Benefits of Dog Pet Insurance
Posted by Fuzzy Help on
By Dr. Sarah Wallace
Pet insurance can play a huge role in keeping your pet health and your pet health costs in check. That’s assuming that you choose the best pet insurance for you and your pet. Where to start? Pet health care can be very expensive and, not unlike human health care, costs that are already hard to understand continue to climb. Essentially, pet insurance covers a portion of veterinary medical costs. These can include everything from removing objects from your pup’s stomach (dogs eat everything!), to treating your cat’s allergies, to repairing your pet’s torn ACL. So how do you choose the best pet insurance plan for you and your pet? Let’s start with the basics.
It’s relatively easy to sign up for pet insurance. You visit a pet insurer’s website, provide some basic information about your pet, and select a coverage plan. Insurers will determine the cost of your insurance by looking at your pet’s risk factors, which typically include:
These factors all determine how much you’ll pay for pet insurance because they potentially drive vet costs up or down. Insurers ask for your zip code is because veterinary costs vary significantly based on location/ San Francisco, CA for example is a lot more expensive than Milwaukee, WI.
After getting a pet insurance policy, you’ll pay a premium (typically monthly) to the insurer. When you incur a veterinary care expense that’s covered by your plan, you’ll pay for that expense out-of-pocket, and then file a claim with your insurer to get reimbursed. At this point, the insurer will request your pet’s prior veterinary records to determine if your pet has pre-existing conditions that may not be covered by your insurance policy.
Pet insurers vary widely in their coverage, so ALWAYS READ THE FINE PRINT. Generally though, insurers cover at least a portion of veterinary bills that are due to:
What’s not on this list? Wellness care such as checkups, vaccines, flea, tick & heartworm medications, spaying, neutering and (in most cases) dental cleanings. Also, many insurers don’t cover exam fees or prescription diets. Finally, no insurer covers pre-existing conditions, elective procedures, grooming or boarding expenses. To help you start your research process, we’ve summarized key coverage differences across pet insurers in the table below.
There are a lot of options for pet insurance out there, and there is no one-size fits all solution. Different insurers provide different types of coverage, expect to spend some time doing some research. Some things to consider when you first start evaluating insurance for your pet: