ginger cat resting on a womans lap as she purchases pet insurance coverage

What To Know About Pet Insurance Before You Buy It

Pet insurance can be a useful resource for pet parents. Before selecting a provider or even a plan, it’s important to compare all of your options. Read on to learn more about how to choose the right pet insurance provider and plan.

What Do They Cover?

While each pet insurance company has their specific items that they cover, it has become fairly standard for pet insurance providers to cover accidents, illnesses, and hereditary conditions. Even though these categories are relatively common amongst providers, there’s a good chance that different companies will have different reimbursement amounts.

Another item to keep in mind is that some basic insurance plans will only cover accidents. You may have to select a more expensive option to have both accidents and illnesses covered. Additionally, some of the more expensive plan options could also cover wellness care, congenital conditions, alternative therapies, and behavioral issues, so you may discover that it’s worth the few extra bucks per month.

What Don’t They Cover?

Equally important to understanding what an insurance plan covers, you should additionally be aware of what a plan does not cover. For instance, not all providers cover dental problems, behavioral problems, or prescription food. Before signing up for a particular plan, ensure everything you would like covered, will be covered.

It is nothing unique to see that a pet insurance provider has exclusions—all providers have exclusions. A prime example of exclusion is pre-existing conditions. No pet insurance provider will cover a pre-existing condition, though each may define a pre-existing condition differently. In fact, it is because of the exclusion of pre-existing conditions that many pet owners choose to sign their pet up for insurance soon after adoption.

Let’s say that you adopt your pet when they are six months old, and you sign them up for an insurance plan right away. Five years down the road, if your dog or cat were to develop joint issues, then there’s a great chance that your insurance could help cover the cost of treatment or medication.

Now imagine that you, instead, held off on insurance and didn’t sign your pet up until after they developed their joint problems. Those issues would then be considered a pre-existing condition, and the odds of your provider covering treatment are extremely low.

Another item to be aware of is if your plan covers exam fees—this fee is included in most veterinary bills. For many pet parents, it is hard to see the value in a pet insurance policy if it doesn’t cover common items (such as exam fees) since those expenses are recurring.

When looking at different providers and plans, you may come across the term ‘waiting period’. This term refers to a certain period of time that will need to pass before coverage goes into effect, and your pet is covered. Before submitting any claims, it can be useful to first read through your plan’s specific guidelines for waiting periods.

two young dogs playing at the park

Can Their Coverage Be Customized?

Believe it or not, some pet insurance plans can be customized to fit your coverage needs and budget better. This is a wonderful option and a benefit you should keep in mind as you do your pet insurance research. With a customizable plan, you could be given a choice to change coverage options such as the deductible, annual limit, and reimbursement percentage.

Speaking of customization, pet insurance providers also have the ability to customize the cost of your insurance plan. Items that can affect your monthly cost include your pet’s breed and age, location of residence or location of treatment for your pet, how many pets you cover, and the specific plan you choose. Since many factors affect the price you pay, it’s helpful to ask questions, do research, and compare coverage options before committing to one plan in particular.

Do They Offer Coverage for Preventive Care?

Before signing up for pet insurance, many pet parents may wonder, “Does pet insurance cover heartworm prevention?” “What is the type of pet insurance that covers spaying?” “Does pet insurance cover neutering?” While each provider has different medical coverage, many providers offer preventive care, which covers items such as heartworm prevention, spaying, and neutering. Other common preventive care items include veterinary check-ups, vaccines, and flea prevention.

Preventive care is the action of taking preventive steps in hopes of lowering your pet’s chances of developing a more serious health issue in the future. Preventive care is more or less routine care, and it’s something that most pet parents already provide for their pets, so why not get reimbursed for these expenses?

Many providers offer some type of preventive care coverage, but it’s important to double-check your provider’s specifications on what is considered preventive care. When you sign up for an insurance plan, if you aren’t sure whether or not you want preventive care coverage, it’s still worthwhile to choose a provider that offers it. By selecting this option, you can always add preventive care at a later point in time if you decide it is something you would like.

Are They Well-Established?

In the wide world of pet insurance, there’s an ever-growing amount of provider choices. Although there are many aspects to consider before deciding on one brand in particular, one item that can help you select a provider is to see if they are well-established.

A company’s size and level of experience could indicate how reputable they are. Pet parents may find an established provider to be a better choice because there’s a greater chance that the company will be around for the entirety of their pet’s life.

Another Consideration

Selecting an insurance provider plus a specific insurance plan can initially seem like an overwhelming process. Regardless, you may find that the choice can become much easier by considering what specifically you would like your insurance plan to cover.

For example, one consideration that can help you decide on a plan is your cat or dog’s breed. Each cat and dog breed has their own set of hereditary issues and common health problems. By being aware of the health issues that your pet is susceptible to developing, you can then start eliminating which providers don’t cover those conditions. In other words, by knowing exactly what you would like your insurance to cover, it will become easier for you to narrow down insurance provider and plan options.

See How We Measure Up

As a fellow pet health insurance provider, our brand can offer many of the benefits listed above. To learn about our insurance policies and the specific plans we offer, read more about our coverage. Who knows, maybe we could be the right provider for you and your pet.

How To Choose Pet Insurance: A Quick Review

Before signing your pet up for a specific plan, there is much to learn about the business of pet insurance. As a quick recap, here are five things to note as you do your insurance research.

  1. Take your pet’s breed into consideration. Know which issues your pet is more likely to develop and select a provider and plan that will cover them.
  2. Thoroughly review the items that an insurance plan will and won’t cover.
  3. Be aware that every insurance provider is different. Thus, they will have different definitions of what classifies as a pre-existing condition. Take note of these subtle differences that could affect you and your pet in the future.
  4. Check if the insurance provider offers any customizable options. This is a great way to select a plan best suited for you and your pet’s needs. Plus, customizable options can sometimes give you the most bang for your buck.
  5. Consider if you want preventive care. Not all insurance providers offer preventive care coverage, but practically all pet parents give their pets preventive care. Even if you are initially undecided about preventive coverage, be sure to select a provider that at least offers it so that you have the chance to sign up in the future.

There’s much to learn when it comes to pet health insurance, but with a little bit of research, you’ll become knowledgeable in this field before you even know it.