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UPDATED: Aug 24, 2021
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It is important that your animal get exercise, regular veterinary check-ups and preventative care to avoid serious health conditions. When injury or illness occurs, it also means getting veterinary care to restore your animal’s health. Pet insurance is a great investment for the loving pet owner who wants to be sure that he or she can afford to do what is necessary if his or her animal is injured or ill, but can be saved.
Veterinary pet wellness plans and adequate pet insurance coverage can be great tools for making sure that your pet has the medical care that they need without breaking the bank. To compare free pet insurance quotes be sure to enter your zip code above.
Who offers pet insurance?
Here’s some wonderful news for you and your furry loved ones – there are many different companies out there who offer protection plans. You don’t have to worry about going through a small pool of resources; even your current provider might be able to offer you something you didn’t realize you had. Individual plans are available in a variety of different formats based on the species of your pet. As with other types of coverage, there are different plans available, ranging from basic to comprehensive coverage.
What are the types of pet insurance plans?
The most common type of plan is the basic one that covers illness and accidents that might befall our animal companions. This is the least expensive option, one that many pet parents end up going for. However, it is also the most restrictive. There are numerous limits to coverage, as well as the exclusion of many situations that would require veterinary care. With a basic plan, you’d have to go over the details and make sure that it’s the right fit for your pet.
Alternatively, the comprehensive plan covers a wide range of things including regular check-ups, sterilization costs, vaccinations, prescriptions, dental care and alternative therapies, as well as illness and accident. Often such plans even have a death benefit and a reward program if lost pets are recovered.
As with other types of coverage, you can customize your plan by adjusting co-payment percentages, deductibles, coverage limits and more to make the plan fit your needs and your budget. Many plans also allow you to opt out of certain types of coverage like prescription drug benefits and dental benefits in order to save on your premiums. Catastrophic pet insurance plans with low premiums and high deductibles are also available from many providers.
How is coverage for a pet different than for a human?
Pet insurance was created in order to alleviate the risk that pets will need costly veterinary care at some point in their lives, due to illness or injury. Typically this type of protection will reimburse 80% to 90% of the veterinary fees associated with treatment. However, like most other policies, there is typically a deductible and a co-payment that are applied before claims are paid out. Unlike policies that most people carry, a pet insurance policy usually requires you to pay up front for the expense and get reimbursed after the fact.
Another difference is that, in some ways, your pet has more choices than you do when it comes to coverage. You are not limited to the veterinarians you can use for treatment of your animal. You can opt to use the best vet available and your policy will still cover you. If you’re needing to get your pet in for an important exam, and a particular place has waiting periods that are too long, you can go with another option. Pet parents have it a little easier in this regard.
Are there any limitations?
Unfortunately, yes, there can be some limitations, though that can be said with just about any sort of process, product, or service available. In many cases, policies for our pets are non-lifetime plans, which means that if a claim had been made for a specific illness or injury in one year, the same problem would be ineligible for further claims in the future. This can cause a great deal of difficulty, especially in the case of chronic illness or injuries with residual effects.
There are also other limits that are commonly placed on claims payout for pet insurance. A per condition, per year limit is common for pet insurance, as are overall per year limits. If you are looking to buy pet insurance it is important to understand these limits and if they apply to the policy you are about to purchase.
There are also a variety of other standard exclusions found on some pet particular policies such as pre-existing conditions, breed-specific conditions, elective procedures, behavioral issues, special food, grooming and hereditary conditions. If your pet has a disease that has manifested before you have them covered in any way, chances are an insurer isn’t going to account for that when you select a policy. However, there may be some very limited amounts of coverage available for hereditary conditions after the initial year of the policy is complete.
Age is a factor for many insurers that offer coverage options. If your cat or dog is over the age of 10, you will find that it is increasingly difficult to obtain coverage. For certain breeds, it becomes difficult after age 8 or even 6. If you do happen to find coverage for older animals, the limits will be more stringent than on a similar policy for a younger animal and you will definitely pay more. Certain insurance companies will also opt to exclude coverage on select breeds.
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What do you need to know?
Discounts are absolutely something you need to know about if you’re in the market for coverage, no matter the type of pet you have. Plus, if you have more than one pet, you can save money with a multi-pet discount when they are both insured by the same company. There are also group discounts available from certain providers. If your pet has a microchip in it or has been spayed or neutered, you will receive a discount on coverage. In addition, if your animal is used as a medical service pet, you are able to receive further discounts, sometimes even a reduced overall premium. Your payment method can also reduce your total cost to insure your pet. Debit cards vs. credit cards are generally what an insurer is going to look at. Auto pay can also help you out, if that’s something that you can set up without worrying about missing a payment.
Following the process of getting your beloved pets covered, you will have a period of usually about 2 weeks during which you cannot make claims. This is standard for many policies and especially for illness coverage. However, some companies offer accident coverage as soon as the day after your policy is taken out. This way if something happens during that time which you can’t control and your pet requires emergency care, they’ll be able to help. But it’s also to prevent people from taking advantage of the new coverage and attempting to use it for pre-existing conditions.
Read the fine print for any pet insurance policy that you are considering purchasing. You may find that the company has pre-set benefits for certain procedures, based on an average of what it should cost. This may not be reflective of actual prices in the area in which you live. Your claims should be based on what you actually paid.
What should you be aware of before settling on a policy for your pet?
Much of the technology used in the treatment of pets is the same as that used for humans. The advancement in veterinary medicine in recent years has contributed to the high cost of vet bills. However, it also means that our pets live longer and healthier lives and fewer of them die of treatable illnesses. Investing in pet insurance is well worth it for your peace of mind when it comes to your pet’s health.
Like other types of insurance, it pays to shop around and compare prices and coverage. Use an online quote tool to get multiple quotes from different insurers at once. They are typically presented in an easy to compare format that you can use in your decision making. If you find that one of the quotes is significantly lower than the others, examine it carefully to be sure that you are being quoted on coverage comparable to the others.
You may also want to check out how reputable a company is before purchasing pet insurance from them. Contact the Better Business Bureau to see if complaints have been made about their service. In addition, you should do an Internet search for complaints about the company to get additional information.
Can you get free pet insurance quotes online?
You absolutely can. You can find more than just a quote online; most companies offer details on the policies they offer too. By considering the insurance plan offered, the price and the company’s reputation, you should be equipped to make an informed decision. Look up a sample policy for the pets you have, and see if you’ll be able to afford it. And it never hurts to look into any additional options they might offer you. Does the company you’re looking into offer online medical records for your pet? Does the policy you’re interested in cover routine screenings or annual checkups? The level of coverage is naturally going to vary depending on what types of pets you have and how protected you want them to be.
Get started today with online quotes for pet insurance and before you know it, you’ll have found the ideal coverage to insure the health of your best friend. Buying pet insurance online is easy. Start comparing pet insurance quotes now!