Pet health insurance is a good way to help cover veterinary expenses when your beloved pet becomes ill or gets injured. Most pet health plans are typically paid for on a month-to-month basis and cost about a thousand dollars per year for a premium. By paying the full premium, you will receive most veterinary expenses reimbursed (but typically coverage tends to exclude many common dog ailments, like hip dysplasia and pre-existing conditions). However, there are some pet health plans that do offer complete coverage on both ends – at the same time, of course.
Before purchasing pet health coverage, find out what kind of plan is best suited for you and your pet. For example, do you want coverage that you can purchase in one lump sum or do you want to pay for it monthly? What are your daily and weekly expenses, such as food, vaccines, routine grooming, etc?? Are you planning on having a pet door installed or will you be able to keep your current door? How long do you plan to keep your pet? Once you know the answers to these questions, you’ll be better prepared to answer the next question – what type of coverage do you need?
Most pet insurance providers offer policies that are either “complete” or “in case of an accident-only.” If you only need to file a report once a year, choose a plan that provides coverage only for that one time. This is also a good option if you have older cats or dogs that tend to get injured a lot. If you plan on keeping your pet, you may want to consider an accident-only policy, since it will give you the most coverage for the least amount of money.
If you already have health coverage for your pet, check the details of your policy to find out what types of claims are covered and what types of exclusions are present. Keep in mind that the majority of pet health insurance plans do not cover pre-existing conditions, so you’ll have to decide whether it’s important to you that your pet is covered against common medical conditions. Many plans also have a waiting period for acceptance, so make sure you choose one with a reasonable waiting period. Another good question to ask your vet is what types of procedures and treatments are usually covered.
The type of the veterinarian you use can also make a difference in the amount of coverage you receive. Find out if your veterinarian will be reimbursed directly by the company or if you’ll need to go through a vet claims process. Your veterinarian should be able to provide you with this information before you buy. Also check to see how much it costs your pet to be treated each visit. Most veterinary offices are fairly comprehensive about who they reimburse and who they don’t, but it can be helpful to ask if you have any questions. It may also be helpful to find out what kinds of procedures are available through your veterinarian’s office and what kinds aren’t.
Your pet is part of your family and deserves the same level of care as other members of your household. Take some time to check out the options you have and then be proactive by asking your vet important questions. Together, you’ll be better prepared to address any pet health issues that may arise.