June 15, 2023
Have you ever thought about getting pet insurance? Most of us have thought about pet insurance at some point. Whether it’s because your pet is sick and needs treatment or if it’s because you’re getting a new pet. Even as veterinarians, there are some procedures that we cannot perform and having pet insurance can help cover the cost. Pet insurance isn’t for everyone, but it is something to consider when you add a new pet to your family.
How does pet insurance work?
- The owner signs their pet up for insurance. Typically an exam by a veterinarian is needed to state your pet is healthy. Otherwise, there may be more restrictions or waiting periods
- The owner chooses a deductible. Just like human insurance, the owner is responsible to pay this amount BEFORE the pet insurance will start covering costs.
- Most often, the owner pays the veterinary clinic, submits the invoice to the insurance company and then the owner is reimbursed by the pet insurance company.
Some additional considerations:
- Company. There are a lot of different companies that provide pet insurance. They may have differences in what they cover or how their deductible works, so make sure to research these factors & choose one that fits you.
- Deductible. All pet insurance will have a deductible. Usually, you can decide what the deductible is, but pay attention to whether the deductible is per year or per condition.
- Services covered. Most pet insurance covers accidents and illnesses. This means preventive care, such as vaccinations, spay/neuter procedures, and dental cleanings may not be covered. Some policies may have restrictions on coverage for orthopedic conditions or cancer treatments. Choose a policy that fits your expectations of what will be covered.
- Breed or age restrictions. Some breeds are more prone to diseases, so if you have a purebred pet, ask if there are any diseases or conditions that will not be covered for your pet. Also, as a pet ages, they usually have more issues, so price may be more or there may be more restrictions on what is covered or considered a pre-existing condition
- Limits on payout. If you have pet insurance, you are likely hoping it would help cover the cost of treatment for any major health issue. There are times that this could involve intensive testing, treatments or surgery. If there is a limit on how much the insurance will pay, then you may be responsible for more of the bill than you initially thought
- Waiting period. A lot of pet insurance companies will have a waiting period before they will cover health problems. It is important to know this upfront. If you sign up and there is a 6 month waiting period before they cover orthopedic injury, then you need to be prepared to cover these costs if your pet sustains an orthopedic injury during that time.
- Pre-existing conditions. Chances are, no pet insurance will cover a pre-existing condition. This is why signing up for pet insurance when your pet is young is more beneficial.
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a pet insurance company. Make sure to ask questions, do some research and pick a plan that works best for you!