Pet Insurance: Not Sure Where to Begin? Follow these 5 Easy Steps!

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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 when it comes to insurance for their pets. For example:

  • Where do you buy your pet’s insurance?
  • What does 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. Find a Good Pet Insurance Company

  • First, read reviews of pet insurance companies.
  • Know your options and which companies offer what you’re looking for. The great thing about insurance for our pets is that it’s not limited to a network. This means that you can buy insurance online and use it whether you’re 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. If there’s nothing to hide, insurance agents will be happy to provide you with the information you request. If they are not, look at another insurance company.
Courtesy: TeeFarm / Pixabay

2. Check the Coverage Carefully

What does pet insurance cover? Make sure 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 coverages. 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 of insurance for pets 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 a month 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 is, the more the policy will cover for your pet.

5. Consider a Pet Wellness Plan

Some insurance companies offer wellness plans as add-ons. Your pets will be covered for most routine veterinary services such as neuter, vaccinations, boosters, and screening tests with this plan. It is a form of protection, too, because it means diagnosing common diseases earlier, so they don’t become problems in the future. Wellness plans are not automatically included in animal insurance, so again, understand your policy’s coverages.

Courtesy: Markus Spiske / Pixabay

The Takeaway

Getting insurance 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 insurance is right after adopting the pet. When choosing what pet 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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