How To Find The Best Pet Insurance Company For You
Choosing the right pet insurance can be tough due to the different costs and choices. Here’s how to find the best plan for your pet:
Check Whether Your Pet Is Eligible
When it comes to puppies and kittens, they usually need to be 6 to 10 weeks old to get insurance, though it can vary by company. Senior pets might face restrictions or only qualify for accident coverage. But after enrolling, most plans offer coverage for life as long as you pay the premiums.
Research What’s Covered
Pet insurance plans often cover expenses such as surgeries, hospital stays, and medications when your pet is sick or hurt. But there are certain things some companies might charge extra for or not cover. Here are a few examples:
- Exam fees: Imagine if your dog breaks a leg. While some plans might pay for X-rays, surgery, and pain meds, they might not cover the vet’s checkup fee.
- Alternative treatments and rehab: Some plans include things like acupuncture and physical therapy, while others might ask for an extra charge.
- Behavioral therapies: Not all plans cover vet treatment for behavioral problems like aggression.
- Prescription food: Some plans might not cover food or supplements, even if the vet prescribes them.
- Dental care: Pet insurance plans vary for dental health. Some might not cover gum disease or tooth issues. Others might cover recent teeth cleaning. Some wellness add-ons might pay for cleanings. Remember, pet insurance usually doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions, cosmetic procedures, or breeding costs.
Decide How Much Coverage You Want
The majority of pet insurance plans have a yearly limit on payouts, although some don’t. You get to decide the amount that gives you peace of mind for covering vet bills.
If your pet is healthy, you might not need to pay for more than regular checkups for years. But unexpected surgeries or serious illnesses could lead to bills totaling thousands of dollars.
Understand Reimbursements And Deductibles
In the realm of pet insurance, most plans will reimburse a portion of your vet bills. Typically, when you buy the plan, you can choose a reimbursement rate like 70%, 80%, or 90%.
Conversely, some plans use a fixed fee for specific treatments, which might be lower than your vet’s charges. This means you’ll have to cover the extra cost.
Almost all plans also come with a deductible—this is what you pay upfront before the plan starts covering expenses. You usually have options for different deductibles, such as $100, $250, or more. Some plans apply the deductible to each issue your pet has, while most require you to pay it once a year.
In general, if you opt for a lower deductible and higher reimbursement, your premiums will be higher. Alternatively, if you choose a higher deductible and lower reimbursement, your premiums will be lower.
Check Waiting Periods
Usually, there’s a short waiting time after you get the policy before it covers accidents and illnesses, typically around 14 days. During this period, treatments won’t be included.
However, for specific problems like cruciate ligament injuries, some plans make you wait longer. These ligaments help stabilize the knee, and injuries to them can impact a dog’s mobility.
Examine Extra Costs
Certain pet insurance providers include protection for routine services like wellness check-ups and vaccinations. While this might catch your interest, it’s vital to weigh whether the extra expense truly holds value. Compare the yearly cost of the wellness insurance plan against what you’d typically pay for those services independently each year. Be sure to closely examine the details, as the definition of “wellness” can vary among pet insurance companies.
Insurance costs vary depending on the company and the coverage level. Some pet insurance providers offer discounts; you might save money by insuring multiple pets. However, a discount alone doesn’t guarantee that a plan is the best option.
To find the most suitable insurance for your pet, you need to dive into the details and gather quotes for different plans. Make sure you’re conducting a fair comparison by considering similar coverage levels, deductibles, and reimbursement limits.