Pet insurance is simply insurance that pays for the veterinary bills of a domestic pet if it becomes injured or ill. Some pet insurance also includes benefits in case your pet dies or is stolen or lost.
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As with all types of insurance the person who takes it out is trying to keep costs under control if their pet needs costly care. They assign the financial risk that they may incur large bills to a 3rd party in exchange for a monthly or yearly premium.
Understanding How Pet Insurance Works
Pet insurance is not the same as health insurance for people. In reality it is a type of property insurance. This means that typically you will pay for the services and care up front, and then submit a claim. This insurance company will reimburse you for the covered portion of the expenses.
Most pet insurance policies pay a percentage of your expenses. This percentage is known as co-insurance. The higher your portion of the co-insurance, the lower your premiums will be.
Therefore a policy that pays 90% of veterinary expenses will cost more monthly than a policy that pays 80%. You typically also need to meet a deductible before your pet insurance starts to reimburse your expenses. This means that you must pay a portion of your pet’s veterinary bills out of pocket each year before the insurance kicks in.
Pet insurance has primarily been protection against high veterinary bills for accidents and injuries. However, in recent years comprehensive coverage has become available. This means that you can also get coverage for routine care. Some insurers will also provide pet insurance that covers things like:
- Prescription drugs
- Dental care
Carefully review what is included in the pet insurance policy a company is offering because no two policies are the same.
Policies are available for a year at a time, often referred to as non-lifetime policies, or for the lifetime of your pet. One-year policies often end up excluding any conditions for which the animal was treated for during that year on the next year’s policy. This can mean that affordable treatment all of a sudden becomes unaffordable. However, in order to keep premiums lower, many people opt for this type of coverage in the hope that some insurance is better than none. Even with lifetime policies, there may be some limits on the amount a company will pay out per condition.
Saving Money on Pet Insurance
As with many different types of insurance, pet insurance is a very wise investment. However affording the type of coverage you want for your pet can be very costly, especially if you have multiple pets, purebred animals or exotic pets. However, with the right knowledge, you can make some choices that will help you to keep the cost of your premiums down on your pet insurance.
- Opt for one-year policies instead of lifetime coverage, but be aware of the downfalls of this type of coverage.
- Choose a higher deductible on your policy. This will mean that you are assuming more of the risk that you are actually reassigning by buying insurance. It also reduces the opportunity for small claims.
- Choose a higher co-insurance rate or co-pay on your policy. Again you will be assuming more of the risk and will have more out of pocket expenses with your pet’s veterinary expenses, but you will have lower premiums and therefore, may be able to afford better coverage.
- Optfor the most advantageous payment method. Some companies offer great savings if you pay in full. Others have financial incentives for individuals who do automatic bank draft payments.
You must also comparison shop for your pet insurance in order to save on it. Get quotes from multiple companies and compare them carefully in order to get the best price.
Start Shopping For Pet Insurance Now
More and more people are seeking out pet insurance because they expect a certain level of health and a certain length of life for their beloved pets. Veterinary medicine is getting increasingly sophisticated, using many of the same technologies that are used in medicine for humans. This means that vet bills can be astronomical. Pet insurance takes the worry out of how to pay for the care your pet needs.
Finding the best pet insurance to meet your needs is a matter of shopping around and comparing what is available. Before making a decision, compare the prices of at least 3 different companies. Get pet insurance quotes to compare and contrast today by using the free online quote tool now!