7 Things You Need to Know About Pet Insurance

Reviewed By Tom •  Updated: 07/19/21 •  6 min read
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When your pet is healthy, you probably feel like you don’t have a care in the world. However, if your pet gets sick, needs surgery or hospitalization, you might be feeling pretty down about the entire situation. The cost of animal care on an emergency basis can be exorbitant, and many people are faced with tough decisions about whether or not to pay for surgery if their pet needs one.

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But, being faced with large pet care bills doesn’t have to be scary. There are plenty of pet insurance companies out there that offer insurance policies to protect you and your pet from financial burden when a medical issue arises. Before selecting just the right policy for your pet, there are a few things you should keep in mind. 

If you are ready to learn more about pet insurance, read on!

Things You Need to Know About Pet Insurance:

1.       Coverage Varies

You will always want to look into what is included in your pet insurance plan first, to see what is or isnt covered through different policies. You might not want to pick a plan that does not include certain surgeries or procedures if you think that your pet might need to have these done in the future.

Just like with car insurance, your pet policy might exclude certain kinds of care and it can be a big shock to find out that you do not have coverage for something when you need it most. Make sure that you are aware of what is covered before you choose to pay for a policy for your pet, keeping their best interests in mind. 

2.       Enrollment Rules

Healthy pets will qualify for almost any policy, but an older pet with pre-existing conditions might not qualify for a policy that offers much in the way of service coverage. You might find that the cost of your policy is not worth the coverage that you need, depending on the age of your pet.

If you have a young pet and you are planning for the future, you will probably have lots of options available to you. However, an older pet might be much harder to enroll in any kind of coverage that will be worth the expense. This is why it is important to understand every option available, to see what you can find that will best fit your pet’s needs. 

3.       Payout Limits

Make sure that you are aware of the payout limits that are in place on your policy. These limits might make it difficult for you to afford certain procedures, so you will need to have this information on hand before you commit to surgery or an expensive test.

It is always worth a call to your insurance entity if you are not sure if surgery or certain tests are covered by your policy. It is always better to be sure about the coverage you have in place before you make a big decision like this.

4.       Deductibles

Just like with human insurance, your pet policy will have deductibles that must be paid before coverage begins. This might be an annual deductible or the deductibles might be per service type. Make sure that you know what the deductible(s) are for your policy before you pick one that is right for your needs.

Lower deductibles will always equate with a higher overall policy cost, but if your pet requires a lot of ongoing medical care, this might balance out to be worth it over time.

5.       Reimbursement Levels

If your policy allows you to seek reimbursement for certain services, you will need to check at what percentage these are paid out. The average choices are 70%, 80%, or 90%, but each policy is unique. You will also want to know how reimbursement is handled and how it can benefit you in the future with your policy. 

Some policies will allow you to simply send in an itemized bill for treatments that are covered by your policy, while other policies will require that the vet submit their chart notes and other information directly to the insurance entity after the service.

6.       Global Periods

Just like with human insurance, there are often global periods that are associated with surgeries and follow-up care related to them. To have your insurance cover follow-up visits for aftercare related to surgery, you will need to make sure that your aftercare visits happen within a set period for them to be covered.

Visits that are not within the global period might not be covered by the insurance company and you might have to pay unique deductibles on these instead of being able to be reimbursed fully for these visits.

7.       Price

Your location and the age of your pet can affect your premium. You might also pay more if you want smaller deductibles or more inclusive coverage. You will find that the price of your policy will be commensurate with the kinds of services that are covered by your policy, in most cases.

If you are paying for insurance to cover routine care, you might pay more than a policy that is intended only for use in rare situations where emergency surgery is involved. Be sure that you inquire about the price when you look into policies too. You do not want to spend more throughout your dog’s lifetime in insurance fees than you would get back for the use of the policy.

Pet Insurance Can Be a Blessing

Pet insurance can be a big blessing in your life if your animal needs ongoing care or if an expensive emergency surgery becomes necessary for your pet. You will no longer have to worry about choosing between paying for surgery or having to let your pet go due to the cost.

Be sure that you look into all of the details of any pet insurance policy that you are interested in and consider whether or not the policy will take care of your needs. You should always shop around and find the best policy that will benefit your pet before you settle on one.

Being able to have peace of mind about the safety of your pet’s health is a blessing that pet owners can achieve through the selection of the right pet insurance policy.

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Tom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!

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