Medical treatment for pets is costing American pet lovers $1,000 every 6 seconds.
As newer technologies and advanced forms of treatment come into play, pet insurance can provide a safety net to help lower the cost of caring for your pet. Although pet insurance may not be for everyone, the non-profit American Veterinary Medical Association is encouraging pet owners to consider their options.
Here are some things to know when choosing the right pet insurance for you and your pet:
1. Will the type of insurance I choose impact the veterinary care my pet receives?
No. Insurance companies are required to recognize the Veterinary-Client-Patient-Relationship which ensures the personal relationship your Veterinarian is required to have with your pet, regardless of insurance company, to provide the best care options.
2. Do pet insurance companies provide different benefits?
Yes. It is important that you ask your provider what the limitations and exclusions are for routine pet care as well as emergency pet treatment. Make sure to ask about whether the premium goes up as your pet’s age increases.
3. Do all pet insurance benefits include travel or dental?
No. You want to ask whether you can add-on for specific coverage for things such as travel insurance or dental care.
4. Do different insurance packages handle pre-existing pet illnesses differently?
Yes. Before purchasing particular insurance packages, learn how they would define and handle your pets’ previously diagnosed disease.
5. Does it matter how many pets I have and what breed they are?
Yes. Some insurance companies will not provide services to certain breeds of animals. It is also important to ask whether they have a cap on how many animals are allowed to be insured under their provided plan.
6. Do some pet providers give more discounts than others?
Yes. Indeed some insurance packages will actually give multiple pet discounts.
7. Do all insurance packages have the same policy and limitations?
No. Make sure the pet care provider explains co-pays, deductibles, add on charges, and other fees under that particular insurance plan.
8. Do you always get to choose the Veterinarian?
No. You want to make sure your package doesn’t assign Veterinarians and allows you to actually choose your pets Veterinarian.
9. Are there different ways of processing claims? Are their different time frames in doing so?
Yes. Many insurance packages use reimbursement plans. Reimbursement plans require that you pay the medical fees upfront and then submit reimbursement claims to your insurance company. It is important to fully understand the guidelines of the reimbursement plans so you are aware of when you will be refunded.