some plans reimburse you a percentage of your vet’s bill. Meanwhile, others reimburse you a percentage of the usual and customary charges for the treatment. Any amount that is above the percentage that they will cover will be your responsibility.
The average yearly premium for a pet insurance policy covering accidents and illnesses in North America was $433 in 2014 according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association. The average yearly premium for accident-only plans was averaging $154.
Prices for pet insurance are based on:
- Your pet’s age and breed – The older your pet is, the more the expenses you’ll pay. Some of the pet breeds are more costly to be insured since they have more health problems.
- Your location will affect the costs of insurance premiums.
- Amount and kind of coverage – The more the policy covers, the more you’ll pay.
- Reimbursement level and deductible – The lower the reimbursement level and the higher the deductible, the less you’ll pay for the plan.
- Insurance company – Prices vary by company.
Ensure your pet’s safety while traveling. Learn more in this video.
Better Advice. Better Benefits Of Pet Insurance
We recommend learning the type and amount of coverage you need. Having that information gives you the advantage of getting pet insurance quotes from multiple firms. Compare insurance with comparable reimbursement amounts, deductibles, and annual payment limitations. Before buying, read the paperwork to ensure you get all the limits and exclusions.
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