6 Things You Should Know about Pet Insurance

In developed (and developing) countries, pet owners treat their animals as family members. Paying for pet-sitting or buying birthday gifts for pets is completely normal nowadays. It comes as no surprise that pet owners would do everything they can to protect their beloved furry companions. So far, animals don’t have their own national health service. Therefore, we must do our bests to ensure they will get the proper health care once they require it. As with all other insurance types, there are different pet insurance options available. Before you start comparing prices and terms offered by major insurance providers, here are 6 important things to know about pet insurance in general.

1. Pet Insurance is Different from Human Health Insurance

There are some similarities between pet insurance and human health insurance. For instance, there’s a monthly premium you need to pay and it can be determined by the age, breed, species of your pet. A portion of medical procedures and treatments covered by an insurance company depends on the policy.

Nevertheless, a pet insurance policy is usually based on reimbursement. Indeed, you should pay up front and, after submitting a claim, your insurance provider will reimburse you for the costs. In some cases, veterinary hospitals work directly with insurance providers. However, you shouldn’t count on that.

2. There’s a Waiting Period

Once the policy is issued, there’s a waiting period of approximately one month before the insurance cover begins to operate. Depending on the provider, this period can be shorter or longer. Also, it’s good to know that there are certain medical conditions which have a longer waiting period, up to a year after the policy is purchased. If any illness or accident occurs during the given period, the insurance company won’t cover the costs of necessary treatments and procedures.

3. Per-Accident or Annual Deductible

There are two types of deductible: per-incident and annual. Per-incident deductible means that a pet owner has a percentage or set amount of each veterinary expense. Annual deductible is the one you pay yearly and, once you’ve paid certain amount, the provider will cover all further vet costs. Both deductible types have their benefits and drawbacks, so it’s hard to say which one is better. Anyway, you should know their differences in order to avoid unpleasant surprises and to choose the pet insurance worth the cost.

4. Some Vets Don’t Accept Pet Insurance

Doing your research beforehand is highly recommended, because not every vet accepts pet insurance. Once you select the insurance policy for your pet, call local vets to check whether they accept it. In case they do, ask if they accept pet insurance directly. Of course you should choose a reputable and trusted vet for your beloved furry companion, but it’s important to factor everything in advance.

5. Pet Insurance isn’t Only for Cats and Dogs

Obviously, any pet needs insurance. So, you’re a snake owner? No problem, there’s an insurance option for your pet too. Contrary to the popular belief, insurance providers offer policies for exotic animals, equines and birds, not only for cats and dogs. However, the more exotic (or the older) your animal is, the higher the cost of coverage. Venomous animals, on the other hand, cannot be covered by a pet insurance policy.

6. There are Different Types of Pet Insurance

In general, your insurance provider will offer you a limited or comprehensive coverage plan. Limited coverage policy is reserved for emergency, for instance poisoning, bloat, bites etc. A comprehensive policy would cover a wide range of injuries and illnesses, including congenital and hereditary conditions. Many insurance companies offer coverage for preventive care, of course, for a higher premium. Even though the best pet insurance policies cover a wide range of veterinary treatments and procedures, it’s crucial to know what can be claimed for, for how long and how much you can get.