What Does Pet Insurance Cover?
Pet insurance is designed to cover the unexpected accidents and illnesses that you just can’t plan for, such as when the dog swallows something he shouldn’t, or the cat gets a urinary tract infection. Pet insurance is like any other type of insurance, you pay a monthly or quarterly premium and it is there for you when you need it. Coverage typically includes emergencies, hereditary or congenital conditions, cancer, and chronic conditions. To our knowledge there are no pet insurance companies that cover pre-existing conditions, and most plans do not cover wellness visits like annual exams or teeth cleaning.
When selecting a pet insurance company, choose one that offers one clear and comprehensive plan that provides you and your pet with no caps on claim payouts. Be careful here, we once had a plan that had lifetime caps on certain illnesses and then once we reached the cap for a certain illness, they tried to connect every other illness the pet had back to the capped illness – and wouldn’t pay another dime regardless of what illnesses the pet had – as far as they were concerned, everything was interrelated from that point forward. We’ve listed a couple of pet insurance options below; we feel these companies differ from many pet insurance companies in the options they offer. It is important that you purchase pet insurance BEFORE your elderly pet gets sick though because there are no pet insurance companies that will cover a pet with a pre existing illness.
Different companies offer different types of coverage. Some variables to watch out for:
- Deductible—The amount you’re responsible for before benefits kick in.
Deductibles can be annual or per incident (annual is usually recommended).
- Reimbursement Level—The percentage of the remaining cost (after the
deductible) you can expect the insurance company to cover. You can typically
choose from 70%, 80%, or 90% reimbursement levels, with higher reimbursement levels resulting in a more expensive monthly premium.
- Limits on Benefits—Look for companies that have no annual or lifetime limits on the dollar amount they will pay to cover your vet bills. If your pet suffers a serious injury or illness you’ll be glad your coverage doesn’t have a cap.
- Coverage Exclusions—Look for companies that cover all accidents and
illnesses, including genetic and hereditary conditions, and do not exclude conditions based on breed.
What’s Not Covered:
It is important to note that no policy covers pre-existing conditions (so don’t wait until your pet has an unexpected trip to the vet to consider pet insurance). Most policies don’t cover wellness care either (those annual vet exams and necessary vaccines); some companies do offer wellness coverage, but the cost can just as much or more than paying the vet directly for those services. For most, pet insurance is most effective for unexpected accidents and illnesses.
What to Look For:
- A policy that allows you to use any vet. Pet insurance differs from human health insurance in that you typically you pay the vet directly and get reimbursed by the insurance company.
- Pet insurance that reimburses you based on the actual vet bill, as opposed to a benefit schedule.
- An easy claims process. Look for apps and online claims processes — avoid physical forms.
What does Pet Insurance Cost?
Pet insurance premiums are calculated based on your individual pet’s breed, age and zip code.
- Cat health plans typically range from $15 to $40 per month.
- Dog health plans typically range from $25 to $60 per month.
For more information about pet insurance, visit one of our pet insurance partner websites to get a free no obligation quote today.