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Posted on 02-04-2015

Pet insurance can be valuable when you would do anything for your pet if they got ill or injured, but don’t have deep pockets.  There are many different pet insurance companies, all of which have different rules, coverage, cost, and exclusions.  Here are a few things to think about when finding the right policy for you and your pet.

  1.  Coverage:  There are 2 main types of policies, comprehensive and accident/illness.  It makes the most sense and is the best value to choose an accident/illness policy, as these problems for your pet cannot be foreseen or budgeted for.
  2. Exclusions:  Exclusions are something to pay close attention to.  Some companies will not cover hereditary or chronic conditions, like hip dysplasia or arthritis.  Other companies will not cover your exam fees.  All pet insurance companies will have certain rules and not all charges are covered so look closely and ask specifically if you cannot find the information.
  3. Reimbursement:  Even with pet insurance you will have to pay your pet’s bill up front, and then are reimbursed by your pet insurance company.  The speed that this happens varies by company and how well you fill out the claim form.  Some companies offer many ways to submit claims like on-line, fax, or even smartphone apps.  The faster and easier you can submit your claim, the faster you will be reimbursed.
  4. Options:  Many companies allow you to customize the deductible, coverage amount, and percentage of reimbursement to get the plan that makes the most sense and best price for you.  Just like our own insurance, the higher the deductible the lower the premium.  Most company websites allow you to enter your choices and get an estimate quickly and easily.  Make sure to look closely at how these amounts and deductibles work, as it may be per visit, per ailment, over the year or over the lifetime of the pet.

Also look closely at what are additional options you have to pay for, and what is already included as part of your regular coverage.

  1. Pre-existing Conditions:  If you pet has already been seen or diagnosed with a problem it will NOT be covered by insurance.
  2. Waiting Periods:  Companies will have a set amount of time you must wait before your pet will be covered by the insurance.  This will vary by company and can be different for accident vs. illness claims.

There is a lot to think about when looking into pet insurance.  Making sure you are informed about your options and what you are getting will help ensure you get the best plan for you and your pet.  Animal Clinic Suburban has seen easy claims and fast reimbursements to our clients with Pet Plan and Trupanion pet insurance.  We have no affiliation with any pet insurance companies.

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