How to Choose the Right Pet Insurance Plan for Your Pet
Pet insurance can be a smart investment for both pet owners and pets themselves. A pet insurance plan can protect you from expensive vet bills you can’t afford, and it can keep your pet as healthy as possible.
But choosing a pet insurance plan isn’t easy. With increasingly more options to choose from, it can be challenging to pick the right plan for you and your pet. Try the following tips to make your decision easier.
Enroll Your Pet As Early As Possible
If you’re trying to decide if pet insurance is right for you and your pet, you’ll want to act quickly. It’s important to enroll your pet in a plan while they’re young. Waiting could cost you more money.
Like human health insurance, older pets with ailments, illnesses, and medical conditions cost more money to insure. Waiting to enroll an older pet can mean limited coverage, fewer options, and higher expenses for pre-existing conditions.
Enrolling pets while they’re young is more affordable and locks in lower premiums. Young pets won’t face any restrictions, and you should be able to secure coverage from any pet insurance provider.
Ask Your Veterinarian for Advice and Recommendations
When you begin searching for pet insurance, it’s helpful to have feedback and advice. One of the most beneficial sources of advice can be your veterinarian.
Vets deal with pet insurance every day. From billing and reimbursement to coverage for different procedures and ailments, vets can give you very helpful information about what they’ve experienced with different pet insurance providers and plans.
Check with your vet to see if he or she has any recommendations. The office might prefer certain plans or providers. Your vet might also be able to recommend certain types of coverage that would be good for your specific pet. And since your vet is familiar with your pet’s health needs, the vet could even suggest plans that cover the services your cat or dog needs.
Decide How Much Coverage You Need
Once you’ve begun considering pet insurance and looking into the details of different plans, you’ll want to determine how much coverage you need for your pet.
Every pet insurance plan is different. And each plan offers different levels of coverage for different veterinary procedures, pet health conditions, and other occurrences. You need to search for a plan that covers what your pet needs most.
If your pet is in good health and visits the vet for routine wellness checkups, you’ll likely want a plan that covers just that. Some plants offer preventative care coverage, meaning you’ll be covered for vaccinations, flea, tick, and heartworm prevention, and any wellness exams or medical tests.
If you’re worried that your pet may need expensive emergency medical care, or if your concerns about your pet’s health are growing as they age, you may need a different kind of coverage. There are pet insurance plans that cover unexpected care, like surgeries, hospitalization, prescription medication, and lab testing for any illness or injury.
Still other pet insurance plans exist, and these can offer coverage for pre-existing conditions, unexpected medical care, and even pets of specific breeds or age groups. Just make sure to assess your pet’s needs before picking an insurance plan.
Consider Each Plan’s Reimbursement Policy
A hugely important factor in choosing a pet insurance plan is how you’ll pay for your pet’s medical needs. The whole point of a pet insurance policy is to help reduce your costs – but if you choose the wrong plan, you might wind up paying for everything out of pocket.
Pet insurance works in two ways:
- Reimbursing pet owners a percentage of what’s paid to the vet.
- Reimbursing pet owners for every covered expense, up to a set amount.
If you choose a pet insurance plan that reimburses you a percentage of the invoice, or a percentage of your veterinary bill, you’ll have to pay the entire bill up front. Then, after you submit that bill as a claim, the insurance provider will reimburse you for a portion of the amount you paid. Under some plans, you could get as much as 90 percent back. Others may leave you paying for more.
If you opt for a plan that reimburses the full amount of all covered medical expenses, you’ll pay up front for your pet’s vet bills. You’ll submit those expenses as a claim and be reimbursed for the full amount – as long as the procedures you paid for are covered under your plan.
Make sure to look at the reimbursement policy for any pet insurance plan. It’s important to know how your costs will be reduced and how you’ll be reimbursed for your pet’s care.
Compare Pet Insurance Providers
Once you’ve decided on the specifics of the kind of pet insurance you need, it’s time to compare different insurance companies.
Before you sign up for any pet insurance policy, take a good look at each insurance provider. Search online for reviews and information about each company you’re considering. Do current customers have positive things to say? Are the costs affordable and within your budget? Will your pet be covered for the right care?
While you look into each pet insurance provider, make sure to compare what they offer. You want to find a plan and provider that work for your cat or dog. And the best way to pick the perfect pet insurance plan is to do your research.