Daily someone says to me, I wish they offered medical insurance for pets and daily I say – THEY DO!! It is frustrating to have to discuss costs for extensive procedures with owners who have to make tough choices on their pets care based on cost. I recently had an owner with insurance receive coverage for a referral surgery and treatment that would have cost her over $4000. This is why we want our patients to have insurance. It’s smart to evaluate medical coverage for your dogs and cats. Animals are living longer, they are treated like members of the family and veterinary care costs are rising by more than 9% per year. Whether your pet is old or new, some of today’s pet insurance plans can provide you with affordable options to cover unexpected accidents and illnesses.

Here’s what to look for:

  • Find a policy that is simple to use and easy to understand. With so many different options and plans available, it can be confusing to know what is covered.
  • Some policies put a cap on the amount you can receive per incident or per year. Others provide unlimited coverage with no payout limits. Find a policy that has no limits.
  • With some policies you can choose your own deductible to best fit your budget.
  • Reimburses a high percentage of your bill. Some cover 70%, while others cover 90%. Also make sure they won’t change your coverage amount if you file a lot of claims.
  • Many breeds are prone to hereditary and congenital disorders, look for a policy that covers them.
  • Make sure the policy reimburses based on your actual bill, not from a predetermined payment schedule.

Some questions you should ask

  • What is not covered?
  • What are the per incident limits? Annual limits? Lifetime limits? What about ongoing conditions like diabetes?
  • What is the percentage amount paid to you by the insurance company? Make sure it is a percentage of the actual bill, not a percentage of a benefit schedule.
  • Will premiums increase as the pet ages? How much? (This is important as many policies start low and raise the rates due to pet aging or if you file a lot of claims)
  • Visit petinsurancereview.com and make sure the company you choose is highly rated by consumers.

One of the best places to start is with your veterinarian. We offer all puppies under a year of an age a free thirty day insurance policy after their examination. Ask about other options for your pet. You should also spend time looking at pet insurance coverage online with companies like ASPCA, PetsBest, Trupanion and VPI. Many pet insurance policies will detail answers to your questions and provide sample policies that you can review. By finding the answers to your questions, you can make the best decision on whether pet insurance is the right option for you.