Pet insurance is a unique way to protect your pet and your wallet. By registering with a provider, you can ensure coverage for a wide range of ailments, treatments and visits – all of which would previously have been paid for by you. Insurance policies can be valuable and cost-effective, but to be both, prospective policyholders need to familiarize themselves with this form of protection.
In some ways, pet insurance works like most others traditional types of insurance – the insured pays for a plan (monthly or yearly) and the provider covers the pet for a predetermined set of problems. However, there are other ways (especially when it comes to preexisting conditions) that pet insurance differs from other, more well-known insurance policies.
Accordingly, there are some important things that a prospective pet insurance holder should understand first. You can start by getting a free pet insurance quote now so you know exactly what to expect.
3 important things to know about pet insurance
Insuring younger pets is cheaper
Younger pets are generally healthier pets. So expect to pay less puppieskittens and younger animals in general. They are less likely to need ongoing veterinary care, so the insurer won’t have to pay as much. In other words: don’t wait to get pet insurance and expect it to be cheap. The sooner you insure your pet, the more likely you are to secure a low rate.
Just be aware that some breeds of dogs and cats are more expensive to insure than others. So, at the same age, you can generally expect to pay more for Newfoundland and Jack Russell Terrier dog breeds than you would for an English Springer Spaniel or Goldendoodle. Likewise, Abyssinian and Persian cats are more expensive to insure than Bombay and Siberian breeds.
Plug in your pet’s age now and find out how much it would cost to insure it.
There are many providers in the market
While pet insurance may not be as familiar to Americans as life or health insurance, that doesn’t mean coverage options are limited. In fact, there are many vendors in the market that offer a wide range of types of policies and coatings.
There are accident-only plans that can protect against things like broken bones or swallowed objects (and it’s usually cheap). There are also more robust accident and sickness plans and comprehensive pet insurance policies. Some pet insurance providers offer all three, while others will limit the type of policies you can apply for.
So do your homework and shop around. By getting quotes from at least three providers, you will be better able to establish a baseline to determine which provider is right for you and your pet. You can easily compare some top providers in the market using the table below.
It works on a refund basis
Pet insurance provides much-needed financial support for your furry friend. But understand that the financial boost won’t come the same day you visit your vet. You will need to pay up front and then submit a claim to the provider for reimbursement of expenses. Depending on the type of your policy, you will be paid for most or all of the services provided.
“There are two main factors that determine your reimbursement for approved claims: your deductible and your reimbursement rate, both of which you chose when you signed up,” explains pet insurer Fetch by The Dodo.
“Your deductible is the amount of veterinary care you must pay for yourself each year before we can reimburse you on claims. So if your annual deductible is $300, you must pay for $300 of approved veterinary care before we can begin to reimburse you,” the insurer says.
“Your reimbursement rate is the percentage of the total amount of an approved claim that we can cover. For example, if your recovery rate is 80% and you submit a claim for $500, we can cover up to $400.”
So yes, pet insurance can help ease the financial pain of multiple doctor visits. Just understand that it won’t be provided right away.
The bottom row
Pet insurance offers many benefits to owners: both financial and medical. To get the most out of the plan, however, it helps to get started quickly before policy costs rise with an older pet. Also search suppliers to find the best one for your needs. And remember, it works on a reimbursement model, so be sure to have cash or a credit card with you the day you go to the vet.
You can get a personalized pet insurance quote now.