When you think about insurance, you undoubtedly think about the most common types: home, auto, life and medical. When you think about insurance, have you ever stopped to consider pet insurance? If you have a dog, a pet insurance policy can very literally mean the difference between life and death. Without the money available, you may have to make the very difficult decision to euthanize your dog in the face of illness or injury. Consider these facts when deciding whether or not you can benefit from a pet insurance policy:
As pet insurance becomes more popular, dozens of companies have emerged in the industry. Each company has its own benefits and drawbacks, making it important to do a proper amount of research before you choose the company that you will purchase your policy from. Some of the most popular pet insurance companies include VPI, ASPCA, Petplan and Pets Best. If you plan on sticking with your current vet, you may want to contact them to find out if they recommend one company over another.
2.How it Works
Many people mistakenly think that pet insurance works in the same manner as human health insurance. When you visit your doctor, you present your insurance card and are responsible for any co-payments at the time of service. With pet insurance, you are responsible for your entire bill at the time of service. After you’ve paid your bill, you submit your claim form with your veterinarian’s signature and, in some cases, a copy of your receipt to the insurance company. Your claim is reviewed and approved or denied. If your claim is approved, you will receive reimbursement for a portion of your veterinary bill.
Different companies cover different types of care for dogs. Some companies offer policies that cover routine care and others cover only illnesses and accidents. Almost every pet insurance company offers a tiered system of coverage that pet guardians can choose from. The most basic policies cover unexpected accidents and atypical illnesses. The most expensive policies often cover routine wellness visits, accidents and a wide variety of illnesses. Before you choose your policy, review the type of coverage that the company provides for the breed of dog that you own.
It’s not uncommon for pet insurance companies to have an extensive list of exclusions, especially when it comes to diseases that certain breeds of dog are predisposed to. For instance, many policies won’t cover heart care for boxers because of their genetic predisposition to cardiomyopathy. When looking at the list of exclusions for the pet insurance companies you are researching, be sure to note any that are specific to the breed of dog that you have brought into your home.
Pet insurance policies can vary greatly in cost. Your dog’s age and breed will play a factor in the cost of your premiums. No matter your dog’s breed, you’ll always save money by insuring your dog when it is a puppy. It’s less common for an insurance company to have to pay a claim for a young, healthy dog than for a more mature, unhealthy one.
Pet insurance is not right for every pet guardian, but insurance can be very helpful to many. If you question whether you will have thousands of dollars to spend on veterinary bills should your dog have an emergency, you should give serious consideration to purchasing a pet insurance policy; you may be saving your dog’s life.
Cindy Pryor is a dog owner who writes health insurance articles for a pet care site.