Pet Insurance Policies: How It Works and What’s Included
Each pet insurance policy has different coverage details,
but most have several commonalities among them. When you sign up for pet
insurance, you’ll pay a monthly premium that offers a list of covered
conditions. Medical care due to accidents, injuries, and disease are generally
covered, although pre-existing conditions are not. You may also be able to add
on for general routine vet care and dental work, although these aren’t covered
in basic insurance plans.
If your pet has a specific condition, check to see whether it’s covered under your chosen policy.
In extreme cases, such as a bad accident or a cancer
diagnosis, paying a small monthly fee can end up costing much less than
thousands of dollars in pet medical bills. It’s a proactive solution in the
face of medical care that can end up being quite costly.
How does the claims process work? If your pet does have a
health issue and is seen for a covered issue, you typically pay the vet out of
pocket. You then submit the claim to your insurance company for reimbursement.
When applying for pet insurance, you’ll need to provide
information on your pet, such as its age and breed. This data can influence how
much you’ll pay each month for your premium.
How to Compare Plans
You can get a free quote from multiple pet insurance
companies to compare your offers. Don’t look at just the price alone; there are
several factors that can help you determine the true value of your pet
insurance policy to make sure you get the coverage you and your furry friend
In addition to monthly cost, also consider what percentage
of your pet’s medical expenses are covered. More expensive plans will cover
100% of costs, while others may only cover 90% or less. If you end up with
extensive vet bills, you could still pay quite a bit of cash.
Let’s take a look at an example to see the financial
difference it makes. Say your dog goes through six rounds of chemotherapy at
$1,000 per session. That totals $6,000 for the entire treatment process.
- 90% coverage: you pay $600
- 100% coverage: you pay $0
Also take a look at the speed of the company’s claims
process. Ideally, a good pet insurance company should be able to process your
claim within a few days. This is important since you normally have to pay the
vet directly yourself, so you’ll want to get that cash back in your pocket
quickly. Also consider how you receive reimbursed funds. Do you get direct
deposit? Do you have to wait for a check?
Finally, check to see if there is a cap to your coverage.
Some pet insurance policies only allow reimbursement up to a certain amount,
either each year or over your pet’s lifespan. Find a plan that balances an
affordable monthly payment with comprehensive terms that help you financially
manage your pet’s health.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does pet insurance cost?
The amount you pay for pet insurance varies greatly depending on the amount of coverage your pet receives. For relatively comprehensive care, you can expect to pay between $30 and $50. For basic coverage, you may find a plan as low as $10, while extremely robust coverage can be $100 or more.
How soon does your policy take effect?
Most policies go into effect 14 days after signing up, especially if the pet is being seen for some type of illness. Some companies, however, only make you wait 48 hours if your pet needs to be seen for an accident or injury.
Are regular vet visits covered?
It depends on your policy. Some pet insurance companies offer a wellness plan either as an add-on or a policy separate from emergency care for your dog or cat.
Discover the Best Pet Insurance for Your Fur Family
Be prepared for life’s curveballs with comprehensive pet insurance.