The rising cost of veterinary care is an issue for the 84.6 million Americans that own pets.
Even young puppies or kittens or otherwise healthy animals can suddenly need outlandishly expensive vet care that can run into the thousands of dollars.
The solution? Pet insurance coverage. Read on to learn what it is, how it works and what pet insurance does and doesn’t cover.
What is Pet Insurance?
Pet insurance plans are a way that pet owners can save on veterinary costs if your animal gets sick or injured.
Generally, you pay a monthly premium for coverage that amounts to a few hundred dollars total for the year.
There are several tiers of pet insurance from basic to more comprehensive coverage.
How Does Pet Insurance Work?
Unlike health insurance for humans, you must pay the vet for the total amount you owe. Then, you can file a claim with your insurer.
Your insurance company will evaluate your claim and either direct deposit or send you a cheque in the mail for the reimbursement funds.
Usually, this process only takes a few business days unless it is a complicated claim. You may have to take your pet for a check-up as part of your enrolment.
Pet insurance doesn’t cover some things. This includes illness if your pet is already sick. Most insurance companies have a waiting period between the time you buy your policy and when the coverage kicks in.
Accident insurance usually begins immediately after you buy pet insurance coverage.
Typically, there is a deductible amount that you pay. You might pay this each time you make a claim through your insurance or on a yearly basis regardless of how many claims you make. This is on top of your monthly fee.
About Pet Insurance Coverage
Pet insurance coverage will often have an annual max. This is the upper limit to how much your insurance company is willing to pay in medical bills each year. If your pet exceeds this amount, you will pay out of pocket.
When shopping for pet insurance, be sure to look at the reimbursement level. This is the percentage of the vet bill that your insurance will reimburse. It might be 50% or could be 100% of the total.
Note that pet insurance doesn’t cover routine care like dental, checkups and vaccinations. It also doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions.
Each insurance provider will offer you various plans. These are the most common:
These plans cover emergencies, accidents, and injuries such as if your pet was hit by a car, ingested a foreign object or poison or tore a ligament.
Accident and Illness Plans
These plans cover accidents plus new illnesses such as cancer, infections, allergies, and digestive problems.
This is the most common choice for pet insurance.
Comprehensive plans cover everything we’ve discussed so far as well as extras like dental care, cremation and burial, vaccinations, flea and tick medication, and more.
Some plans offer a la carte options so you can add the extras you want. Others include everything as a comprehensive package.
Invest in Premium Pet Health
There you have it! Everything you need to know about pet insurance coverage so you can make an informed decision.