Since pet adoption rates have skyrocketed in conjunction with the pandemic, the pet insurance industry is also booming. Pet insurance companies now offer some incredible coverage options, wellness benefits, and more, for relatively low premiums.
What is the best pet insurance and is pet insurance worth it are the questions only you can answer. It will depend a great deal on what your needs are, as well as the needs and potential future needs of your pet or pets. Some may benefit more from a policy that only covers accidents. Others may want the full comprehensive coverage package, getting reimbursements on nearly anything.
Before making any binding decisions, you should make sure you’re considering all of the factors involved. To help you with this we’ve created this list of things to research and examine when evaluating a potential pet insurance company. This way, any decision you make will be an informed one.
First Have A Talk With A Vet
Before you begin looking at any companies at all, be sure you have visited your vet recently with the pet you want to insure. You should have a very clear picture of not just their current health, but also their projected health for years to come, including potential breed-related conditions.
If your pet has current needs, you may need to get more information on what is required to complete those treatments. In some cases, you can find providers to insure animals with pre-existing conditions, but it is rare and can affect their overall coverage eligibility.
Is Your Pet Eligible To Enroll?
If you have an older pet, your insurer may not only require a current examination, but they may also place restrictions or lower limits on their coverage. However, there are many providers that will extend insurance to pets even 15 years or older.
Insuring your pet while they are young is the best way to get the lowest premiums, but the best value for your money. Since you are insuring a very young, healthy pet, you are taking advantage of the insurance to help keep them healthy. Every company will insure a healthy young dog or cat, so acceptance will never be a problem.
What Type Of Coverage Do You Need?
This is where you need to consider your pet’s medical needs or potential medical needs as they age. For example, if your vet says your big snuggler is prone to hip dysplasia, you will want to ensure that your coverage extends to surgery and hospitalization.
If you want to use pet insurance to enjoy things like wellness exams and free dental cleanings, you will need to make sure they are included in the plan. Many companies don’t include wellness in basic policies, so frequently an inexpensive add-on is needed.
Examine Potential Reimbursement Levels
You will generally see reimbursement levels between 70% and 90%, and depending on the plan you’re researching that rate may fluctuate significantly even among similar treatments.
When you are picking plans and looking at reimbursement levels, make sure that the things you plan on using the most, as well as the accident coverage, have high reimbursement.
Some policies will even cover medication copays and exam fees if you find yourself in an out of the walk-in vet frequently.
Pick Your Deductible
The deductible you choose will not only directly affect your financial burden for each incident or condition, but it will also heavily influence your annual premiums. You must reach your deductible before the insurance will begin covering costs, and most companies will offer deductibles of up to $1,000.
Your deductibles may also reset. Some may reset every visit, every accident, every year, or even never. Be aware of when, or even if, certain deductibles you have are due to reset.
Watch Your Limits Closely
When it comes to using your pet’s insurance, you want to pay attention to the limits of the insurance policy. Each company has its own guidelines and limits that determine the maximum payout, most policies are for $5,000-$20,000.
Pay Attention To Pre-Existing Conditions & Exclusions
Pets with pre-existing conditions can cost you a decent amount in medical expenses. If your pet has a condition such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, or heart disease, you are obligated to disclose this with the insurance company. Unfortunately, most pet insurance companies won’t cover a pet with a pre-existing condition. These pets are unable to be covered because the insurance companies see them as risky investments.