In this article, we will discuss Getting Pet Insurance? and how to Choose the Perfect Plan for it. Life always comes with some uncertainty. It is impossible to anticipate what will happen in the
future. No matter how vigilant and responsible you are, accidents do happen. When you bring a furry best friend home, it becomes your responsibility to take their best possible care.
Whether they get sick or injured, you have to take care of them, just like you would a child. Getting pet insurance is a lifesaver in this case, but which pet insurance should you get?
There are overwhelming options to choose from for pet insurance. But pet insurance plans differ in
their coverage and payout procedure. So, it is crucial to research beforehand to know which plan
will work for you.
Here are the things to consider:
1. Know the Eligibility for Insurance
5 to 10 weeks old puppies and kittens are eligible for insurance, but it can vary because different
insurance companies have their policies regarding the enrollment of pets. Some companies do not allow first-time enrollment of senior pets, while some offer coverage for accidents only. Do some research beforehand to protect yourself from any hassle.
Likewise, some companies offer health insurance to dogs and cats only, while others include less
common animals such as exotic birds, rodents, ferrets, rabbits, etc. So the best idea is to shop
around to know which companies can offer health insurance to your pet.
2. Know Pet Insurance Coverage
The right insurance company will cover both the accident and illness. But these companies do not
take into account pre-existing conditions. Also, sometimes breed-specific restrictions are imposed
by some insurance companies.
Certain cats and dogs are susceptible to hereditary conditions, such as hip dysplasia. Therefore,
consult your vet on the diseases that your dog is prone to, and then look for a health insurance
the policy that covers that specific disease.
For example, Cavapoos are prone to hip dysplasia, so before getting a Cavapoo insurance, ensure
that the company does not restrict gender-specific conditions and covers all breed-specific illnesses
to which your Cavapoo is vulnerable.
Many insurance plans allow you to get your pet checked by any licensed vet so that you do not need
to bother about whether this vet is within the network of your insurer or not. Usually, you pay for the bill up front and then claim for reimbursement. However, some insurance
companies pay your vet directly before you even leave the clinic.
3. Choose Insurance Plan Type You Are Comfortable With
Which plan suits both your pocket and the dog? A plan that covers everything tempts you, or a plan
that covers accidents only sounds good? If you are not comfortable with both of them, then don’t
worry. Insurance companies have several plans that lie within these margins.
These options are broken down into four insurance coverage plans;
a) Umbrella Coverage:
This coverage plan has all your needs covered. From accidents and injuries to routine vet checkups
and vaccinations, this flagship plan satisfies all medical expenditures of your dog. Where money is
not a problem, people can go for this coverage plan.
This plan takes hereditary conditions into account as well. If your dog has some chronic illness and
may undergo diagnostic tests and surgeries, then this plan is surely a handy option.
b) Illness and Accident Coverage:
Like the previous plan, this plan also covers accidents and chronic plus hereditary illnesses, but it
does not cover wellness exams. Vaccination, heartworm and flea prevention, and regular vet visits
come under wellness exams.
c) Accident-only Coverage:
If you don’t have enough budget to go for comprehensive coverage, then you should purchase an
accident-only coverage premium because it is not expensive. This coverage plan will compensate
your dog if an unfortunate incident happens.
d) Pet Wellness Exams Coverage:
Pet wellness exams that were excluded in previous coverage are made inclusive in this one. If you
want an insurance company to pay just for your wellness-related expenditures, then this policy has
been made for you.
4. Go Through Pet Insurance Basic Plan Options
Pet owners must get multiple quotes from different insurance companies. You will find the “get a
quote” option on insurance companies’ homepages. You will find multiple plans by adding your
information there. You may find a standard plan as well as a customized option.
To customize a plan, you must know which factors affect the monthly premium of these insurance
companies. A deductible is an amount that makes you eligible to get paid by the insurance company. You will get two options: annual and per incident.
Per incident, deductibles should be preferred when your pet has some chronic condition, such as
arthritis, cancer, or allergies. This will make you pay only one time for that specific disease, even if
it extends for a lifetime.
Annual deductibles, on the other side, are good for pets that use to make frequent visits to the clinic
throughout the year. This will make you pay only one time in a year regardless of the purpose of the
5. Understand Reimbursement Amount and Limits
If your pet gets sick or any accident happens, you file a claim for reimbursement. If the incident falls
under the insurance plan, you will likely receive the payback for your vet bill. Most of the health plans offer 70 percent, 80 percent, 90 percent, and 100 percent reimbursement, while others issue a standard fee for the specific treatment.
This specific fee is usually less than your vet bill, and you would be responsible for paying for the remaining amount. Choose your plan according to your needs. For older pets, companies normally pay less reimbursement, so you must ensure there are annual claim limits.
You will have to pay a low premium if the deductibles rate is high and the reimbursement rate is
low, while a high premium will be imposed on you if the deductibles are low and reimbursement
rates are high.
6. Look for Waiting Periods
After you purchase a policy for general illness, most of the plans have a short waiting period which
is 2 weeks. Treatment is not covered during the waiting period.
While for certain health implications such as cruciate ligament, the waiting period of most plans is
considerably long. Choose an insurance company that is honest about its waiting period policy and
try to negotiate with it to shrink the time span.
7. Read Customers’ Feedback
If you have selected the company and understood every part of the procedure, it is easy to choose
an insurance company that matches your requirements. Once you have chosen the company, check
candid customer reviews on Google or social media and read what people are saying about this
8. Different Cost Considerations
According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, the average monthly premium
for dogs is $47, while for the cats is $29. But the price range depends on breed, age, location, and
sometimes, payout limits, deductibles, and reimbursement methods.
a) Your Zip Code:
Maybe the cost that is required for your pet care in your area is higher than the same amount of care in any other area. For instance, if you live in a major hub, the cost you’ll likely get will be higher than in any rural area because the cost of living in major cities is always higher than in rural areas, such
as clinic rents, workers’ wages, etc.
b) Pet’s Breed:
The breed of your dog will impact the premium amount. Mixed breeds have the least premium because they are less likely to develop any genetic disease. Large purebred, on the other hand, are subject to a wide array of diseases genetically transmitted from their parents. So, the cost will be higher where the probability of breed-specific disease is higher.
c) Pets Age:
As the puppy or kitten grows, the cost of premium also grows. Senior dogs are prone to more medical issues, so the premium is also higher for them.
d) Money-Saving Tips:
e) If you are a multi-pet owner, then get all your pets insured by the same insurance company
because most companies offer discounts on multiple insurances.
f) Spayed or neutered pets get discounts from most pet insurance companies.
g) Instead of a monthly premium, if you pay an annual lump sum amount, you will get a
h) If you are a military member or veteran, claim for a discount as well.
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A four-legged furry critter is your responsibility. Most people do not think about medical care when
they adopt a pet. Imagine your pet gets sick or injured, and you have nothing in your pocket to save
your most loving and loyal best friend.
Pet insurance covers your vet bills and helps you in taking care of your pet without thinking about
sudden expenditures. Insurance companies have different plans to cater to the needs of every
customer. So, choose your plan accordingly.
While looking for a pet insurance company, do not just see just the price. You have to understand
what is included in the premium and does the premium satisfies your pet’s needs or not.