3 unique things to know about pet insurance

Even though pet insurance doesn’t work like other traditional types it can still be advantageous for millions of pet owners. / Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Pet insurance offers owners a great opportunity to both protect their pet and their bank account. In return for a minimal fee to a provider, owners can have peace of mind knowing that their furry friends have medical care and, should an emergency arise, they’ll also have the financial support to get through it.

Rates vary by animal type and breed but are generally under $40 for cats and under $70 for dogs.

While the benefits of pet insurance are substantial, it doesn’t work exactly like health insurance for humans. In fact, there are some notable differences owners should be aware of in order to fully take advantage.

If you’re in the market for pet insurance, or simply want to add more pets to your coverage, then speak with a pet insurance expert today. They can help you get started with a free quote so you know exactly what to expect.

3 unique things to know about pet insurance

Even though pet insurance doesn’t work like other traditional types, it can still be advantageous for millions of pet owners. Here are three unique features to understand as you build your policy.

Pre-existing conditions

If you have a pet with pre-existing medical conditions then you can generally expect that an insurance provider won’t cover those specific issues.

“A pre-existing condition is any injury or illness which occurs or shows symptoms before coverage starts or during a waiting period,” Spot pet insurance explains. “A condition is considered pre-existing whether or not it’s been officially diagnosed or treated; all that matters is when it occurred or symptoms first displayed.”

But this isn’t a reason to worry, as conditions can clear and insurance coverage can be added again. “An injury or illness that is curable, cured, and free of treatment and symptoms for 180 days will no longer be regarded as pre-existing, with the exception of knee and ligament conditions,” Spot notes.

This is also a reason to act early while pet insurance rates are low – and before any nagging health issues appear. A pet insurance expert can help you build a personalized plan.

Reimbursement

Pet insurance will cover you for a variety of medical visits, treatments and potential procedures. Providers just won’t do it immediately. That’s because pet insurance operates on a reimbursement model.

When going to the vet, you’ll be responsible for any services, procedures and medicine your pet received at the time of the visit. So you’ll have to tap into savings or charge your credit card that day.

Your pet insurance provider will reimburse you for any money spent (depending on your policy and coverage). You’ll just need to file a claim and submit it. From there, your insurance provider will process it and send you the funds you spent back.

Vet input

When looking for health insurance for yourself you may research things like in-network providers, premiums and deductible costs. And while those factors are also part of your pet insurance research there is one unique source many owners haven’t considered: the vet.

Your vet can help you tailor any insurance plan to the dog or cat you have. They’re already closely involved with the care and treatment of your animal and see a variety of related issues on a daily basis. By tapping into your veterinarian for guidance, you can more accurately adjust your pet insurance coverage to only what you need now – or may need in the future. This way you won’t end up paying for protections you’re unlikely to use.

The bottom line

Pet insurance provides specialized medical and financial protection for both pets and owners. But like any financial investment, it helps to understand the intricacies in order to best optimize your policy.

Have more questions? Speak to a pet insurance expert today who can assist you.