More pets are enjoying healthier and longer lives thanks to higher quality and nutritional products and the constant development of veterinary practices. The cost of having your own pet is not a joke. Expenses can quickly add up if you include basics such as food, hygiene, and veterinary care plus toys and accessories.
A lot of people believe that pets are just as important as any family member. Just like humans, your pets can fall victim to an illness or an accident that you might not be prepared for. With a pet insurance policy, you can have greater confidence in terms of maintaining your pet’s health. When it comes to the unexpected, you don’t have to scramble for funds to pay the upfront costs for your pet’s veterinary care.
When looking for the best policy, here are eight tips you should consider.
Before signing any document, research companies and providers you’re interested in. There are resources that can help you compare available plans, monthly premiums, deductibles, reimbursement models, coverage limits and exclusions.
For every big purchase, you would only select brands or providers that are tried and tested and have established a solid reputation. This should also apply to your pets. While you’re researching available plans and prices, you should also look into the company’s track record. Do they have excellent ratings for financial stability and experience? How long have they been providing services? Do they have teams of experts in veterinary care to help craft their policies?
Most pet insurance providers have a list of exclusions for their policies. Often, these include hereditary, pre-existing, or congenital conditions specific to a breed. There might be certain restrictions applicable when filing a claim.
Before you sign up for a policy, make sure that you thoroughly understand the coverage of your policy and how certain factors can affect it. If there are chances that your pet’s breed or pre-existing condition could affect policy coverage, ask your provider how your premiums will change specifically. You should also confirm if the number of claims you file has an effect on your premiums. If the terms of the policy are difficult to understand, ask a customer service representative to break it down for you.
Are you looking for a plan that covers medical care, routine care, or combination of both? Take a look at your pet’s medical records and see which services you want to prioritize for coverage. Insurance providers will offer different types of plans that can be customized according to your needs.
You should also talk to your pet’s veterinarian and figure out what medical conditions your pet could be at risk of. It may be related to the breed or the family tree. If you want to be fully prepared for emergencies and unexpected medical conditions, now is the perfect time to look into insurance coverage for your pets. When your pet gets older or start developing symptoms for a certain illness, you will find yourself paying higher premiums or getting rejected for coverage because of pre-existing conditions.
There are two reimbursement methods insurance providers use. One is to calculate a given percentage of the invoice; another is to provide a benefit allowance annually.
Invoice is the itemized record of the services that you received from your pet’s veterinarian. If you choose the invoice percentage method, you’ll receive a reimbursement for a portion of your upfront veterinary costs. For instance, the insurance plan will reimburse 90% of covered costs minus the annual deductible.
If you choose an annual benefit allowance, you’ll receive a list of all items covered by your policy with an amount allotted for reimbursement. These are renewed every year. Your reimbursement amounts may also be affected by factors such as choosing an annual deductible or per-incident deductible.
Just because you see something cheap doesn’t mean you should get it. Low premiums but with limited coverage that doesn’t do anything for your pets will be a waste of money. Do you want comprehensive care coverage or an accident-only plan?
The monthly premiums and reimbursement will change depending on the coverage and deductible that you select. If you select a per-incident deductible, it will be applied to each incident and can lower the monthly premium. Lower annual deductible entails a higher premium and a higher annual deductible means a lower premium. This is why deductibles become important when weighing your options.
As mentioned earlier, it’s important that you get an insurance policy for your pets while they’re still healthy and young. You will avoid limitations because of pre-existing conditions that are more common among older pets and minimize the cost of your insurance plan. Similar to humans, insurance premiums can also increase with the policyholder’s age.
Don’t be shy about asking for discounts. We all want to save a few extra bucks for every purchase we make. It might not be advertised, but ask your agent if the provider is currently offering discounts. Some insurance providers will over discounts if you enroll multiple pets in an insurance plan. You can also check with your employer if the provide a pet insurance benefit.