Do you need pet insurance?
Pet Insurance can be an extraordinary wise investment, or it can be a complete waste of money. Like anything else, do your homework before deciding to shell out hard earned money for any pet insurance policy.
For the new pet owner, with a puppy or kitten, pet insurance can provide some degree of financial security and well as peace of mind. Be certain you understand not just what the policy covers, but the EXCLUSIONS.
Consider also the health of the pet insurance company itself. The best looking policy will not do you any good if the company is no longer around to honor it’s obligations.
There are a variety of policies available. As with human insurance, the premiums increase with your pet’s age, and it can be difficult to cover certain conditions. It is not unusual to find exclusions for genetic or hereditary conditions.
Pre-existing conditions, annual or lifetime caps, and deductibles will all factor into your choice of plan. These can make an other attractive policy useless if you do not understand the terms and conditions.
Most companies offer “tiered” plans. This allows you to choose a level of coverage with different levels of deductible, coverages, annual and lifetime limits. All of these options affect the cost of your monthly premiums.
If you have more than one pet, be sure to consider whether a company offers discounted policies for a multi-pet household.
Most of the companies make some sort of plan comparison available on their website. We encourage you to thoroughly compare your options before choosing a plan.
Here’s a handy checklist when comparing plans:
- amount of deductible
- percentage of bill covered
- reimbursement from schedule of benefits or actual expense incurred?
- can you use any veterinarian?
- annual limits
- lifetime limits
- per occurence or condition limits
- herediatry or congenital exclusions
- preventative care covered?
- pre-existing condition definition and coverage
- “wellness” care covered?
- alternative therapy care covered?
- cancer coverage and/ or limits
- breed exclusions
- multi-pet discount
- copy of policy available prior to purchase?
- money back guarantee within first week or month?
Each company’s website has useful information to help you make the choice that is right for you. Pet Insurance Review is an independent website where some more objective information can be found.
Good luck in your search!