6 Tips for Buying Pet Insurance

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January 12, 2012
Comments (4)

One of the trends for pet owners that has been on the rise is preventative care. Even if these tough economic times, pet owners are budgeting to ensure that their buddies are well cared for and healthy. If you’re thinking about buying pet insurance, here’s a tips that can help you find the company that works best for you:

1: Is there benefit schedule?

A benefit schedule is the list of diagnoses and maximum amount of money that the insurance company will pay. Plans that have a % written out are easier to follow and can help you understand what your reimbursement can be of the vet bill. Some plans will not cover or reimburse some diagnoses and you may end up paying most of a bill even if you have pet insurance. Do your homework and ask a ton of questions about what is covered, what is not, and how they cover and evaluate reimbursements.

2: Check what is covered.

It should be clearly stated on the website and brochures what conditions and predispositions are covered and what are not for your pet. The last thing you want to do is make a claim and find out that it won’t be covered. Find out all you can and if your plan changes, make sure you are kept updated.

3: Does it cover genetic conditions?

If you have a purebred dog or cat, some insurance companies will not cover conditions that are associated with the breed. The options of coverage can vary depending on the genetic and hereditary illnesses that could happen as your pet ages. Make sure the plan covers your pet!

4: What are the rules for pre-existing conditions?

If your pet has an illness already and you’re looking for coverage or new coverage, are their illnesses excluded? Some plans will exclude all pre-existing conditions and other will differentiate between curable and incurable. Curable conditions may be covered.

5: Any limits on incidents?

An incident is any illness or accident that your pet may have. Some companies have per-incident limits that are lifetime limits and once they are reached you will no longer be reimbursed for any medical expenses. Not all plans are like this and some may only have limits per year or none at all. Make sure you know exactly how the plan works so you won’t be surprised when you make a claim.

6: Compare and contrast.

If you’re not sure and torn between choosing a plan, ask your friends, ask your co-workers, ask your vet, and read reviews of the different pet insurance companies. You’ll want the right plan, great customer service, and easy to understand literature. Do your homework and it’ll make your life easier.

Comments

4 Responses to “6 Tips for Buying Pet Insurance”

  1. Mike says:

    One final tip – don’t buy from PetPlan (www.gopetplan.com)

    I did because they treated my parents very well.

    However, when it came to my dog having hip problems (2 years after I purchased insurance for 2 dogs at $70/mo per dog) they denied our claim.

    They said it was pre-existing condition because there were “clinical signs” due to a medication that was prescribed for a different issue 2-3 years before we even signed up with them.

    What a total Joke!!! That’s like saying if you take Advil for a headache, you could be denied coverage for a brain tumor because it was pre-existing.

    Then, when we tried to cancel the insurance, they would not respond. I called them, they said it had to be in writing. I emailed it to them and they would never respond. I sent it like 4-5 times and called to confirm they received it and always got put on hold. Almost as much fun as canceling a gym membership.

    I ended up having to change my credit card number and disputing the charges they billed on the card after I requested it to be cancelled.

    So please, dear fellow pet owners, don’t buy from this insurance company who cares only about their bottom line, and doesn’t follow through when you need them to do what they sold you on.

  2. Kim says:

    I use Embrace Pet Insurance for both my cat & Lab mix because they cover genetically predisposed conditions. It was very difficult to find an insurance that covered hip dysplasia in a Lab since it is a common ailment with labs. They are very responsive when a claim is submitted, communicating with me at each step of it’s processing.

  3. Nancy says:

    I also use Embrace Pet Insurance. I can’t say enough good things about them. My lab mix has serious allergy problems that require special vets and special medications,all of which are very expensive and Embrace has never failed to reimburse me and to do it in a very timely manner. I wish they could handle my health insurance!

  4. DorothyR says:

    I hopped on the pet insurance bandwagon a few years ago but most of them do what they can to limit coverage and it always took forever to get a reimbursement check (yes most will make you pay up front). My sister recently found Pet Assure which we tried and are pretty happy with. It’s a vet discount plan and not insurance so your bill is cheaper off the bat, costs me around 10 dollars a month to cover my yellow lab.

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