Pet Insurance Tip Sheet
There’s one thing that most pet owners get wrong:
They don’t get pet insurance for their dog or cat. This is a serious mistake.
Myth 1: It costs too much. Not true. You can get basic coverage of your pet for a low monthly payment that’s roughly the cost of a bag of pet food.
Myth 2: But my pet isn't sick. Not relevant. All pets risk having an accident or coming down with an illness. It isn’t a matter of if they will become hurt or sick; it’s a matter of when. The best time to get pet insurance is when your pet is healthy.
Myth 3: It's a big hassle. These days, this is definitely not true. Many companies offer a one-page downloadable claim form. Fill it out, email it back and get reimbursed in no time. This isn’t 1980 anymore.
A well-known veterinary surgeon tells Pets Adviser that not getting insurance is one of the biggest mistakes pet owners can ever make. He says:
"I think pet insurance is one of the greatest inventions out there.... If your pet ever needs life-saving care, you can have peace of mind knowing that you will be able to afford the care they need." — Dr. Phil Zeltzman, DVM, DACVS, CVJ
The Pros and Cons of Pet Insurance
Policies vary wildly. Some are all-inclusive, while others offer limited coverage or exclude many conditions or treatments. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of pet insurance.
Some of these pros and cons may not apply to you or be of importance, but it’s important to review an insurance policy thoroughly so you know what your premiums cover.
Checking out all that fine print can be a daunting process, so we put together a checklist of things to look out for prior to signing a policy...
Pet Insurance Checklist
Can I use my own veterinarian, or am I restricted to a network?
When it comes to older pets, are there increased premiums, lowered coverage rates or age limits?
Is there a cancellation fee?
If I am unhappy with the policy at any time, are there fees or requirements that must be met to cancel the policy?
Are pre-existing conditions covered?
What are the co-payment and/or reimbursement rates?
What services and treatments are covered? (Emergencies, annual visits, vaccinations, etc.)
Are there any exclusions?
Can I add or remove services according to my needs or preferences?
Is there a trial period? (Most policies offer a 30-day money-back guarantee)
Do visits or emergencies require pre-authorization?
What services are available to me when I am out of town?
Are any breeds or animal types excluded?
Does the policy cover pregnancy, spaying or neutering?
Is there a deductible to meet?
Is there an annual maximum benefit, and do my claims affect the total?
Are pets excluded because of their diet, such as raw diets?
Do I get a discount for multiple pets?
Do you offer discounts for military members?
Are annual exams required to keep my coverage?
Does the company have plenty of positive, unbiased reviews?
Consider your current annual costs compared to the annual premiums to be aware of the difference – or increase – in your expenses. Although cost is a typical factor, consider upcoming expenses for older pets or illnesses that may become more severe in the coming years.
Real Claims and Insurance Reimbursements
Sometimes it’s hard to imagine what your dog or cat might get into or what illnesses they may suffer later in life. Even harder can be figuring out how your insurance company will help you when it comes to paying the bill.
The following examples are taken from actual claims covered and paid by Embrace Pet Insurance, a leading insurance provider:
Some of these accidents or illnesses are more common than you might imagine, and they can affect pets at any age.
So how do you know if you should get pet insurance? It depends on what you can afford. But remember what Dr. Zeltzman says: "If your pet ever needs life-saving care, with insurance you can have peace of mind knowing that you will be able to afford the care they need."
How to Get a Free Quote
Embrace Pet Insurance is Pets Adviser's first choice in pet insurance. To start your quick, free quote right now, visit the following link:
» Pet Insurance quote.
Please feel free to bookmark or print out this page to use as a guide as you compare plans.