Is pet insurance right for your family's pet? In the last decade, pet insurance has grown in popularity as more pet owners recognize its value-often during emergency situations. A quality plan can defray the costs of medical bills and veterinary care when an animal becomes sick or injured. While that may be a no-brainer, it's often difficult to pick the right plan, especially if you don't know which factors matter most. In this guide we'll take a closer look at four important components to look at when you compare pet insurance policies.
Compare Types of Pet Insurance Coverage
There a three standard types of pet insurance coverage available-wellness, illness, and accident coverage. Accident coverage is offered by the vast majority of insurance carriers and covers your animal in case they get into an emergency accident. Illness, on the other hand, is usually more limited and increases in price the older the animal gets. Wellness insurance coverage is for things like annual routine exams, and other routine visits. If you don't think that wellness coverage is worth it, just remember than a standard vet exam can run in the hundreds, depending on the vet and your location.
Check the Exclusives and Fine Print
The next step in determining the right policy is to closely exam the exclusions and fine print. A few common exclusions include pre-existing and congenital conditions, dental care, fleas, ticks and other parasites. While there may be some pet insurers that do offer policies or additional programs for these things, it's best to double check.
Plan deductibles are also a significant factor to take into account. Select a plan which has a deductible to accommodate your budget. These may range anywhere from $45 to over $1,000 per emergency. Your animal's breed, age, and medical history has a great deal to do with the percentage of coverage typically applied.
Choosing your Veterinarian
If you're loyal to your current veterinarian then you'll need to double check that the policy allows you to choose your own vet. Otherwise, you could be forced to seek medical care by a different practitioner.
Establish the Waiting Periods
Similar to human health insurance plans, pet policies also may have a waiting period before the coverage goes into effect. Ask the insurance representative what the time frame is based on your sign-up date. It could make a big difference, if your pet happens to need emergency coverage during that window.
Examine each plan carefully and consider your pet's specific needs. Someone who is trying to compare pet insurance for dogs will have different needs than if you are looking for cats. Keep these four factors in mind when during your pet insurance comparison. Also, request all policy information in writing for your records.