All pet parents worry about their pet’s health and dread the moment their pet would have to go to the vet for anything other than a regular check-up. Things like a sudden accident or serious illness are things we don’t even want to consider or plan for, but it’s necessary. That’s why you should think about pet insurance for your beloved furball.
Be sure to inform yourself well about what is offered by the insurance coverage, take time to go through reviews on the top pet insurance providers, like this Pets Best pet insurance review, to see which one is the best fit for your pets’ needs, and what insurance provider best suits you.
Comparing pet insurance providers might seem like a daunting task, but it’s an important one. You don’t want to go with the first one you see, you can start by asking your friends, your vet and other pet owners for the recommendation, and find information online. See what’s covered by the policy, what is the Insurance Coverage Limit, restrictions on the age or the breed of your pet, what are the deductibles, would you have coverage for hereditary and/or congenital conditions, and other benefits, restrictions, or exclusions.
You should also check the insurer’s background and reputation. Find out how long they are in business, what their experience and the experience of their customers is, do they recommend them, and what for. You can also check them out through the Better Business Bureau that gives you information on trust ratings. Be sure to read the comments on the experience carefully because sometimes people can be dissatisfied with the policy that was not right for their pets rather than with the service or provider itself.
Factors affecting coverage
As mentioned before, your pet’s age will affect policy coverage. But also hereditary, congenital, and pre-existing conditions, even your pet’s breed can be a factor. Many preventable illnesses are not covered by most providers. Before signing with any insurance provider, make sure you know all the factors that might affect your pet’s coverage, what might be restricted or denied by the coverage plan, what things are excluded, etc.
You can ask your vet to help you understand what some of the things in the coverage plan mean, but it’s best if you ask the insurance provider itself to explain the details and what it means for your pet and your finances.
Coverage that’s right for you
When choosing the right coverage plan, you must first put into consideration your pet’s species and breed, because some animals require a higher level of care than others, and some breeds can have medical predispositions for certain illnesses. Some providers take that into account and might offer only restricted coverage or none at all for a specific condition. Also, your financial abilities will play a part in deciding, since there are big differences in insurance coverage costs.
There are several types of pet insurance coverage. The more the plan covers, the more it costs. Generally there is Accidents-only coverage, Time-limited policies that cover accidents and illness but only for a period of time (like a year), Cost-limited policies that are not restricted by time or the nature of needed care, but are limited by the cost per claim, and the most expensive – Lifetime coverage where your pet is covered for any condition up to a certain (high) amount per year.
Enroll young pets
Enrolling your pet while it’s still young and healthy would be a wise way to go. Insurers might offer only partial coverage (if at all) for older pets since they are more likely to have a pre-existing illness and be in need of treatment. You must state any pre-existing conditions when getting a policy, but you’ll most likely not get any coverage for it.
Therefore, perhaps the best option might be getting a lifetime policy while they are still young. Even though it’s definitely not the cheapest option, it’ll guarantee your pet’s covered in case something suddenly happens, and even in the case of a long term condition. As the pet gets older the premiums go up.
When choosing an insurance provider, you should also check the speed of their reimbursement. Find reviews that say how long their customers had to wait before getting the reimbursement, and if that’s how the provider claimed it would be or did it go slower than promised.
Pet insurance providers offer two options for reimbursement. The first one is percentage-based where you choose the percent of how much you co-pay, and how much the insurance house covers. It can be 90%-10%, where you pay the 10%, which has a more expensive premium (how much you pay monthly/annually) than, say 70%-30% where you pay the 30%. The second is the set annual amount where you have listed all that’s covered and the cost is set upfront, and you renew it every year.
Cost-value ratio and discounts
Decide beforehand on what your pet would really need, and then see what type of policy covers it. Don’t just choose the cheapest one because it might not cover your pet’s specific expenses. Do you want to cover typical vet expenses, homeopathy, and wellness, possible incidents, or have total coverage? The amount you pay (premiums) and what the insurance company reimburses you will depend on that choice.
Also, have in mind the discounts and deductibles. They can make a difference in your pet insurance budget. You can choose a deductible per incident or per year. The higher the deductible is, the lower the premium and vice-versa. As for the discounts, you can get them if you have more insured pets or more insurance policies within the same insurance house.
There are many companies that offer pet insurance nowadays, so you’ll have plenty to choose from. They all offer different options, hence be sure to do thorough research before deciding on which policy is best for your furry family member. Even though pet insurance does cost, it decreases the vet bills and also gives you peace of mind knowing that your pet would be taken care of in case anything happens.