Curious about Pet Insurance?
When we welcome a new pet into our families, we’re usually thinking only about the good times-cuddles, playing fetch, and long hikes. What doesn’t usually come to mind are the bad times-unforeseen accidents and illnesses that require medical attention. On top of the stress that comes with having an injured or sick pet comes the stress of the medical bills that follow. This is where pet insurance comes in.
According to a recent report, nearly 85 million households own pets, but only 12% of them have pet insurance. It also states that the average household spends an average on $892.00 annually on their pets with two thirds of that being spent at the vet. With some companies offering plans that will reimburse up to 90% of those costs, that could add up to huge savings for the owner and can mean better care for the pet.
There are dozens of companies who offer several different kinds of coverage to help ease the burden of veterinary expenses. Some companies offer only accident and illness plans while others offer full coverage for everything, even monthly flea and tick preventatives. Often there are deductibles that must be met before reimbursement can start and limits to how much can be reimbursed annually.With some plans, these are overall deductibles regardless of the issue and some are deductibles for each individual claim. Then there is a percentage of reimbursement that will be returned to the owner once a claim is filed. This return depends on which plan and premium the owner chooses. Policies are often customizable and a few companies offer free trials so an owner can still have coverage while they continue to research which plan is best for their budget and lifestyle.
While accidents remain at the core of what insurances will cover, there are many other things to consider that may be reimbursable. Coverage may also extend to things such as:
• Hereditary or congenital issues – these could include hip dysplasia, mitral valve disease, and cherry eye
• Alternative therapies – Doctors are now able to offer more homeopathic treatments for pets such as chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, and hydrotherapy
• Prescription diets and medications- Often with certain conditions, special diets or long-term medications may be necessary
• Vitamins and supplements
• Dental disease
Certain companies also offer optional coverage riders that can be added to policies such as assistance with property damage and boarding fees or plans that will assist in the care of breeding dogs and injuries and illnesses that can occur with them. Unfortunately, no insurance company will cover conditions which are pre-existing, meaning that they were symptomatic or diagnoses before coverage began.
These days, submitting a claim has become a very streamlined process. Claims can be faxed or emailed with money ending up in the owner’s hands in a matter of days. Some companies have made it even easier than that by having apps in which the owners can simply email a picture of their invoice to their insurance carrier to submit their claim. Certain companies also offer on the spot approval for situations like emergency surgeries or treatments so there is no question that a pet can get the care they need without having finances be a concern.
There are many myths surrounding pet insurance that can easily be dispelled. For example:
• “I don’t think the insurance will be accepted at my vet practice.” Unlike human health insurance, pet insurance does not have a network of doctors to which a patient is limited to seeing. The owner pays the vet directly and then is reimbursed by the company for what their plan covers.
• “My pet is so young insurance isn’t necessary.” A new pet can be considered a clean slate and by getting a policy earlier in life, having pre-existing conditions can be avoided.
• “My pet won’t be eligible because of a health condition they already have.” True, that one condition may not be covered by insurance, but owners can still benefit from coverage for future illnesses or injuries.
Those are just a few examples of myths that can be explained away. If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us or you can visit Pet Insurance Review for information on all the different companies who offer pet insurance.
Source : The Economic and Social Contributions of the Animal Health Industry. February 2018.