Home, auto, health, life and now PET insurance! Although it has been around for a while, pet insurance is now becoming more commonplace in the US market. This year’s fear of poisoned food has truly demonstrated how vulnerable our pets are to sickness and disease. With all the advances in veterinary medicine and the resulting costs, health care for a beloved pet can be as expensive as a child these days. With a comprehensive pet insurance plan, you can base life-changing treatment decisions on your pet’s health rather than costs.
Insurance for pets is available from a wide variety of sources, with many available coverage options and plans. Just like your health insurance, you can purchase coverage for almost any level of protection you choose. There are plans for basic sickness or injury expenses, luxury plans to cover almost any illness, accident or injury, and even routine care and inspection plans. The market has become so popular and competitive that some plans even cover dental, chiropractic care and acupuncture treatments.
The variety of pets covered may be as broad as today’s pet market. Dog and cat insurance coverage remains the foundation of most corporate plans, and many companies now also offer Bird and Exotic Pet plans. Therefore, if you want to insure a parrot, iguana, or potbelly pig, you should be able to find a plan and insurance company that fits your needs.
Pet insurance has many similarities with our health insurance. There are margin limits, conditions, exclusions for pre-existing conditions, deductions, contributions, and lifetime amount limits. An important and useful difference is the choice of care provider. With pet insurance you can usually use any veterinarian you want or are available to. You don’t need to choose from ‘Provider network’. you also don’t need to buy anything pre-approved; You are free to take the necessary action to protect your pet’s health and then submit your claim.
Another not-so-beneficial difference is the out-of-pocket expense. Usually, pet insurance plans pay you after the claim is made; You may need to pay the vet or caregiver bill before you get a refund.
Policies typically have deductions, co-pays, and lifetime limits. The exemption will generally apply to any event that could be an accident, injury or illness. Subsequent treatments for the same condition will not require further downtime. Typical deductions range from $50 to $250. Most policies also have a co-pay percentage, which is the final covered expense the insurance company will pay. Co-payments are usually 80% or 90%.
One important thing to watch out for are benefits programs. You want to avoid companies with fixed benefit programs. This means that they set a price for certain procedures/treatments and will only allow so much, regardless of the actual cost. This can make a low deductible plan with high co-pays actually cost you much more in the long run than a high deductible plan with a lower co-pay percentage.
Where to get pet insurance? An easy first step is to ask your current vet, they may have a plan they suggest or work on. But don’t stop there, research the market online. The difference in plans can be dramatic when it comes time to file a claim. Be sure to review companies’ policy, exclusions and benefits, as well as their history, reputation and finances.
Things to consider in pet insurance policies;
- No network of required providers
- No fixed benefit plan
- Diagnostic test; MRI, Cat scans, X-rays
- Specialists, Hospitalization, Cancer treatments, Prescriptions
- After-hours/emergency treatments
- Multiple pet discount
- Request processing time
- Company history and reputation
Insuring your pet is a great idea, and the many plans and options available make it easy and affordable to do. You can be relieved that a valued family member is insured for injuries, illnesses, illnesses, and even poisoned food that can happen at any age. After all, animals are also living creatures and are susceptible to health problems and accidents just like us.