Pet insurance is essentially a healthcare policy for your pet that reimburses some medical expenses in an illness or an accident. It can be an excellent way to guard your finances. But, like the other insurances, even this policy has certain limitations. Thus, it is pivotal for you to read through the instructions carefully before shopping for insurance. This article tells you the vital aspects to know before getting one.
What is pet insurance?
When you shop for pet insurance, you have to bear a monthly premium. Depending on the kind of policy you have availed, you may have to pay a percentage of the bill or the deductible. So, in times when your pet is injured or falls sick, you will have to clear all the bills upfront and then furnish a claim to your insurance company for reimbursement. Furthermore, it is crucial to be aware that the pet insurance policy is unlikely to cover pre-existing conditions and certain illnesses.
The cumulative amount paid towards pet insurance may be only a few hundred dollars annually. Still, the treatment required towards their recovery might cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
How do these insurances work?
Though there may be differences seen across pet insurance plans, broadly, all policies work similarly.
Given below is a basic example of how the process tends to go.
- Your pet gets treated for an illness or an accident.
- You pay the vet for their dues.
- You furnish an online claim via phone, email, fax, or mail.
- You get reimbursed for the covered claims.
When shopping for pet insurance, you must compare the plans from the different insurance providers, see what they cover vs. what you need from your pet insurance policy, and then decide.
Broadly, all pet insurance plans will cover:
- Diagnostic testing and imaging tests, such as MRIs, X-rays
- Technician care, hospitalization, and surgery
- Treatment for diseases, illnesses, and accidents
Some good pet insurance plans will also cover:
- ER and specialist care
- Prescription medicines
- Complementary treatments
- Consultation fee
- Breed-specific or genetic conditions
- Recurring or chronic conditions, such as arthritis or allergies
It is just as essential to know what things the policy is extremely unlikely to cover. These include:
- Prescription diet food
- Whelping, pregnancy, or breeding
- Preventive, elective, or cosmetic procedures
In case of an illness or accident, the amount you have to pay depends on several factors, such as annual coverage limit, reimbursement percentage, and deductible.
- Annual coverage limit
It is the total amount that you can get reimbursed in a year. This amount will again be reset when the new policy year starts.
- Reimbursement percentage
It is the percentage of the covered cost that you will be paid back after you bear the deductible.
Before getting reimbursement, you will have to bear a deductible. Some policy providers have an incident deductible. It implies that there is a certain amount to be paid for every incident. Some providers offer an annual deductible, wherein you have to pay the deductible amount only once a year, regardless of how often your furry friend falls sick or is hurt.
Why do you need pet insurance?
Following the survey conducted by CanineJournal.com, it was found that a pet parent is handed a vet bill of $1000 or more every six seconds. Another study by GOBankingRates found that more than fifty percent of Americans have less than $1000 in their savings account. So, of the 57 percent, all the pet owners will face a challenging decision anytime their pet encounters an illness or is met by accident.
When should you buy pet insurance?
Thirty-three percent of pets will require emergency medical treatment at least once in their lifetime. This is the critical reason several veterinarians recommend you to get your pet insurance at the earliest. Most responsible pet parents decide on getting the policy in the first six months of the adoption. More so, none of the policy providers will cover the pre-existing conditions of the pets. Thus, it is vital to get them covered before any issue arises.
How long does it take for the pet insurance to be active?
Typically every pet insurance plan comes with a waiting period. This is the company’s way to prevent fraud. The timeline of the waiting period might vary from one company to another. If your pet makes it through the waiting period without showing any signs of illness or being diagnosed with any disease, they are covered.