Have you just adopted a pet? How do you plan to cover their medical needs? Your new pet needs pet insurance to cover their medical expenses, especially in the case of an emergency!

Courtesy: Gerd Altmann / Pixabay

Good insurance is for protecting:

  • Your pet’s health and
  • Your finances.

Unfortunately, many pet parents don’t know where to begin. For example:

  • Where do you buy your pet’s insurance?
  • What does pet insurance entail and cover?
  • What is pet insurance used for?

Let’s look at each one of the questions below.

Pets and Medical
Courtesy: Mohamed_hassan / Pixabay

1. Pet Insurance: Find a Good Company

  • First, read reviews of pet insurance companies.
  • Know your options and which companies offer what you’re looking for. The great thing about pet insurance is that it’s not limited to a network. This means you can buy insurance online and use it in Maine, New York, California or Alaska. It does not rely on networks and accreditations.
  • Also, confirm the company has a license to operate.
  • In addition, you’ll also want to check for any certifications and/or permits required in your home state. Insurance agents will gladly provide you with the information you request if there’s nothing to hide. If they do not, look at another insurance company.
Courtesy: TeeFarm / Pixabay

2. Check the Coverage Carefully

What does pet insurance cover? Ensure you will be reimbursed for your pets’ medical expenses since veterinary bills can be as high as tens of thousands of dollars! Understand if there are any restrictions based on age, breed or pre-existing conditions.

Note: not all insurance coverages are the same, so check potential coverages carefully!

The services insurance companies for pets will typically reimburse include:

  • Unexpected injuries and accidents.
  • Surgery.
  • Medication.
  • Unexpected illnesses.
  • Tests and diagnostics.
  • Emergency care.
  • Exam fees.

Again, not all insurance policies are the same or offer the same coverage. Do your due diligence!

Courtesy: Mbfrye / Pixabay

3. Understand the Reimbursement Process

Most pet insurance works through a reimbursement process. This means you will need to pay the veterinary and medical bills out-of-pocket before filing a claim to your insurance company for reimbursement. Thoroughly understand the insurance company’s reimbursement process before signing on the dotted line. Understanding all the requirements, timeframes, restrictions and limitations of your pet’s insurance coverage will help prevent your claim from being denied for reimbursement.

4. Premiums: Understand Exactly What You’re Getting

The average cost for animal insurance is between $30 and $50 a month for decent coverage. If you want better coverage for terminal illnesses, expect to pay $100 a month. Some pet insurance companies will go as low as $10 monthly for the most basic coverage but do not expect to get reimbursed for major surgical procedures. A general rule of thumb: the higher your monthly premium, the more the policy will cover for your pet.

5. Consider a Pet Wellness Plan

Some insurance companies offer wellness plans as add-ons. A pet wellness plan will cover most routine veterinary services such as neutering, vaccinations, boosters, and screening tests. It is a form of protection, too, because it means diagnosing common diseases earlier, so they don’t become problems in the future. Animal insurance does not automatically include wellness plans, so again, understand your policy’s coverages.

Courtesy: Markus Spiske / Pixabay

The Takeaway

Getting insurance for your pet(s) is part of your responsibility as a pet owner. Your pet is depending on you to provide for their needs. The best time to get pet insurance is right after adopting the pet. When choosing what insurance to get, always consider your budget and the policy’s range of coverage. While cheap insurance sounds practical, you might want to get somewhere near the average, so it covers more services.

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