This guide outlines the strategies and steps to find the best pet insurance cover for your dogs, cats and other pets.
As a pet owner, it’s natural to care very deeply for your pet and want what is best for him/her. And while we can’t protect our beloved pets from all health problems, ensuring that you have the right type of insurance coverage can help get them back on their paws if they get injured or sick.
Find the best pet insurance
The number of pet insurance providers in the market can be overwhelming for pet parents to choose one that’s right for them, so we’ve compiled seven essential tips to help you find the best coverage for your money.
Make Sure Your Pet Is Eligible For Coverage
Don’t waste your money on a pet insurance policy that your dog will never benefit from. Most providers offer full or partial coverage for accident injuries, but you’ll generally only get reimbursed if your pet is less than seven years old (or sometimes even older). Some insurers also exclude chronic conditions and hereditary problems in pets over the age of eight. If your pet falls into this category, make sure to look out for breed-specific exclusions as well.
So before signing up, make sure to read a comprehensive guide to pet insurance and take note of all the essential factors such as your pet’s age and breed, and compare it with the policy to see if he/she falls within the provider’s coverage guide. If not, you might want to try a different provider or opt for a policy that covers pre-existing and hereditary conditions.
Not All Policies Are The Same
There are many different pet insurance policies out there with different price tags and coverage benefits. Pay special attention to things like the deductible, maximum payout limit, and reimbursement percentage. These three numbers will determine how much you have to contribute for any claim that your pet files, as well as how much money you’ll get back once a claim is approved by the insurance provider.
The policy deductible is the amount you have to pay before your coverage kicks in. The maximum payout limit is how much money your insurance company will pay out in total once you’ve reached your deductible. The final number of importance is the reimbursement percentage: this tells you what percentage of each veterinary bill your policy will cover and it’s usually between 70 and 90%
Review The Fine Print
There are many exclusions in most pet insurance policies – make sure you know which ones apply to your furry friend before signing up for a policy. Some common exclusions pertain to pre-existing conditions, hereditary problems, congenital problems, and certain types of illnesses or accidents (such as those caused by participating in dog sports).
For instance, if your pet has allergies, urinary tract problems, or other chronic conditions, you may want to consider a policy that will cover these pre-existing conditions.
And while most policies only partially reimburse for hereditary or congenital illnesses and diseases, some providers offer full reimbursement for breed-specific diseases (such as von Willebrand Disease in Dobermans). Some policies also exclude treatments resulting from behavior issues such as getting into the garbage or chewing the furniture.
Consider Breed-Specific Coverage
Certain breeds and mixed breeds are more prone to specific diseases and breed-specific conditions. For instance, Frenchies can get patellar luxation (slipped kneecaps), while Portie’s can get cystinuria (bladder stones), and Boxers can experience several problems. Some providers offer full coverage for hereditary and congenitally predisposed illnesses like these for free, but other insurers will charge a premium or exclude certain conditions altogether if you want your dog to be eligible for breed-specific benefits.
If you own a purebred pooch that is likely to suffer from one or more known hereditary disorders, then it may be in your best interest to choose a pet insurance provider that offers breed-specific coverage right off the bat.
Check The Extras
Good policies aren’t just about covering accidents and illnesses – they often include extras that can save you money in the long run. For instance, some providers offer free wellness visits and free vaccinations as part of their packages. Others offer discounted rates for pet-related products such as ID tags, flea and tick treatments, and heartworm medication: these discounts can save you up to 25% off the regular price of items like pet crates and beds.
Some providers even offer special rewards programs that give you points for every dollar you spend on your policy – those points can be redeemed for future vet bills or even cashback on purchases at certain retailers!
Shop Around And Compare Policies
Most pet insurance providers offer very similar policies – but there are a few that have unique plans for specific types of pets. For instance, if you own a ferret or rabbit, you may want to consider a provider that offers a special policy just for these small pets. If your cat is extremely old or grumpy and needs frequent veterinary visits, then one of the unlimited visit policies may be more suitable than one with typical limits on annual vet costs.
Also, compare the cost of typical yearly wellness visits against the deductible for each policy – some providers charge higher fees upfront but lower deductibles, while other insurers will require you to pay out-of-pocket until the deductible is reached.
Consider A Multi-Pet Discount
Dealing with all these factors can take a while, so one of the best ways to save time is by comparing plans that offer multi-pet discounts. Some providers have special rates for two or more pets in the same family, while others will give you an even bigger break if you opt for three or more pet insurance policies. Just make sure to keep track of your expenses and vet visits when you sign up for multiple pet insurance plans – some companies are very strict about their rules regarding multi-pet benefits, especially when it comes to reimbursement rates.
Also, be aware that most pet insurance companies will not reimburse you if you fail to provide proof that your pets are spayed or neutered. If you have any questions about benefits for multi-pet households, then your best bet is to contact the provider directly and seek out detailed information about what counts as a multi-pet plan.
Pet insurance can be a great investment – especially if you own an older pet with obvious health problems, or want to cover hereditary and congenital conditions for your purebred pet. Living without pet insurance might not be such a big deal now, but as pets get older and more expensive to care for, it’s important to consider all of the options before making that final decision.
So when considering the different pet insurance options and providers available, be sure to double-check all the things mentioned above to ensure that you are making the right financial decision for your pet.